Thursday, July 7, 2011

Time for a NEW GAME PLAN

I had figured that my triathlon training would result in dramatic changes in my body composition. However, the evidence suggests that is not the case. In the last 4 moths (beginning of March through end of June) my body fat percentage has not decreased all too much, and the changes in my measurements are not as dramatic as I expected either. This is unfortunate because I really worked my ass off to prepare. I was working out 5 or 6 days a week, sometimes doing bricks (two workouts back to back, like a bike/swim or a bike/run). I was also eating really healthily, not drinking alcohol, save for a few special occasions, and getting lots of veggies and “good for me” foods.

So, I am at somewhat of a loss. I am not sure where I am going wrong. And this is why I have decided to devise a new plan. For the next two months I will follow the plan I line out in this post. I have enlisted some help, Bernard Lavallée of GAY NUTRITION (check it out, lots of good stuff to get you thinking), in this endeavor. He has agreed to check out my plan and give me some advice as well as look at the reasons/motivations behind my quest.

Here is what I can share about my motivations:

-I am still very concerned with good health (not sure if “optimal” is too strong a word). I have some diseases that run in my family (diabetes is a big one) and I would like to avoid having to deal with any of them if I can.

-I am over being fat. I was fat for approximately 25 years. I have previously stated the reasons why it sucks, and they still stand.

-I don’t feel 100% comfortable with my body. I still have a little fat on my chest and my belly and it annoys the hell out of me. Have you noticed how straight guys couldn’t care less about walking around without their shirts on (even when there is no pool or beach nearby)? Honestly, they have huge beer bellies and/or breasts and still walk around like nothing’s wrong. It’s amazing. I wish that I were that comfortable with my body but years and years of being made fun of, shame, and disdain for its appearance have scarred me. I know that I am ridiculously smaller than “the old” me but I still feel like my body is not beach ready. I don’t need to be some chiseled Adonis, I just want to get rid of the bit of flab that I am so embarrassed by. I just want to feel comfortable without my shirt on (this is very important to someone like me who loves everything ocean/beach/swimming/ etc. related).

Below is a current photo of me. You can see that there is sagginess around the waist and definitely the breasts. These are my two main areas of concern, though overall tightening up is part of the plan.

And now . . . THE PLAN!

1. I am going to work out less! That’s right, I am cutting back to 4 or 5 workouts per week. I am worried that I was overdoing it and that my body didn’t like that. So, I will not workout 6 days per week and no more than 3 days in a row.

2. I will introduce more High Intensity Interval Training into my workouts. I’ve been researching this a lot and it seems that intervals are the best way to burn fat. So I am going to incorporate this into my triathlon training (this also seems to be how you get faster and make positive gains in each of the three disciplines).

3. I will continue to mix it up. I will still do yoga, kettle bell, and other random classes (things that are not tri-specific) to shake things up, keep it interesting, and keep my body on its toes. I will also continue to do push ups, crunches, mountain climbers and other exercises that use my own body weight as resistance on a regular basis.

4. I will pay attention to how many calories I am consuming. Well, kind of. I am not going to keep a journal even though I hear it is the most effective method when trying to lose weight. However, I have come this far and feel pretty good about my eating habits. I eat a pretty damn healthy and clean diet, so for at least the 1st couple weeks I will go sans food journal/log. That being said, I will also make sure to consume enough calories to keep me alive and healthy. I am worried that I may not have been consuming enough calories (even though I feel like I eat a lot) for the last couple months. I guess being vegan makes it a little tougher to over-consume; binging on veggies just isn’t the same as cheese or meat I suppose. After lots of research I have decided on a range of 2600-3200 calories per day based on how intense my work out has been (some days as high as 4000 calories).

5. I will focus on meeting my protein requirements. I don’t think I have necessarily been under-doing it when it comes to protein I would like to actually try and hit a number range on a daily basis. The amount of protein we need is debatable, human breast milk is only about 10% protein (and babies do just fine, right?) but some trainers will recommend 1 gram per pound of body weight (for clients trying to build lots of muscle mass). 180g seems a little high and only 50g seems a tad low. Based on my findings 65-95g per day seems to be the proper amount for me.

And that’s THE PLAN!

Finally, here are the current stats (so I can track how this little experiment actually goes):
As of July 3, 2011
Height: 6'0"
weight: 179 lbs.
chest @ nipples: 40”
under breasts: 38"
biceps: 12"
@ belly button: 35.5"
hips: 35.5"
butt @ widest point: 39"
thighs: 22"
calves: 15" (down 0.5” this year)
Body Fat: 16%

I started the plan on July 5th. I will do bi-weekly check-ins. The final weigh-in/stat update will be September 5th.




fuzzbuzz said...

I wish you all the best. You can definitely achieve your goals.

I'd try for the lower end of your calorie count range.

Also fasting and skipping one meal a day, say one or two days a week, is definitely an option.

Eat only what you can burn off.

Yes, variety in exercise is the best way to achieve results.

Do more pushups and chin ups. race walking is a great way to burn off calories.

You are definitely in for the long haul. Wishing you all the best, stud.

fuzzbuzz said...

I forgot to show you, Mega Hairy muscle hugs of support.

Anonymous said...

You raise an interesting issue I think many people battle with... "Great, so I lost all the weight. Why don't I look amazing yet?" It sucks. You'd think losing an extreme amount of weight would do the trick, but it's only half the battle.

My situation is similar to yours. I was weighing in at about 200lbs on a 5'9" frame at 17, and spent the last ten years trying to perfect a physical image after getting down as low as 147lbs (now fluctuate between 150-155lbs).

So what to do? How do you get the toned figure after weight loss? Truth is fat, doesn't go away sometimes, it stays behind. Yes pockets of fat in areas you want sculpted, can prevent from seeing those cuts and curves.

They say in order to see one's abs your BMI (of Fat percentage) must be below 10%... this is pretty damn hard. The way I see it, to drop and lose more fat isn't the solution, but rather it's to lower the fat percentage by countering it will muscle gain.

Translation: To get rid of fat or to counter it, put on more muscle. Yes we don't want to be meat heads or need our pecs busting out of our shirts. But you'd be surprised what a great, consistent core and leg workout can do to slimming your body or highlighting natural tones you've never seen or bothered to care about before.

I for one hate exercise... yes, I'd rather eat less than have to up my cardio. But a good weight regimen 3-4 times a week combined with cardio, can really do wonders after a few weeks.

I for one still have my flabby parts, but I'm much happier and comfortable now than ever before. I'm more than sure I could get better results with better dedication. My regimens and disciplines are nowhere near your levels... so I commend you.

I think you will go very far.