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The point of the journey is not to arrive...

Discussion in 'Fitness Journals' started by malnar, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    I've been lurking, and its time to fully join the JSF community.

    This post is part of my journey, and the thoughts I've gathered over the past few weeks before posting it have already helped me immensely.

    Some background...

    I'm 36, married and the father of two young boys.

    I've been overweight (by whatever standard I used to judge that) for as long as I can remember. While I've had control over almost every other aspect of my life, fitness was never a priority. I'm 6'2" and at my peak was 235 pounds. When my wife was pregnant with our first child, it altered my primary calorie source - Coke Classic. At that time I drank 10 to 12 per day - I could always skip a meal since I had enough sugar to keep me going. Switching to diet soda caused a rapid weight loss for me. I went from 235 -> 185 without any "real" exercise other than the walking that comes with a pregnant wife :)

    Over the next few years, I crept from the 185 back up to about 200 - 205 and maintained that for 5+ years. In 2006 I bought a fancy bicycle and proceeded to do a 60+ mile bike ride after 4 months of weekend rides. Something clicked - I felt successful at something athletic which had never happened before. Now I was getting exercise, but hadn't changed my diet.

    In late 2007 I was sitting in an airport and I was a raging ball of stress. I was jet lagged on my way TO vacation and felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I knew something had to change. I'd recently discussed Body For Life with a coworker and then on my vacation saw the book in the bookstore. I purchased it with some half-hearted explanation to my wife (shame about your body sure causes odd behaviors). I read the book and asked my wife to commit to a 12 week program with me. She agreed and my life really did change.

    I lost 35 pounds during that 12 weeks, and got back to my high school weight, but with more muscle and less fat. I didn't follow the workouts for the whole 12 weeks - since my goal was measured in pounds and I was losing weight, I stopped the workouts once I got close to the goal. I never really liked them and I'd hit my goal...right?

    I maintained a great diet until July of 08. I started my MBA program and lets just say that I was warned of weight gain. Sure enough, beer after class, pizza in study sessions, lots of snacks in the classroom. I managed it well enough to not put on weight, but I knew I was slipping, and not getting enough sleep on top of it.

    I thought about another 12 week body for life cycle and convinced a friend to join me. My goal this time is to go from 20.5% BF (on an omron scale) to 15% on that same scale. For me, this is about replacing 10 pounds of fat with 10 pounds of muscle.

    I'm at the halfway point of this cycle today. I've only missed one workout and have been doing the weights and HIIT with passion. I am in the best shape I've EVER been in and I feel GREAT. I can see to the end of this 6 weeks and have the stats that tell me I will hit my goal.

    That is the problem. Now that I can see to that goal - I realize it isn't the goal! (Hence the title of this post...)

    My real goal is to be proud of my body. I've never known that feeling and I intend to - shortly.

    I have some other great secondary goals that are usually given as my primary reason when people ask...To set a good example for my boys...To finally have the arm strength to do wake boarding, water skiing, etc...To have more energy...

    Now for some specifics - all measurements are from today:

    6'2"
    177 pounds
    18% BF (omron)
    14.1 - 17% BF (new FatTrack pro - I'm not sure i'm using it right!)
    Bicep - 12"
    Forearm - 10.5"
    Wrist - 6.25"
    Quad - 21.25"
    Calf - 15"
    Waist - 36" (the "let it all hang out" method)
    Hips 35"
    Chest 40"

    spring_09_bfl_comparison_week_6.JPG

    There aren't many shirtless photos of me - this one is when I was approx 205 pounds...
    shirtless_in_06_cropped.JPG

    Current Workouts
    Body For Life program - sets are 12rep, 10 rep, 8 rep, 6 rep, 12 rep
    I use a Bowflex Ultimate 2 and will put (BF) by the exercises where it is used. for these exercises the resistance is PER SIDE, so if i list 80# for squats, it is a total resistance of 160# (and I know this isnt really 160#, but lets just go with it - I'll get a rack someday...)

    Dumbbells are Bowflex SelectTech

    Upper Body
    - DB press - 30# each
    - Tricep DB press - 20#
    - Wide grip lat pulldowns (BF) - 80#
    - DB Shoulder Raises - 17.5#
    - Preacher curls (BF) - 25#

    Lower Body
    - Squats (BF) - 80#
    - Leg extensions (BF) - 80#
    - Calf raises (BF) - 150#
    - Incline bench situps - no extra weight

    HIIT Cardio
    - I use either a treadmill or a cycling trainer
    - 20 minute with 4 peaks targeting Heart Rate of 155, 165, 175, 185


    Diet
    - Its pretty clean, with the exception of those after school beers - max 3 per week, and the occasional cheat meal for an occasion (ate pizza and cake last week at my boy's bday gathering...)
    - I use Myoplex bars & shakes
    - I'm improving it this week based on all the info found here...now if only i could get those oats to come out right!
    - I am NOT preplanning meals or doing macronutrient guidelines - this appears to be "next level" for me.

    So, in summary - i'm trying to decide "what next". I don't know if i want to bulk or cut. I don't know if I want to plan those meals or learn to eat by the macros. I don't know if I should stick with my current plan or take it to the next level now. I do know that this community looks like a great place to share all this and to get input.

    The main reason I'm creating this fitness journal is to get honest feedback on my body and my progress from others that don't know me and aren't going to feel like they may offend me or hurt my feelings - so I challenge the JSF community - bring it on! :tu:


    *******************NEW TO MY JOURNAL?******************************

    I started this journal in March and my goals have changed quite a bit over time. I signed up with Mastover (www.mastover.com) in April and have made significant progress.
    Here are some pics to show the difference..

    side_comparison_08_23_09.JPG
    back_bi_comparison_08_02_09_small.jpg

    front_comparison_march_2010.jpg

    Check out the last few pages of my journal to see the latest! :)
     
    #1 malnar, Mar 29, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  2. afraser42

    afraser42 Active Member

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    Well, I'm pretty new to all of this myself, but that's a pretty noticeable difference between the 20% and the 17% body fat.

    Currently I'm just kind of slogging along with my meals by measuring my macros on FitDay, but I really think the meal planning is the next step for me, and seems like it would be a good one for you as well. It's more control and more discipline - and I think discipline is something that can be practiced and applied elsewhere.. perhaps in the weight room :)

    Good luck on your journey, my friend!

    PS - try more compound exercises! They're amazing.
     
  3. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    I joined fitday this weekend, I need to spend some time to learn how it works.

    You are correct on discipline. Its never come naturally to me, but I'm able to apply it more an more as I get older. I gave up caffeine 6 weeks ago and haven't slipped AT ALL on that one - so I know its possible.

    I'll take a look at more compounds - thanks for the tip!
     
  4. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Did lower body this morning using the weights from my first post. I can really feel the workout from the db presses vs. the cable presses on the bowflex. Provided I don't drop a dumbbell on my face, I'll be continuing them :)

    My trip to the grocery store and fixing all my own meals helped me eat very well today - I had a work dinner tonight, so I picked the location and had a nice mahi dinner after looking up the nutrition info before I went.

    Im not planning my meals per se, so it was interesting to see the outcome on fitday 1864 cal - 44% fat, 34% protein, 22% carbs. Most of the fat was due to running out of light salad dressing and using the regular stuff as well as trying almonds for the first time (well almonds alone as a snack).

    I need to go read more on the nutrition section to learn what to target, but even tracking was a good step in the right direction today.

    Also had a great moment today - the friend that I asked to join me on this program bought a treadmill and exercise bike. I'm excited that he may find even more long-term success with his fitness.
     
    #4 malnar, Mar 30, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  5. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Spent more time reading the nutrition posts.

    Here's my current logic, feel free to comment...

    BMR @ 1800 * Activity factor @ 1.55 = 2790 calories

    1 pound per week of fat loss = 3500 calories / week or 500 per day

    2790 - 500 = 2290 calories per day.

    Yesterday was <2000 and I felt run down most of the day after a solid upper body workout, so I'm going to stick with the 2300 per day for a week and see how it feels. Keep this consistent may help with my energy levels which have been all over the place.

    For now, I'm gonna track to the calories, then I'll see how the daily splits come out and see what I can do to modify from there.
     
  6. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    Offend you? Your progress is fantastic! :bow:

    I vote for a clean bulk. :)
     
  7. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Thanks for the input on "whats next" - Bulking would help me finally have bigger biceps than my wife :rolleyes:
     
  8. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    One sign that your HIIT is really high intensity...

    This morning, with an empty house, I hit my last peak with that evil #9 button on the treadmill. I was cranking some Rage Against the Machine in the headphones and grunting / yelling / gasping lyrics to keep me going...

    My dog pokes her head in the workout room then finally walks in, tail tucked - she was scared...poor girl - but i felt GREAT when I got off the treadmill. Never had the "runners high" people talk about, but I'm starting to get "runners happy" after a good HIIT workout.
     
  9. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    I'm really tired, but really want to post here everyday, so a short update.

    Did lower body this morning. Upped squats to 100/side on the bowflex, and felt it. Was proud that i got up early to workout on a HUGE morning (I had a big presentation this morning to our execs).

    Goal was 2300 calories, but I way overshot it - turns out that I wasnt counting the calories in my supplements - that adds to almost 500 calories per day...oops.

    This food tracking is helpful since Im really paying attention to labels and what is going in the mouth. I'm learning and thats always fun for me.

    Cardio first thing tomorrow, I better get some sleep. :)
     
  10. Rogozhin

    Rogozhin Active Member

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    Hi malnar. :)

    You've made great progress up to this point, and your continued hard work will surely pay off! :tucool: Great journal!

    Rogo
     
  11. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Gasp...wheeze...gasp...

    20 minute HIIT on the treadmill. Officially bumped my cycle speeds up one, left my base speed the same.

    It now is

    2 (warmup for 2 mins)...3 for base, then 4 intervals at speeds 6, 7, 8, and 9. Did 6 & 7 today for 2 mins each, then 8 for 1.5 min and 9 for 1.25 min.

    I'm using the time as a guideline and bumped speeds so that heart rate hits mid 150s, 160s, 170s, 180s with the intervals.

    I wish i'd learned the merits of HIIT earlier, this is so much easier to deal with (no mental boredom) vs. LISS (VERY VERY BORING).
     
  12. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    I have been soda and alcohol free this week - I had a club soda last night, but not counting that :) I've been caffeine free for > 6 weeks, so now trying to shake the sodas altogether. For someone that used to drink a 12 pack of soda a day, this has been a LONG road. Sodas have always been my cigarettes - need a break, go get a soda - stressed, go get a soda...etc.

    This week has been water, protein shakes, 2 glasses of decaf sugar-free tea and one glass of club soda. I've had over a gallon of water each day - the new 24oz water bottle REALLY helped that.

    This is likely the best week of eating for me EVER. I'm also in the best shape of my life. Damn I love that feeling! :spaz:

    I wore my new tux last night and what a great feeling. I had it fully tailored and it fit like a glove. I surprised myself in the mirror last night - the tailored tux really pointed out that my chest is bigger than my waist now.

    For the first time EVER I felt comfortable in a tux (first time it wasnt a poor fitting rental) and it was worth every penny. I know there is a line between pride in my accomplishments and full on narcissism - but last night I was happy to dance on that line. I only wish my wife had been there to share the moment (work function...)

    I think my coworkers are starting to accept my new program - when I ordered the club soda I didnt get ANY comments :) I've never liked club soda but i need to order something other than water at the bar - still not over that hangup yet.

    I'm so glad I started this journal - its great to get these thoughts out. Reading them later will help reinforce my motivation during the tough times.
     
    #12 malnar, Apr 2, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  13. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    I did it. I got over my irrational fear of tuna fish. I ate a tuna sandwich tonight for the first time in over 10 years. :eat: It was not great, but it was not torture either.

    This week I've added natural peanut butter, almonds and tuna fish to the diet based on reading the nutrition posts.

    Any suggestions on what clean foods to add next?
     
  14. Akira-Kai

    Akira-Kai Active Member

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    Have you tried Low Fat Cottage Cheese? High in protein, low in fat and really helps fill you up!

    I have similar feelings towards tuna. Out of desperation I had some last year but would still rather avoid it!
     
  15. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    I have a definite mental block on cottage cheese. Its the texture - I can eat it on crackers, but if I eat it straight it I'm choking it down. I'll try again soon, maybe there is another secret...perhaps if I puree it so its not "curdy"...

    I also tried steel cut oats, I love oatmeal but I can't cook those things right. I'm going to ask my lovely wife to take a shot at getting them perfect, then training me :)
     
  16. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Spent the day at school, avoided all the candy being passed around and had a good lunch.

    My wife and I were able to go out tonight and I had some boiled shrimp and shirmp ceviche at one of my favorite places.

    I talked to her at length last night and she's agreed to join me on this journey - today I enrolled us both in training + nutrition with mastover!

    No workouts on school days, eager to do my upper body tomorrow....

    Trying this from my phone, if its a mess, ill fix it tomorrow, but I'm committed to posting every day...
     
  17. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    Cool. Best of luck to you both. :)
     
  18. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Thanks :)

    I'm dove back in 8 or 9 weeks ago (2 weeks of planning, 7 weeks on the routine) - so I expect it will take her some time to get ramped up, but she was always in better shape than me, so I bet she gets into it quickly.

    I'm hoping that it causes us to spend more time together - life & kids make is challenging to spend much time with her lately, although going out last night was a great treat!
     
  19. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    Plan for today is to help my friend take possession of his treadmill & exercise bike :claphigh: Then get home for my own upper body workout. My upper body is the least developed & I always feel the most "pumped" after those...so I really look forward to them now. Never thought I'd say that! :bb:
     
  20. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    What a great day.

    Helped a friend take possession of his new exercise equipment - he's down ~20 pounds already on his way to his goal of 50 pounds. My wife even noticed today when she saw him...he looks healthier.

    Got to spend more time talking with my wife about goals for the startup with mastover...

    Came home, did upper body, raised weight on lat pulldown and preacher curls - I don't know what it is about preacher curls, but they make me feel STRONG.

    Got some backyard sun with my 6 year old, swam a bit and then relaxed in the hot tub. Bourbon chicken for dinner, now relaxing (more about that a min) with the laptop on the back porch.

    As for relaxing - I am sooo much more relaxed every day now. I don't know if it is the workouts, the nutrition, the lack of caffeine or all of the above - I just know that I can actually sit down and chill out for a few minutes now. It feels great!
     

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