Archive for the 'Goals' Category

Gingerboy No More

Mike on Apr 4th 2012

A couple of weeks ago the doctor checked my testosterone level again and it was 452, exactly where he wants it to be. Increasing the dosage (of testosterone cypionate) to 120mg/week seems to have done the trick. Last week was also the first week since I started the replacement therapy that I didn’t experience any unusual tiredness. Everything seemed relatively normal all week. I still don’t have the higher level of energy I had a year ago, but feeling “normal” again is still great. Consequently, I decided to take the plunge and start the strict diet again yesterday, and add cardio again after each workout. I’ve been hesitant to try it again while I was still having the bouts of tiredness or exhaustion, but now that things seem to be stabilized, I thought I’d give it a shot.

Monday I weighed in at 286 lbs, which means I haven’t gained any weight in the three months since I started the therapy. Unfortunately that’s still about 40 lbs up from where I was a year ago, but almost all of that was gained in the three month period at the end of last year when I was exhausted all the time and craving sweets 24/7…right before I discovered my gingerboy status. I’m setting an albeit ambitious goal of losing 15 lbs/month for the next three months, to get me past my previous low and back on track. How it will all turn out remains to be seen. Monday I ate 1040 calories and yesterday I was 282.6, down 3.4 lbs in one day. It would be a nice fantasy to say that’s all fat, but of course most of it wasn’t. Today I was 282.0, down 0.6 from yesterday. That’s more realistic and could certainly be all, or nearly all, fat loss.

So far I have had no stress or decreased energy, in spite of low calories and hard workouts. Granted, today is just the third day, but before I started the therapy I would almost instantly feel stressed and tired the day I cut calories or increased cardio. Seeing this level of success for only these few days is still encouraging considering what I’ve gone through the last several months. Again, how things will go from here still remains to be seen.

Filed in Diet,Goals,Health,Testosterone,Weight | No responses yet

A Year of Not So Much

Mike on Nov 18th 2011

Yesterday I looked back over my last year of records regarding my weight loss. In the last eleven months I’ve lost essentially…nothing. Well, not really. It does seem that way because on the scale I have fluctuated up and down around 15 pounds between 245 and 260, seemingly making no progress. In reality I have definitely lost fat and gained muscle, because I look different and my clothes fit differently than they did a year ago, and I’ve made steady strength gains while lifting weights. How much fat have I actually lost though? 5 lbs? 25 lbs? I haven’t got a clue.

Regardless of exactly how much fat I’ve lost, I know it isn’t even remotely near what I lost the first nine months or so of my program. Something has definitely changed in the last 8-10 months. If I get really strict on a reduced-calorie diet I lose very little weight, at least relative to what I used to lose. I also find that as soon as I cut the calories I get tired much quicker during a workout and have a hard time making it to the end. After a few weeks of that I start getting stressed, start thinking about food all the time, and the tiredness progresses beyond just workouts and starts affecting me all the time. Before long I can’t continue like that and I give up on the diet, just to feel “normal” again. According to all the research I’ve done, however, this isn’t something significantly out-of-the-ordinary for someone in my position. For the better part of the last year and a half I’ve been following a pretty strict diet and have lost in the neighborhood of 100 lbs of fat. That takes its toll on the body and can have a variety of unintended consequences (i.e. lower metabolism, out-of-whack body chemistry, and the like).

So where do I go from here apart from just continuing my four days of training per week? Clearly low calories isn’t working for me any more…it is just causing me to yo-yo up and down like I used to. I keep setting goals and missing them because I can’t sustain the diet for more that a few weeks at a time, with very little weight loss even while I’m on it. What do I try now? What have I decided?

First of all, I’ve increased my cardio after each weight-training session. I work out with the trainer about 45 minutes and then do an additional 45-60 minutes of cardio. I typically burn from 900-1000 calories per workout. Secondly, I’m done with low calories. Done. Finished. It’s over. I can’t handle that any more. I’m tired of being tired and tired of the stress. For now I’m going to try modifying my diet to something close to what I’d do if I were finished with weight loss, except the calories will be slightly reduced. I’ll be eating the same sorts of food that I eat now (i.e. lean meats, good carbs, egg whites, and the like), but much more of it. I’ll still be counting calories but increase them to around 2800-3000/day. My hope is that I’ll be able to lose at least a half a pound per week, or possibly a bit more. Even if that means it takes me another year or more to lose the rest of the weight, that would be better than the last year, and without all the stress and tiredness. I’m also considering doing another body composition test at the Cooper Clinic to see exactly where I stand now—how does my lean body mass now compare to where it was over a year ago? While I’m at it, I’m thinking that it would probably be wise to get a blood workup as well, to make sure there isn’t something else going on that’s contributing to my problem.

In any case, I’m still at it, working out as hard as ever, and not giving up.

Filed in Goals,Motivation,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

One month later and finally at a new low

Mike on Apr 15th 2011

This morning, one month after my last post, I finally hit a new low: 247.2 lbs. I had gained several pounds since our trip to China and I’m glad to finally get that off and in the past. That puts me down about 75 lbs on the scale, and more like 90-100 lbs of fat loss when you take into account the amount of muscle I’ve gained over the past 14 months of training.

My goal is to lose another 30+ pounds by the end of June when we take our big vacation to Myrtle Beach. I hope to be somewhere between 210-215 by then. When I get to that point it will put me very close to the end of my total weightloss goal…probably within 5-15 pounds. My final goal, as far as weightloss, is to hit a single-digit body fat percentage. When I think I’m at that point I’ll be visiting the Cooper Clinic again for another round of body composition analysis. Then my goals will switch entirely to building muscle.

The day I can more than double the calories of my diet will be a day of great relief. I’m tired of the severity of it and the lower energy that comes with the restrictions. Right now my daily intake is generally in the 1100-1300 calorie range. To stop losing weight I’ll need to increase it to around 3000 per day, and possibly a little more to help muscle gain.

Strict weightloss is getting VERY old, but I can actually see the end in sight.

Filed in Body Composition,Goals,Weight | 3 responses so far

I made it by 45

Mike on Mar 15th 2011

One of the main goals I had just over a year ago when I decided to start my fitness program was to be in the best shape of my life by the time I reached 45 years old. Well, today I turned 45 and I’m happy to say that I made that goal. I still haven’t lost all the weight I want to lose yet–I still have about 40-50 more lbs to go, but I’ve lost around 90 lbs of fat, gained around 20 lbs of muscle, and have more strength and endurance than I’ve ever had at any time in my life. Just a few months ago I had a complete physical and have zero health problems, and over the last year there were countless times that I said to myself something like, “Wow, I could have never done this in the past.” When I think back to the normal state of my health and fitness in the past, I’m regularly amazed at the things I can do now without getting tired. In some ways my outlook is very different now, and I have no doubt that I’ll be done losing all the fat that I want to lose within the next several months. After that I’ll be able to concentrate exclusively and building more strength and endurance.

I’d also like to leave everyone with this bit of encouragement. If you are in a state similar to me when I started all this–150 lbs overweight, sedentary life, tired all the time, and so on–then you CAN get where I am now. You can. It has taken me exactly a year to get where I am and it will take me a few more months to get where I want to be, but that won’t be the end. There is no “end” to it. For the rest of my life I’ll be exercising, eating differently, and living better. You can do it too, but you have to change your lifestyle.

I’ll finish this post with something I’ve said on multiple occasions, “If you want to lose weight and keep it off, stop living like a fat person on a diet and start living like a fit, athletic person in training. It takes a lifestyle change, so change your lifestyle.

Filed in Encouragement,Goals,Motivation | 3 responses so far