Saturday, September 13, 2008

Squats Are Paying Off

DESPITE SOME OFF-PLAN DINNERS this week, I managed to meet today's goal weight of 221. This after a temporary spike, last weekend, to 226, which I attribute to Sunday's carbohydrate-heavy dinner at my parents' place. Three of my dinners this week were considerably subpar as compared to the clean, controlled portions of protein, complex carbs, and healthful fats I had through the other four or five small meals each day. So why, at the end of the week, when I weighed myself and then double-checked the result with a tape measure around my waist, did I still manage to drop 5 lb.?

I believe it's because my addition of squats to the exercise regimen. This week, I did squats on Tuesday and Thursday, owing to taking Monday off from the gym after a solid week of gym visits. I actually woke up before my alarm on Tuesday morning eager to get over to the gym Squatting was the first thought on my mind. How weird is that?

I bumped up this week to eight reps (from seven) of five squats with nothing on the bar. I'll visit the gym for weight training tomorrow, after a cardio session today, because I don't know what sort of gym facilities the hotel where I'm staying Monday and Tuesday in Central City will have. Doubtful they'll have a power rack. I'll be lucky if they have one of those vibrating weight belts from the Coolidge era. So my idea is to put in a vigorous workout tomorrow that will hold me through spotty exercise opportunities and food options until Wednesday.

But back to the weight loss conundrum. I noticed my face looked a touch thinner; I could see my cheekbones more clearly. The waist measurement this morning indicated I'd lost ½" since last Monday, when the scale read 226. When I walked during the week, I was conscious of my quadriceps, the large thigh muscles that squats target. The feedback I got from them was an odd combo of postworkout soreness (though far less than the first couple of times I squatted) and the sense of being larger. The shape of the muscles are a touch different than two weeks ago. They're not Incredible Hulk huge by any means; I won't have to lay in a massive supply of purple pants to replace the ones my gamma surges shred. Indeed, my quads compete for space with no small amount of adipose tissue, to put it clincally. But it seems to be a slightly smaller amount of said fat, and a touch larger amount of said muscle.

I am permitting myself the least perceptibly hubristic shred of joy I can muster.

When you have an enemy on the run, you pursue and reduce them while they are thus vulnerable. My war against fat is still young. But any war comprises many battles, many duels between armies across the vast theater of strife. If I was able to add muscle and drop fat even when I had nacho chips and cheese two nights this week, along with pizza on a third, how much more success might I achieve with an entirely clean diet? Rather than ruing my slips, I will take them as proof that my exercise plan is working, that the overall 30x40 goal may be achievable, and that if I die young anyway, it will be in the midst of a fight I finally have dedicated myself to winning.

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