Archive for the 'Exercise' Category

Wednesday Weigh-in: 271.2

Mike on Apr 18th 2012

271.2 this week, which is down 4.6 lbs, and still without any trouble at all. I’m down about 15 lbs since the beginning of the month and still up about 28 lbs since I was at my lowest last summer. I’m averaging around 1050 calories per day, with low carbs and low fat, and I’m doing my four days each week of weight-training and cardio at the gym. I continue to have no noticeable tiredness and no stress over food. I also hit a new bench press high today of 295 lbs. So, my response to all of this is simply to say, “Go TRT!”

Filed in Diet,Exercise,Testosterone,Wednesday Weigh-in | No responses yet

Is Mike Still Losing It?

Mike on Sep 17th 2011

As my last post a couple of months ago said, I had a break from the diet over the summer and did gain some weight, but the training never stopped. Several weeks ago I got very strict on the diet again, eating between 1500-2000 calories per day but found the weight just wasn’t coming off. Because of past experience I wasn’t willing to cut my calories any further than that, so I’ve significantly upped my cardio to about an hour per training session. I weight train four days per week for about 45 minutes and then do the hour of cardio on the elliptical machine, making my total workout about two hours long. It would be a bit of an ordeal if not for my Kindle and new BlackBerry PlayBook. Those allow me to get an hour’s worth of reading done during the cardio.

According to my heart rate monitor I’m burning about 3000-4000 calories per week during my workouts, and since increasing the cardio I’ve been seeing a drop of about two pounds per week. That’s a little less than I’d like but I can live with it. If that rate continues I should see the end of the weight loss portion of my program right around two years after I began, in February.

Filed in Exercise,Heart Rate Monitor,Weight loss | 2 responses so far

Up go the calories, and up goes the energy

Mike on May 5th 2011

After my last post I lost an additional 3 lbs over a period of about a week-and-a-half, which put me at 243. Unfortunately, during that same time I realized I was tired almost all the time, I dreaded working out each day, and I was talking about food constantly. Louanne noticed my comments about food too and mentioned it, because it is so out-of-character for me. What was the problem? Should I eat more?

Tuesday morning after trying to work out yet again with zero energy, I decided that I seriously needed to try increasing my calories for awhile. That day I ate, and ate, and ate some more. The tiredness was mostly gone almost immediately, and working out Wednesday was like a totally different experience. Today has been even better…I didn’t work out today, but my energy level has been great. Quite the difference!

Tuesday I didn’t even bother to monitor the calories…I just ate all day, but yesterday I ate around 2600 and today I’ll likely do the same. My plan is to eat around that much every day for at least a week or so and monitor my weight loss during that time. Then I will adjust it up or down accordingly. It might slow things down, but I’d rather lose the rest of the fat slowly and have a lot of energy than lose it quickly and feel like I did the last few weeks. The last few weeks of the program were terrible and stressful.

I’ll be paying much closer attention to my energy-levels from now on, and basing much of my calorie intake on that.

Filed in Diet,Exercise,Goals,Weight | 3 responses so far

Dad Strength in China

Mike on Mar 12th 2011

Since I’ve been back from China for about two weeks now and I’m finally getting back into the swing of things, I decided that it was well past time for me to post an update about what’s been going on.

Our trip to China was eventful to say the least. If you want to read about it in detail, then go to our family blog at and start from February 8th. In a nutshell, we went to adopt our second daughter and were there just under three weeks. We started off staying several days in Beijing to visit some friends and adjust to the time difference, moved on to Yinchuan in Ningxia province (where our child was waiting) for several more days, and last stayed for eight days in Guangzhou where the U.S. Consulate is located. We all got upper respiratory infections, coughed constantly because of the pollution and dust in Yinchuan (it’s on the edge of a desert), and I got an ear infection and lost most of my hearing for the last week of the trip and the last two weeks here at home.

Louanne hurt her side in Yinchuan (possibly from coughing so hard she bruised a rib or pulled some muscles), which required me to do pretty much everything for both girls the last half of the tip…including carrying them both around all the time. Fortunately I have what my trainer calls “Dad Strength,” which every father can relate to and will see you through in a pinch. In truth, if I hadn’t been training for a year with Tim then the trip would have been ten times harder than it was. The one year anniversary of starting my fitness program was actually Feb 14, the day we got our daughter. That year has made all the difference. There was one day near the end of the trip where I was carrying both girls and the stroller at the same time up several flights of steps and across a bridge and didn’t really think anything about it. I didn’t even feel winded. A year ago I probably would have passed out…or I’d have at least found out just how fast my heart can beat before cardiac arrest.

The hardest thing of all didn’t have anything to do with the trip–the workouts since getting back have made the screaming kid, jet lag, ear infection, and coughing fits seem like a walk on a spring day. Tim took it easy on me and I still felt like I was going to die…and I haven’t even done any cardio yet. I’m going to add that back in next week. I did legs Monday, for the first time in a month, and six days later they still hurt. They STILL HURT. In spite of that, I’m still glad to be back in the gym. There were actually a couple of moments (just a couple) while I was doing the bench press that I thought it felt good to press the weight up. The feel and pressure of the weight felt good. Weird, I know. I haven’t gotten back on my diet yet, but plan to do that within the next week or so as well. It has been hard enough the last two weeks just getting through the workouts…no way I was adding the diet to that stress.

My plan is to be back to my full, pre-trip regimen within the next week, and my new goal is to have lost another 40 lbs by our family vacation at the end of June. That should put me near the end of my weight loss, but I won’t know for sure until I get there. After that I’ll concentrate solely on strength building.

Filed in Exercise,Lifestyle,Photos | 2 responses so far

The First Great Clothes Purge

Mike on Jan 30th 2011

Yesterday I went through my closet full of clothes and did my first Great Clothes Purge of 2011. I tried on almost all of my clothes, tossing aside things that were too big, worn out, or I just didn’t like any longer. I also sorted things that fit me again, will fit me very soon, and are still way too small.  Today I’m going to go through my dresser and do the same thing.

I was amazed at how many things fit now. Several months ago about 90% of my clothes didn’t fit. When I started my fitness program about a year ago I was wearing XXXL shirts and 42-inch waist jeans.  Yesterday I discovered that lots of my XL shirts now fit…at least half of them. I also had to toss out all of my 3X shirts (some of them looked like clown shirts on me). I wear XL and some XXL shirts, and I can now wear two of the three pairs of 36-inch waist jeans I have. One fits good, one is a little tight, and one is still WAY too tight. My latest belt is now also on the last hole and I’ll have to get a new one. I expect within the next couple of months all the XXL will finally have to go and all of the XL will fit. Who knows, maybe I’ll even be able to squeeze into my 34-inch jeans by then, too.

One side note: as of this morning I’m at 253.8 lbs. That’s 4 pounds to go to break 250 before the China trip. I’ve got one week left, and I believe I can do it. I’m being crazy strict on my diet and I’ve switched my workouts back to endurance-type routines rather than strength building, to help fat-loss. I also got a Kindle a couple of weeks ago and now use it to read while I’m doing the elliptical after my 45 minutes of weight-training. That distraction has enabled me to do 30 minutes on the elliptical every time without any trouble. Those changes have pushed me up to burning 700-900 calories per workout. It’s good to see the weight steadily coming off at a good pace again, after it slowing down for so long.

Filed in Encouragement,Exercise,Motivation,Weight loss | 2 responses so far

Under 250 before China?

Mike on Jan 18th 2011

That’s the question. Can I finally, after a year on my program, break the 250 lb barrier before we go to China? We have our dates set. We leave Feb 8, and I want to switch my diet around Feb 6 to get my energy-level up and give myself a couple of days to adjust to eating differently before we go.

As of this morning I am at 259.6, up 2.2 lbs from where I was before the holidays. So that leaves me 19 days to drop 10 pounds. That’s roughly half-a-pound per day until then. I think for me that is very doable. The goal is certainly arbitrary, but I think it would be encouraging to finally break that barrier before we leave on the trip.

On an entirely different note, I continue to make strength gains despite my strict low-calorie diet. Losing fat and gaining any significant amount of muscle at the same time is tough, but it can be done. I’m very careful to get a lot of protein and nutrition, so it is working well. About a week ago I squatted 315 lbs, which is essentially what I weighed when I started all this a year ago (and could barely squat with only the bar and no weights on it). I also did lunges all the way around the gym carrying a couple of big chains on my shoulders (which is kind of humorous actually). When I started I could only do about five lunges at a time, while using a stick for support. Go, me!

Filed in Diet,Exercise,Weight,Weight loss | 4 responses so far

No New Year’s Resolution Required

Mike on Jan 4th 2011

Like most people in America, I threw my diet out the window during the last three weeks of December. I ate pretty much everything that sounded good and wasn’t nailed to the table. I’m generally not a sweets person, but for whatever reason during that time I wanted SWEETS! If it had sugar in it I was eating it. Ice cream, candy, cookies, more candy, some more ice cream, cake, more cookies, ice cream again, throw in a pumpkin pie shake, add some more candy, and don’t forget the pie!

I enjoyed it tremendously and of course gained some weight, but that didn’t bother me in the slightest. I knew that the holidays would end and then I’d be right back to normal…no New Year’s Resolution required, because that’s my lifestyle now. In fact, by last weekend I was actually starting to get tired of the sweets and other junk and was ready for good, healthy, low-calorie food again. So, as of yesterday I’m back on the strict, low-calorie/high-protein diet. I’m also being careful to do some time on the elliptical after my weight-training every day to increase the fat burning.

There was one side benefit, however, to all those calories during the holidays…I made some strength gains, which don’t come easy with a low-calorie diet. Last Thursday I did 305 lbs on my deadlifts. That was exciting considering when I started out a little under a year ago I was doing something like 95 lbs and feeling like I was going to die afterwards.

My current goal is to lose as much fat as I can before our big adoption trip to China. We could be going within the next ten days or so, but it could be as long as five or six weeks. In any case, I’ll be hitting it extra hard until then.

Filed in Diet,Exercise,Lifestyle | 3 responses so far

Wednesday Weigh-in: 257.0

Mike on Dec 8th 2010

I’m happy to say that the speedy weight loss is continuing. This morning I hit 257.0, which is 3.8 lbs for the week. As Louanne would say…”woot, woot!” I also hit a new high for deadlifts today: 285 lbs for 3 reps, the same as my squats.

My loose goal now is to drop at least another 20 lbs before we go to China in the next 1-2 months. That would put me at about 85 lbs down on the scale and over a 100 lbs of actual fat loss. I’m beginning to see the “end” in sight now…of fat loss, but not of working out. My lifestyle is different now, and for the rest of my life I’ll be working out every week and building muscle. I’ll just be glad to leave Fat Mike behind. He can go live somewhere else, and I won’t even be visiting him.

Filed in Exercise,Lifestyle,Wednesday Weigh-in,Weight loss | 4 responses so far

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