4.26.2017

Time To Change It Up

It’s been awhile, my apologies. So let’s catch up on my progress. The diet has been going really well as I have dropped 34 pounds since January 9. I have been doing Keto pretty strictly until this week. My original plan was to do Keto for 8 weeks, assess and change it up if needed. I was having pretty good success with diet, so I kept it rolling. I have started to stall with the weight loss the past couple weeks, so it signaled time to change it up a bit.

I plan on keeping a lot of keto principles due to two reasons; 1. It’s an easy diet to follow that allows me to eat a lot of food I like and 2. It allows me to keep my macros in check. So if you really think about it, I am switching to a modified Keto diet where I will be slightly increasing carbs to keep me out of ketosis. Yeah, that doesn’t sound right does it? Oh well, that’s what I am going to do.

As for the carbs, I am not going crazy with it. My goal range will increase to 50-100 a day, which will still hopefully allow me to lose weight at a steady pace. The main carbs I am introducing to my diet right now are oats, blueberries, sweet potatoes and on occasion sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel). I’m sure my carb variety will increase with time, but I wanted to start small and see how it goes.

With this change, my target macros will be around 265 grams of protein (50%), 50-100 grams of carbs (15%) and 50-100 grams of fat (35%). Of course this is just to test the waters and I plan to adjust accordingly. I know I want to keep protein high and I know I want to keep carbs under 100 grams per day, but I am flexible with the fat intake, so we will see how it goes.

In addition to the weight loss stall, another reason I am deciding to add carbs back into my diet is that my workout intensity has started to pick back up. The past two weeks I have been following my Knox Animal 5, 3, 1 plan, which focuses on the big five lifts with a couple supplemental exercises as finishers. I don’t feel like I was eating enough to fuel these workouts, so I am hoping adding some additional foods to my diet will help. My workouts were fueled by protein and oatmeal for years, so I am excited to get that going again.

I’ll try and be better about posting more regularly, but what once was easy has now become more challenging to find the time to sit down and type up a post. To be honest, there wasn’t a lot going on because I was following the same plan without much variety. I should have more to talk about now as I start to experiment more with my diet and workout program.

3.20.2017

Spring Break, Cheat Meals, New Cardio Plan

 A lot has happened since I last posted an update. I went to Myrtle Beach to enjoy some family time while Caleb and Shelly were on Spring Break. I had my first cheat meal since I started doing Keto as a way of life. I started a new workout plan for cardio this morning.

Let’s start with Myrtle Beach. MB has always been like a second home for me. My grandparents moved there when I was a child and I always look for a reason and a way to go back there whenever I have the chance. My aunt and uncle live there with their three kids, so it is always nice to see them if I have the chance.

The weather was absolutely horrible when we were there, but we made up for it by staying at Dunes Village, which is home to an indoor waterpark, pool tables, shuffleboard and ping pong. Despite it not being nice enough to hang out on the beach, we made the most of the time away and had a good time anyway.

On the trip, I managed to eat keto pretty much every meal. I planned on giving myself two cheat meals while on the trip and I had a sandwich from my favorite Deli and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Tonight Show Dough on the last day in MB. Dagwood’s has been my favorite Deli since I first stepped foot in there as a kid. One of their signature sandwiches, The Brooks Brother, which is composed on Turkey, Ham, Roast Beef and Pepper jack cheese complete with lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo and mustard has been my go-to option for years. After not having a cheat meal for two months, this sandwich tasted even more amazing than it normally does. The only difference this time was that I was satisfied after the meal and was ready to go back to Keto instead of craving another sandwich immediately after devouring the first one.

As we left Myrtle Beach early Wednesday morning, I couldn’t help but think about getting back to real life. I planned on getting back into doing a workout prior to work on weekdays, and felt like the following Monday (this morning) would be a good starting point. I knew I wanted to do a Beach Body workout after seeing numerous posts from my aunt Sandy and mother, who are both Beach Body coaches. I have previously completed Insanity (when I was younger and in much better shape), so naturally, I looked for the Shaun T workouts. T-25 intrigued me the most, so I looked into it. I read the reviews and looked at the requirements. It seemed like a good choice to go with.

I woke up this morning ready to go. I started up T-25 and got it started. After a few minutes in, I realized I was in way over my head. I knew I was out of shape, but, this was killing me. I made it 5 minutes in and decided that I needed to do two things. 1.) Have a bigger screen so I could actually see what exercise I should be doing. My cell phone was not cutting it. I will have the app installed on my Ipad or stream it to my TV going forward. 2.) Build up to a full workout. I will attempt the same workout tomorrow and try to do a little more than I did today. I will build up and when I am ready to take on the full workout, I will start the T-25 program.

In addition to T-25, I plan to continue to do weights in the evenings / nights. These workouts will continue to be based around Squats, Deadlifts, Overhead Press, Bench Press and Barbell Rows. I will throw in Dips, Pullups and various arm exercises as needed like I have been doing.

All in all, my transformation this year is about changing lifestyle habits. If there is one thing that was evident over this past week, it was that I love my family and I love playing with my son, Caleb. Being able to keep up with him in the lazy river, pool, waterslides, basketball and other activities is an important thing for me. Despite not being able to complete my first T-25 workout this morning, I have made noticeable strides in my physical health over the past two months. I know that as I continue to progress with my diet and workout programs, I will be able to get more out of life. As I continue to progress towards completing T-25, I will continue to build on what I have started.

3.05.2017

Is Keto Hard?

I was talking to somebody the other day and they couldn't believe that I haven't eaten any high carbs foods in the past couple months. This individual then asked if Keto was hard. 

I really didn't know how to respond since 1.) it really isn't that hard for me and 2.) if you want results, you gotta do what you need to do to achieve them. 

When thinking about a diet, I think it is important to find foods you like to eat. If you choose to diet on foods you can't stomach or don't like, it is going to be hard. If you find a diet where you only have to make minimal changes and you are still able to eat food you like, you will have a lot easier time.

For me Keto is not hard. Yes, it is strict, but it certainly is not hard. Eating meat and vegetables is the way I like to eat anyway. I just added bread to that in the past and it put me on a path to obesity that I needed to stop. My love for sandwiches is real, but my desire for losing fat and getting healthy outweighs that right now. 

As I looked down at the scale today to 296.7 lbs. I can celebrate the fact I have lost 27 lbs., but I also know I have a long way to go to hit my goal of 250 lbs. I am as determined as ever to get there and I feel like my diet is in check. The reason for that is that I like the food I am eating. So for me, Keto is easy, I just needed to convince my mind that it was worth it.



2.26.2017

Under 300

Stepping on the scale each morning is an every day thing for me. Not because I expect to lose weight each day, but I am interested in documenting my progress. Having a scale that automatically syncs my weight to my fitbit account also helps make the process pretty painless. So even though I don't live or die by what the scale says each morning, I do look at my progress every week or so to ensure I am on the right track. When I stepped on the scale Saturday morning, it read 299.9 lbs, which is the first time I have been under 300 lbs in a long time.

I am a long way from the 250 lbs I ultimately want to be at, being under 300 is a huge step in the right direction. This milestone marks 24 lbs lost since I rejuvenated my journey on January 9th. I have not only been losing weight, but have cut carbs out of my diet since then. Sure I am getting carbs through vegetables and various other sources, but most things I eat have less than 1 or 2 carbs per serving. Honestly, this has not been too hard for me. I am eating the food I like and I feel great doing it. It's been a pretty good situation.

As I sit here Sunday night typing this post, I am reflecting on the journey so far. While I want to think about the journey starting from January 9th, it is hard to ignore the journey as a whole. I remember when I was 18 years old and never really knew what diet or weight training was all about. I was 250 lbs then, but not in good shape at all. I was weak and soft. I remember thinking then I wanted to make a change and I did. I started running and it soon because the base of my workouts. I incorporated major changes to my diet and the fat began to drop off. I then began incorporating weights into my workouts and I really started to change my body. It was a great thing and fitness starting to become a focus for me. I kept the desire to focus on fitness in my life since then, but each year that passed, I let up a little. Now at 32 years old, I am trying to get that back. I definitely do not have the time I did when I was 18 to focus on fitness, but I have learned a lot over the past 14 years to enable me to train and diet smarter.

I took it easy on weights this past week due to a sore back, so this week's goal is to get back at the weights. I feel good about where my diet is, I just need to get the workout part in check.

2.19.2017

Celebrate All Successes - Big and Small

Six years ago I embarked on a very unfamiliar journey. To say I was scared was an understatement. I didn't know if I was ready or if I was capable, but it was definitely what I wanted. Six years ago yesterday, my son Caleb was born and it has changed my life for the better. It gave me a sense of responsibility unlike anything I had experienced to that point. Watching Caleb grow up has been one of the greatest parts of my life. As I continue to watch him learn and grow, it is time to make a change in my own life with diet, fitness and overall health.

As I sit here on a Sunday night after spending the weekend at a local hotel with Caleb and my wife Shelly, I feel blessed and fortunate that I had this weekend to spend with them swimming and enjoying life. We spent over 7 hours at the pool yesterday and Caleb loved every minute of it. As much fun as we had, my diet stayed on point. Another thing to celebrate this weekend.

Since January 9th, I haven't had a single cheat meal and I still don't really have a craving for one. I may give myself one this week if I feel like it, but I intend on keeping the Keto diet going. As I continue to eat steaks, wings, burgers (without buns of course) and other low carb foods, I don't want anything else. This food is awesome and I feel awesome while eating it.

My training program was decent this week as I got in workouts Monday, Wednesday and Friday with some cardio sessions as well. As my diet continues to be strong, I am continuing to get my workouts in gear. I have made some progress, but I am a long way away from where I want to be strength wise.

This week, I want to focus on getting in some more good workouts with some additional cardio sessions. Moving is key, I just need more of it.