Disclaimer: I am no expert in the medical field nor the physical fitness field. What follows is simply an experience that happened to me.
Life. Mergers. Kids. Money. Holidays. Stress!
Everything happens to everyone. Sometimes all at the same time. Sometimes only one thing at a time. Life happens… and it happened to me.
When winter came, I took notice that my uniform pants weren’t quite the same color they were when I originally purchased them… in fact, they were a bit on the green side. As a responsible employee, I stopped in the uniform shop and ordered some new pants.
It was then I asked if I should be measured, and I was notified that they had my measurements in their computer system and they would ship me pants according to those sizes.
Four weeks later I get a box with some brand new pants that match the rest of my uniform in color. Problem was, I could not fasten the waist.
My initial reaction was one of shock! Are these the correct size? Didn’t they have my measurements? What could be wrong with these pants?!?
Enter reality. Life happened.
I had been running regularly. I had been hitting the gym a couple times per week. What could have happened? It was time to take a look at myself and the lifestyle I had chosen to lead.
Long story short, I was consuming too much food for my own good (and good food it was!)
It was a new low. As you may know, if you have known me for years, there was a point in my life where I was a rather large guy… and that’s putting it kindly. I graduated high school weighing a low low 287 pounds. Last winter, I was nowhere near that weight, but I was above that 200 mark…by more than a few pounds, and slowly creeping the wrong direction.
Then, the reality moment. It was time to change. I had changed in the past, adapted, and succeeded. It was time again to do the things I knew worked for me and make a positive change.
The first change in my life was a simple change. I started counting the calories of that good stuff I put in my mouth. There are a large amount of applications for your smart phones that can help with this, but I chose to use a calorie counter made by mynetdiary.com for iOS. Wow. Nothing short of an eye opener.
Setting up a reasonable weight loss goal of 1-2 pounds per week, I was shown the amount of calories that would help me reach the goal. System in place, I then proceeded to the physical side… the exercise.
At this point, I was in the gym three days per week, running three days per week, and resting one day per week…or at least that was the goal. I had been using the Body-For-Life method in my workouts as they had worked for me in the past with great success (as they still do.) The problem with the method was the intensity. What once worked in the past, does not work for my now older body.
A month in and the weight started dropping. An added benefit was the waist line rapidly shrinking. To increase the effectiveness of my workouts, I started turning to supplementation. In addition to supplementation, I also started slowing down my reps and increasing intensity. Long story short, I was lifting heavy, hard, and resting about 4 days before I hit that body part again.
Then, another memorable moment happened. Pre-workout supplement consumed, I was working out my legs via a squat rack. On my last two reps of my working set, I suddenly had a sharp pain in my head. Sharp may be an understatement. I dumped the bar, laid on the floor, and curled to the fetal position for about 30 seconds. After that time, the pain subsided to a dull ache. Within two hours, thank God, the pain was gone.
This was enough for me to be a bit concerned. I noted what had happened in the corner of my mind and moved on with the workout…and my life. Five days later, it happened again.
Doctor’s visit scheduled. MRI taken. Brain’s fine. No Aneurism!
Long story short, pre-workout supplements worked great for me, BUT, the stimulants that they contained really weren’t great for my physical makeup. The doctor also reminded me that I’m 34, NOT 24. Time to lift a bit more intelligently and give my body a bit more rest time.
That was March.
Since that time, I have been tracking my calories. Not only the caloric intake, but also the macro nutrients of food. The weight training routine has been virtually the same with the difference being how I perform each rep and my new definition of failure per exercise. No longer will I push through bad form. If I can’t complete a rep with proper form, I either call that set done or drop the weight and go until I once again can’t perform the rep with proper form. Form>weight.
The weight loss has plateaued for the moment. With that, I am okay as long as the waist line keeps decreasing and the strength level keeps increasing.
Overall, I personally feel better than I have felt in a long time. My endurance has increased. I can run a 5k without even thinking about it. My bench and squat weights have increased. And lastly, that pair of uniform pants that were too small…well.. they are the uniform pants I currently wear!
Lift smartly. Eat well. Take care of yourself. Enjoy life! After all, we have only been blessed with one life to spend on this beautiful Earth. We may as well enjoy it!
For some strange reason, one of the few things that my wife says she can not cook but I can is enchiladas… or at least my version of them anyway. She says she has trouble with the tortillas cracking, but then again I haven’t seen her try recently.
In a brief blog post, here is what we do:
For starters, we browned two pounds of venison this evening. Chicken, beef, or pulled pork also work quite well. While the meat was cooking, we add spices to taste. In our case, it’s cumin, cinnamon, garlic, salt, and onion.
When the meat is browned, I set up the assembly line. From the far end is the meat, followed by a pot of boiling water with a screen splatter guard, a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray, and a mixture of red enchilada sauce and 98% fat free cream of chicken soup (4:1 cans).
Place the tortilla on the strainer and steam until the tortilla can be rolled without cracking or breaking.
From that point it is into the baking dish. We scoop meat and sauce into an open tortilla then roll them.
When the pan is full of rolled and stuffed tortillas, it’s time for the unhealthy goodness! We top the enchiladas with sauce and cheese. At this point, it’s into a 400 degree oven until they reach our desired level of doneness (about 20 minutes.)
Then, it’s time to eat! Eat as is, or top with sour cream, black olives, onions, green peppers, or whatever you desire.
Deer season in Michigan is a rather long hunting season. Firearm deer season is a different story. November 15 – November er 30th. Before and after that is the archery season and an equally short muzzleloader season.
Last year I was not lucky enough to take a deer. We still had plenty of venison in the freezer, but I was not able to contribute to that meat. I did take a shot at a deer last year, but after hours of searching for the deer, we concluded that the shot was not on target and the deer was not fatally injured. Losing a deer is heartbreaking!
Sadly, this is not the first time this had happened. A few years ago the same thing happened. After that shot, we took my rifle to the range and found that the scope needed some re-adjusting. Last year was no different.
To try to change things this year, I invested in some new glass… some Nikon glass.
After many shots, and a rather sore shoulder, we had the scope sighted in. The result was the deer I was fortunate enough to take this year dopper where he was standing when I pulled the trigger.
As you might be able to see, we were blessed with another successful season! My brother-in-law, grandfather-in-law, and I all had one hanging on the buck-pole. Venison in the freezer is always a good thing!
That question caught me off guard when my wifed asked it to me this evening. What is my goal weight? I have absolutely NO idea!
The question started a bit of a discussion between the two of us and some deep thinking by me throughout my lifting session this evening.
Near the beginning of October, my wife’s school started a biggest loser type competition among its staff. A devoted husband, I also offered to participate in some friendly competition in our house, just the two of us. We weight in and recorded an official starting weight that week.
Time has passed since that day and many workouts and caloric sacrifices have been made. Clothes start fitting differently (for the better) and I feel better overall when I can get in some form of a workout daily. My wife has also been doing a wonderful job in preparing food, bringing healthy lunches to work, and stopping at the gym on her way home from work! Progress is being made for the better.
Them came this evening. As our daughter drifted off to sleep and our son was sawing logs, I asked her if she wanted to go to the gym. The combination of her head hurting and a mountain of papers that needed grading made that decision for her. With her settling down for the evening, I started dressing for the gym. It was then that she asked the question.
I remember being quite heavy. I also remember being a twig. When I moved to Kalamzoo for school, I was at the lightest I had ever been in my adult life. I was also probably no where near as healthy as I could have been. (I think my major caloric intake consisted of carb laden adult beverages.)
It was in school I discovered how much I enjoyed the gym. Well… maybe not so much the gym, but how I felt after regularly working out at the gym. Clothes started fitting differently, and believe it or not, people started treating me differently (or so I perceived.) My attitude couldn’t be anything but positive.
Fast forward a couple years: I was now working out six days a week at a minimum, eating well six days a week, and allowing one free day a week for no working out as well as eating whatever I wanted. The next day I usually felt sluggish, possibly hung over, and just overall like a pile of poo. Lesson learned: If you treat your body poorly, it will respond in kind.
My weight at that point is what I would consider healthy for me. The clothes fit comfortably, the energy level was high, and the BMI index showed me as overweight.
Which is where I am again today. I know I could stand to lose a few pounds, and those pounds are what I am hoping to shed. The problem I have run into is I enjoy lifting weights. There is no substitute for me that can replace the feeling of putting another plate on the bar, grabbing the next heavier dumbbell, or moving the pin up a notch to increase the resistance. Unfortunately, one side effect to this is an increase in weight to to an increase in muscle mass.
What I am not saying is that I don’t need to lose weight. What I am saying is while going through my workouts in the past, there was a point where I lost a few pounds, and then stagnated for a month, then started gaining weight! The difference for me once again was the notches on the belt, the pin on the machines, and the plates on the bar were all going the correct way.
So, here I am. The question going through my head. What is my goal weight? Right now, it is benching the 75 pound dumbbells, military pressing the 50′s, oh, and maintaining cardio health to run a 10k on a night’s notice.
I hadn’t been off of work for four hours when I got this little gem. Thank you Google Voice for taking the call and letting me know I had a message…