Sunday, July 20, 2008

30x40: Week of 7/14 Progress

WEEK TWO OF MEASURING MY fitness and fat loss has concluded with wins in both areas. I surpassed my goal of reaching 227 lb., and according to my gym-visit records, I got just a little bit stronger. That's precisely the combination I sought during this program, as losing lean muscle is always a risk when reducing total food intake.

I revised my list of weekly goals as follows:
  • Improve clean protein intake
  • Perfect gym attendance through 7/20
  • Track all meals & weekday calories
  • Weigh self daily
  • Superior dinner nutrition
  • Daily fish oil caps
  • Blog progress
My progress toward these went like this:

Protein, protein, and more protein: My current caloric split is 40% protein/30% carbohydrates (complex for as many as possible)/30% beneficial fats. I've found it hard to meet the protein number. Nutrition/protein bars usually also contain simple carbs (sugar of various types), and red meat has unavoidable bad fats no matter how trimmed the cut might be. I upped the amount of MetRx protein powder I add to my post-workout smoothies to two, and I've used the larger cans of Bumble Bee tuna as my dinner protein rather than the smaller cat-food tins. I eat walnuts or almonds at least once per day, and some days I've replaced one of these servings with half a natural peanut butter sandwich ("natural" = no added sugar). Don't want to overdo the fat intake with the nuts, though. One solution that also helps my perpetual quest for healthful weekday dinners: I made a ton of chili last week that I've begun mixing into the daily menu, which gives me fiber along with clean protein.

Even while not hitting the number I set, I've made some small strength gains during the week. I think it was a factor of keeping the kinds of carbs and fat I ate as healthful as possible, lower overall caloric content, and . . .

Perfect gym attendance through 7/20: Nailed this one today with a cardio trip to the gym this afternoon. I managed to get into the gym early each day except Friday, which I took as a personal day; at any rate, I was perfectly on schedule. I moved the weights up on a few of the exercises, as mentioned, and will seek reasonable opportunities to do so this coming week. Slow, steady progress is most likely to result in sustainable gains without training injuries or burnout. If I do feel the cold/flu-like symptoms of overtraining, I can drop one of the cardio days (Wed., Sat., Sun.) and sleep in. I won't be afraid to do so if it avoids erasing a week's worth of gains when overtraining and a dinged immune system lets some damn virus in. I don't think I said it any better than last week: "Flexibility and consistency trump guilt when these sorts of diversions occur."

Tracking meals/Weigh self daily: Kept on course here, despite some of the aforementioned diversions. On Monday night, I shared in the leftovers of Sunday's dinner at my parents' house; unlike Sunday night, I skipped the simple-carb side dish. Friday night my mom and I went out to dinner while my father spent a second night having a suspected recurrence of an old GI problem checked out at the hospital. (Problem solved; Dad came home Saturday.) I went with chicken parmigiana, but declined the linguine. In all cases, I made note of what I ate, but for these two meals I didn't get anal about the exact calorie count.

In any event, they didn't seem to ding my progress much. I surpassed the planned 227-lb. goal weight by half a pound. My chart indicates I got as low as 223.5, but this was an outlier. I'm setting my next goal at 226, a natural progression from the second week of 227 if I'm losing .57 lb./week. Keeping up with decent amounts of protein will keep the lean muscle coming as much as it will.

To the current weight tracking, I am going to add a measure of waist circumference. Abdominal fat is a precursor to cardiovascular disease. if I can measure a downward trend in the gut, I know that visceral and intramuscular fat are both being depleted, and the long-term luggage is finally, slowly, getting hit. This I will measure on Saturday mornings; I'll get a baseline read tomorrow morning.

Superior dinner nutrition: Other than the two dinners mentioned above, two of three were good-quality meals, including the chili I'd made for just such an occasion. The first night I had it, I paired it with a serving of brown rice, which significantly boosted that day's carbs. Though they were complex carbs, I'm still trying to keep a limit on them in the evening. The final one was an impromptu affair in the hospital emergency department waiting room. I'd had the smarts to bring a small tin of tuna, a fork, and a serving of almonds with me. Because my father was not an emergency case per se, it took him a long time to be admitted; and even when he was in, the necessary test took 2 hours from start to finish. I also had a double-serving of prunes with me in case I felt myself going faint. Oddly, I didn't; I avoided major hunger until I drove my mom home around 11 p.m. that night.

Fish oil: Doing my part to deplete the oceans, I managed to hit this goal each night before bed. I'm leaving it off of next week's list because I did in fact place a Post-It next to the alarm clock. Simple solutions sometimes do work.

Blog progress: I believe I forgot to hit save one day when entering the weight progress, but other than that, I recorded enough detail during the week to offer this minor update.

I've got a revised set of goals up for the week of July 21. I'm looking forward more to fulfilling them than I am to going to work.

No comments: