Friday, February 26, 2010

Results Day - Week 9: YEAH!

The drive to a goal is always so much nicer when you actually meet the goal! Body Fat is now in single digits and man, I am going to keep it there! Especially as I know that I am only 4 weeks away from my 41st birthday and my weakest time of the year: Easter (it the Cadbury Crème Eggs that do it to me....).

The data this week:
Weight: 93.5kg - up 200 grams
Body Fat: 9.7% - YEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHHH! Down 1% from last week
Waist: 83-87cm - steady

Lean Muscle is up as well. Nice!

So, this week has been a good week, though getting the routines sorted and the right exercises in place for the day has been a challenge. Stretching is my Achilles heel and I continue to be poor in my execution of stretching regularly.

I'm allowed (financially) a semi-regular check in with my PT; I'm not sure if she will suffer me not stretching for much longer though so I had better get that into routine as well.

It is an important motivational and psychological milestone to be able to be 'accountable' to someone else: if you find that you drift from your goals and cannot stick to plan, consider investigating hiring a PT. Check on their credentials (qualifications, demonstrated success etc) and if you are not sure then ask for another opinion, its your health and money. Most importantly it is your lifestyle commitment to change (or maintain), so take the responsibility to investigate and consider.

Two great PT's are (Twitter) @juicyfitness and @bodywizept, take a look when you get the chance.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Results Day - Week 8: Shape changing

Yep! It's happening, the shape change: the beer soaked guts of Christmas are steadily retreating and preparing for the onslaught of Cadbury Crème Eggs and birthday celebrations...

The data has been handed down for analysis and subsequent action:
Weight: 93.3 - UP 1.1kg from last week...
Body Fat: 10.7% - UP 0.2% from last week...
Waist: 83-87cm - DOWN 1cm from last week

My muscle weight has increased (those clever Tanita scales!) though and this correlates positively with the efforts this week to work on my legs more. Single leg raises, and single leg curls have been a bit of fun (slightly painful mind you, love it!) and it appears that the pay off has been an increase in lean muscle.

We like lean muscle! Why? It is your very own fat burning furnace and it burns as you go, not just whilst you are in the gym, but whilst you go about your business of the day. Unwittingly you are allowing your body to cut the fat as you push the paperwork around.

You need to include resistance training in your plans to get the best rests, just pumping out cardio sessions will not quite round off the results you are looking for.

I'm not talking about getting yourself 'massive', there's no need for that (and ladies, you can't get 'massive', but you can tone through burning fat, and you need to work your muscles to do that), but you do need to push those muscle cells to help you achieve those goals.

Don't forget the Body's Energy equation...
weight (fat) loss = resistance training + cardiovascular training + good nutrition + a desire to achieve

Calorie deficit.

It also means cool things like: you look and feel good and you get fitter - can't grumble at that!
Finally, Endorphins: they are really good, and you get them when you exercise!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Results Day - Week 7 (Phew!)

Thankfully this week I won't have to take myself outside for a talking to...

I have dropped 700g from last week (and considering I do know that I had a lengthy liaison with James Squire Ale on Saturday, I am pleasantly surprised!) and body fat has dropped as well.
Here are the stats:

Weight: 92.3kg - down 700g from last week
Fat: 10.5% - down 0.5% from last week
Waist: 84-88cm - down 1cm and 2cm on "guts in/guts out" measure.

Relative Muscle weight is the same as last week, so I am a happy little vegemite today!

Does this mean I'll ease up? Of course not, I can see through the data that to stop the up/down of the last few weeks I have to stay focussed. I have another 7 days to look towards where exercise and diet go hand in glove to get to my next goal... single figure body fat. I'm also due for a fitness check in on the Polar watch: have to get a better Own Index rating than 47 from early January. Although not a true VO2Max test is does help with motivation and goal setting.

OK so the weekend is coming and a bit of romance is in the air, what should I do on Sunday if I know that a romantic dinner or lunch is planned? Take it easy, it's not all work, work, work you know. Allow yourself to enjoy a good meal, maybe even a glass or two of wine: but remember don't over indulge otherwise you will simply set yourself back by a week, or more.

You must have fun whilst driving towards your goals, you must have fun otherwise you will find yourself taking on too many calories, not just for the one meal but for all of them. You will suddenly find yourself looking at the measurements and going "what happened man?".

Remember that there were a bunch of reasons for you embarking on a life changing health, fitness and wellbeing journey, rekindle those memories so that you don't lose touch with the feelings you had then, and then compare them to how you feel now. I'll bet that you love the endorphin kick after a cardio session, I'll bet you enjoy the sense of achievement you feel when you lift a heavier weight, I'll bet you feel overjoyed when someone comments on your figure - take each feeling and give yourself a pat on the back...

Now, back to work, but enjoy it and have fun - FoS

Friday, February 5, 2010

Diet vs. Diet

Interesting comments made on biggest loser tonight that maybe conflicting: No more diets, but the Mediterranean diet is the one to go on....

I believe that the intention was to make it clear that you do not go on and off a diet: your diet is your LONG TERM commitment to healthy eating and the most effective diet is that of the Mediterranean area.

The last 20-30 years have not done the health and nutrition industry any favours, especially with the continued focus on finding the quick fix that solves every individuals weight problems.

I have copied this from

–noun and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health: Milk is a wholesome article of diet.
2.a particular selection of food, esp. as designed or prescribed to improve a person's physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease: a diet low in sugar.
3.such a selection or a limitation on the amount a person eats for reducing weight: No pie for me, I'm on a diet.
4.the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group: The native diet consists of fish and fruit. or feed habitually eaten or provided: The rabbits were fed a diet of carrots and lettuce.
6.anything that is habitually provided or partaken of: Television has given us a steady diet of game shows and soap operas.
–verb (used with object) regulate the food of, esp. in order to improve the physical condition. feed.
–verb (used without object) select or limit the food one eats to improve one's physical condition or to lose weight: I've dieted all month and lost only one pound. eat or feed according to the requirements of a diet.
11.suitable for consumption with a weight-reduction diet; dietetic: diet soft drinks.
It is clear that the original meaning of the word now encompasses the ideal that weight management is part of its intent. Entries 1, 4, 5 and 6 reflect the original intent of the word, and this is where Biggest Loser (I believe) were focusing on.

A diet is not just for after Christmas, it is a way of life.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Results Day - Week 6: The Story so far...

It's been a topsy-turvy, peaks and troughs, ebb and flow, hills and valleys type 6 weeks.....

So this week my weight has dropped, by 2kg to 93kg flat. Nice. However if it goes up again then some serious talking to myself will have to be had!

Weight: 93kg - down 2kg from last week
Fat: 11% - 0.5% reduction (though my muscle weight has also dropped, so I'm not hitting the right levers just yet)
Waist: 95-90cm - an improvement by 1cm on the "suck yer guts in" measure, but not when I let 'em all hang out!

More nutrition focus along with settling the resistance training will help me make the next shift, a target of 10% body fat or less by the end of Feb. An achievable goal as long as I stick to the plan. My strength and conditioning efforts to stabilise my core, obliques (to help support my back when shooting) and overall muscle power are coming along slowly.

Fitting in the Cardio, Resistance and, as I have been reminded by my PT, stretching... is hard, especially as lunchtime is the only real available window to get things done. Anyway, part of the journey is to know what the hurdles are and to find the right tactics to overcome them. I may have to look like a weirdo and stretch at other times in the day, during lectures possibly?

Having moved from one part of Sydney to another for work I have had to relinquish the easy access to a gym that is not heavily patronised. The new one is a body-shop for all the buffed and pumped, squeezing in their lunchtime "massive", and finely honing their muscles. This makes access to the free weights and machines a bit of a lottery but this is not necessarily a bad thing. The body and its muscles adapts to regular routine, and also to the same exercises ("Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein). This results in a plateau, no more bulk, no more fat shedding, the fine sculpture not quite finished. If you are faced with a gym that does not quite cater for the over-subscription then take it as an opportunity to challenge the brain as well as the body, change your routine, do what you are innately good at: adapting.

If you can't get to the bicep weights, do your legs; if you can't do your legs find a Swiss ball or BOSU and challenge your core; if you can't find a machine find another solution, and do it quickly because that little nagging "I can't" will suddenly de-rail you and you'll find yourself back in the office chasing cake... I know it happens, all you need is the reason to not do it and you take it.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change." - Charles Darwin

Change yourself: adapt, and then change again!

Have a good week, FoS