Thursday, February 18, 2010


Really, there's nothing quite like results. I have been working out since January 11th and have been avoiding soda since January 1st. Here's what has happened:

I weighed about 250 pounds (as high as 253 some days) and am now down to around 243 pretty consistently.

I was wearing size 38 pants that were getting ab it tight and was getting closer to needing to wear 40-inch waist pants. I'm now very comfortable in my 38-inch waist pants and can nearly fit into my older 36-inch waist pants.

My body fat has gone from (measured by myself with a $7 set of calipers, so take it for what it's worth) about 20% body fat to 18 or 19% body fat.

I am really noticing that my stomach is getting smaller, I'm feeling leaner, healthier and more energetic. My wife is also really noticing improvements in my appearance and even some friends at work have mentioned that I'm looking better.

I started out running 15 minutes at 10:00 minutes per mile and increased my running time up to 30 minutes of running. I've also increased my pace to about 9:30 minutes per mile now. I'm increasing my pace steadily within the 30-minute time frame. I started out running 30 minutes at 6.0 mph, then increased to 20 minutes at 6.0 and 10 minutes at 6.2 mph. The next time, I did 10 minutes at 6.0 and 20 minutes at 6.2 mph. Then 30 minutes at 6.2 the next time. I'm increasing like that consistently until I get to the point where I'm running 3.5 miles in 30 minutes. That's a pace of 7.0 mph for the whole run, which is quite a bit faster than I have ever run before on any kind of long-term basis. Eventually, I'll want to get to 4.0 miles in 30 minutes, but that may take longer.

I've also started lifting my kettlebells again. I started out lifting on the machines at the gymn, then switched to pretty standard lifts with dumbbells, then to Olympic lifts with dumbbells and am now doing Olympic lifts with kettlebells. The main lift I'm using right now is called the clean and push press. You start with the kettlebell between and slightly ahead of your feet, bend your knees, and grab the handle. To clean, you bring the bell up to your shoulder and tuck your hand underneath the handle. Here's a link to a video: Kettlebell Clean and Push Press

This morning I did 25 reps each side with my 24kg (53lbs) kettlebell. It's definitely tough. My shoulders aren't nearly as strong as they need to be, so they are currently the weak link in the chain. I'll continue to train on this exercise, though, as it does a great job working pretty much every part of the body. When I get access to a pullup bar (or decide to drop some dough on one that I can put up in the apartment without doing much damage) I'm going to start training on those as well.

So there we have it. Increased strength, endurance, and energy and decreased waist size, sugar intake and body fat. I'm really enjoying this journey and I'll keep you all informed as I continue to make progress.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gotta keep running

I've been staying consistent with my running. Monday, Wednesday and Friday of last week, and Monday of this week (so far) I have run 3 miles in 30 minutes. I'm still indoors on a treadmill which means it may not translate well to the outdoors. We'll have to see when it gets a bit warmer. I need to figure out my routes again so I know where to run.

I also lifted today. I went with dumbbells instead of the machines and it was definitely tougher. I think I'll stick with that for a bit. If I do, I may need to get some gloves or something. My hands are getting pretty torn up and that's not cool. Eventually, I need to get back to my kettlebells. I'm going to have to see if I can find a good beginning kettlebell routine online somewhere. It's a little cold and wet to be lifting outdoors right now and it's really hard to find a patch of grass near my apartment that doesn't have dog poop on it. Gross. Still, I'd like to get on with the workout and the excuses will only hold for so long.

We're trying to train the cats now, too. It's been slow going but I think we're making progress. Essentially, I'm trying to train them not to cry the whole time I'm preparing their food. It's super annoying and it seems like a pretty easy thing to work on. All I'm doing is getting started preparing their food. If either of them cries, I stop moving. They have to both be quiet again for a few seconds before I start moving again. The first few times took me like 10 minutes to feed them, but it's getting faster. It's also cute to watch them try to figure out what's going on. Smitty seems to think it has more to do with his location than his vocalization, but he'll figure it out. I'm enjoying the process and when we've done actual clicking with Smitty he seems to enjoy the game aspect of it more than the treats. We'll have to keep working on it, but it will be good practice for when we have puppies and babies who need to be trained not to pee on the floor.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Are you down with the sickness?

I was. Thursday I got some nasty bug that gave me a fever and a tummy that decided water wasn't bland enough to hold onto for long. Ugh. I got better, of course, and it was surprisingly quick on both ends. The illness hit very hard and fast and then went away after about 24 hours. Strange.

I did go running again today. Another 3 miles in 30 minutes. It's still definitely a challenge, but it isn't as hard as it was last time. I'm going to stick to this time and pace for a while, I think. Maybe the rest of this week and into next week, even. I'm going to start lifting on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, so I don't want to push my running too hard and burn out. Getting consistent with a morning workout is one of the things I've had trouble doing for a long time. After missing Wednesday's run due to occupied treadmills and Friday's due to illness, I made this morning's run again. I'm really thinking I've gotten the habit pretty well established. I'm hoping that adding the weights and then keeping up with that program will work for me long-term.

The Wii told me today that I lost 4.4 pounds since last Wednesday. Weight is a fluctuating thing, but I don't think it can ever be lower than the real thing. I know I'm not super dehydrated or anything, as I keep drinking tons of water. So either I was slightly above my real weight last week and closer to accurate this time, or I really lost a bunch of weight this weekend. I'm still above the "Obese" rating on BMI, but by very little. I'm within a pound or two of only being overweight. Whee. Really, I know I have a fair bit of weight to lose. I could probably lose another 15-20 pounds of pure fat without getting ripped or anything. On an extremely positive note, both me and my wife have noticed that my stomach is getting a bit flatter. Not a violent change or anything, but a bit. I think with continued workouts and continuing to eschew soda, that trend will continue. I'm also going to try to do my bodyfat percentage checks at least once a week or so. I'd like to get to the 10-12% range eventually. That's pretty lean, but honestly I know I can do it. I've never been in that kind of shape in my life, and it's exciting to be working toward a goal like that. The toughest part is starting and building the habit. Once you just know that you wake up at 6:00 and hit the gym, it isn't even really hard anymore.