Well, it’s true that being accountable to someone makes you more likely to stick to your plan. Writing a blog about progress is one such accountable artifact, but truth is I’ve been only half-assing it for the past few weeks.
I’ll consider the next kick back into gear to be something of a restart.
I have been eating fine, but more along the lines of my previous diet (which is honestly not all that bad- it’s totally sustainable).
Where I feel I have really fallen down, however, is in getting to the gym. Lately it seems work and looking for work have occupied my time and I haven’t made as much an effort as I should to get to the gym for a real workout.
In the meantime, I’ve compromised by doing pullups and sittups in mad sprints which make me feel better, but it’s not as intense as my usual workout.
Oh yeah, did I mention it’s been raining here like crazy for the past couple weeks? Yeah, lame excuse. Still, it has left me feeling more like hunkering down and staying inside than getting out to the gym.
Will have to work on that.
More soon. Fewer excuses. Promise.
Adonis Index 1.370
Still can’t seem to get to daily updates on this. For any of you following my progress, I guess you’ll have to be satisfied with the occasional update from me on this topic.
Burning through some big issues on my work projects, but I have maintained my diet program. I keep missing days at the gym, which I try to make up for with circuits at home.
Once I get my garage back (our daughters’ stuff is filling it to the rafters at the moment) I’ll have access to my exercise equipment again.
The gym I joined is just down the street, but it’s small and quite crowded. At peak times, I don’t bother to go because I can’t keep the intensity up while I wait for equipment- very frustrating.
Anyway, tomorrow I go on the road. This will be a real test of the diet plan. In fact, it will be completely impossible to adhere to the plan for food & schedule. However, I plan to keep caloric intake relatively steady and under 2,000/day… though I think I may have more than one week’s “splurge” meal.
Going to the DC area and there are some amazing restaurants there including one of my favorite Indian places. Actually, I should be okay there because the Chicken Vindaloo is so hot, I can only eat a little at a time even if I wanted to gorge myself. Which I would do, if only I had iron linings along my G.I. tract.
Well, off to get some sleep before my early am flight.
Okay, so I haven’t been very good at regularly reporting on my daily progress through this plan. However, I am proud to report that I have stuck with the plan despite my sporadic blog posts.
The diet wasn’t really that different from my regular one… okay, I guess it is, but it was easy for me to switch.
My regular diet had a lot of hidden calories. Hidden only because I refused to count them.
I wouldn’t say I’m now obsessed with calorie counting, but let’s just say that I’m highly aware of how many calories a food choice has in store for me. And that makes it really easy to say no to a lot of things that otherwise I would’ve said, “well, it’s less than 20 (or 30) percent fat, so ‘go for it’ “.
Now, I look at things I used to eat without a care and think: what was I thinking before? No wonder I couldn’t consistently get rid of this gut.
The exercises have been a little difficult.
I say that because I’ve worked out for many years- just not always consistently. I also pride myself on learning the optimal techniques, how to work to failure and use negative reps (letting a weight back down in an exercise very slowly even though your muscles are screaming at you to stop).
This adonis index plan has me doing some weird exercises that not only have I never done before, but nobody else in the gym is doing anything like it.
I am somewhat self-conscious when I do some of them because I know people either think I don’t know WTF I’m doing… or that I’m on to some exotic training plan and maybe I”m being pretentious (though with some of the light weights I’m using on some of these, I doubt I look all that impressive).
Still, the plan is having a pretty big effect on my body- even after only two weeks!
One thing I’ve always said to myself is that – while you should dedicate significant effort to each workout — no single workout is really making a difference. The difference comes from a collection of workouts that you string together. One at a time. Building into a week. Then a month. Then a quarter. And a year.
A lot can happen in a year. A lot SHOULD happen in a year. Now it’s time to make that stuff happen!
I’m starting to get the hang of these frequent meals now. Still difficult to remember to eat- especially the snacks.
To keep up my daily supply of proteins, I usually end up combining two snacks’ worth of protein powder in my smoothie.
It still seems like a fulltime job just keeping up with eating all the time. I see a modification in the format if this is to become a lifestyle change that I can stick with.
Adonis Index 1.307
Another day where I’m finding it difficult to keep up with the nearly constant eating on this plan. I keep skipping the snacks between meals, so I’m really low on calories, but not feeling any ill effects. I’m thinking that may change once I kick up the workouts into high gear. Will have to prep meals ahead of time or I’ll be doing little more than eating, cooking (well, prepping, since most of this food is raw or lightly cooked) and working out. I’d be fine with that, but I have to make a living and get out once and a while to enjoy life.
so, off to the gym today for day 2 exercise, day 4 diet plan. Will get that all synced back up as well.
Feeling great and moving toward that index value of 1.618!
Find out what this “Index” stuff means.
Well, finally hit the gym today. It’s a small and somewhat crowded, but clean and well-ventilated place. It felt great getting back into motion.
The exercises and cadence were just different enough from those I’ve done for years to keep things interesting. As it happens, this part of the plan seems to focus a lot on bicep exercises (one of my naturally strong muscle groups) so I felt pretty strong through most of it… until I got to one of my biggest weaknesses: shoulders.
Here I am working these respectably large dumbells in curls that make my arms look like someone who spends some real time on this stuff… until I get to shoulders and face my old nemesis. Lateral raises.
This is where you stand in front of everyone who is silently judging you while you, dumbbell in each hand, lift your arms out from your sides like a slow-motion jumping jack.
Here, I have to sheepishly reach for these puny 10-pounders and feel like a girl when I can barely finish my set holding what appears to be little more than a pair of fat hair brushes. Well, a few moments’ embarrassment in exchange for getting in great shape and cranking my energy levels back up will be a worthwhile trade.
More about this plan and its focus on shoulders in later posts. It’s such an interesting concept, I really should lead with that angle- but I will make you wait for the next post to learn about it.
Okay, so on my journey to cutting out my excess bodyfat and getting into better shape, I need to take my okay-diet and move it into a really-great-diet.
This plan has full meals set up so I don’t have to count calories, just measure more than I normally do (which is to say at all).
For those of you who have ever seen the British nutritionist Gillian McKeith (her show “You are what you eat” can be seen here in the States via BBC America) you will be familiar with her tactic of confronting people about their personal dietary choices.
It takes the form of an intervention-like confrontation where she wheels in a table chock full of the junk her client consumes in a typical week. There must be something powerful about being confronted by all the grotesque, sugar and fat-laden foods that some of us take in. I say this because it is usually at this point the subject bursts into tears. I don’t think most are just maudlin for the camera either. For the most part, they seem shocked.
Sometimes it’s the volume of crap on that table, other times it’s the disgusting junk- most of which I wouldn’t have eaten even before I woke up to the fact that I needed to pay more attention to my food choices.
Well, such a confrontation wouldn’t have had a big impact on me. I know why I’ve lost definition to my physique. The food I eat is quite healthy- it’s just that I don’t eat enough variety and don’t eat regularly enough to keep my metabolism burning excess fats. But most of all, it’s the fact that I’ve been spending a lot of time at the computer and not nearly enough time being active.
So- the wind-up to all this is that once Ms McKeith confronts her subject with the bad food table, she rolls in a similar spread to represent what the new week’s line-up will look like.
Invariably, it’s a burst of color (mostly green) and (this is television, after all) it all looks wonderfully desirable. I use the word desirable here because you know many of those items are gonna have some bitter tastes and may not actually be the first thing any of us would reach out and grab when we were really hungry. However, no doubt that just looking at it- you know you’d feel better after having eaten at that table for a week.
Jeanette’s in London for a couple weeks, so as I kick off my plan, I’m bacheloring it. A run to the store to get my week’s worth of new food took a while. Not because I’m one of those guys who’s clueless at the grocery store, but because everything on the list was so particular. I also wanted to be sure that I give this program a real shot. To me, that means sticking as close to the plan as I can.
Coming home with my bounty, the image of that week’s table just wouldn’t leave my head, so I snapped a shot. “Desirable”, no?
I figure I’ll tweak and modify anything that just doesn’t fit in my lifestyle- but not without giving it an honest shot first.
Okay, I’m not really a health-nut but I started focusing on making healthy diet choices back in the late 80s when I discovered that paying attention to certain details like fat intake and avoiding sodium, carbohydrate and protein made a real difference to one’s overall health and well-being.
I cut out red meat from my diet (I haven’t knowingly eaten beef, pork, lamb or venison in over 20 years). I limited my intake of fats to roughly 20% of my overall calorie intake, and cut out as much processed foods and white bread and pasta as I could.
Excess weight I had been carrying on my body almost instantaneously dropped and I thought- whoa, it actually does matter what you eat to your appearance and overall health. Who knew?
I also steadfastly refused to play the counting calories game. I had stumbled on a system that basically said: eat as much as you like, just keep proteins at or below (or close) to 10% of your caloric intake. Fats at or below 20% and limit sodium. That’s it.
It works great when you’re active and eating regular meals. However, I noticed that as I got older, this wasn’t quite enough. That and I rarely ate regularly from day to day. Then the exercise became more and more sporatic and for some stretches of time- non-existent. (the best excuse I can muster, is sitting in front of a computer so long requires you to sit still… but I know how incredibly lame that sounds. Because it is.)
So, after a few kicks trying to get my fitness plan back on track, I stumbled across what appeared to be a cheesy internet plan called the Adonis Index.
Full disclosure here: I have since become an affiliate of this program, so yes, if you click through and decide to buy it, I’ll get a commission. However, I’m not hawking it here. Just sharing my experience.
I really like this system. It’s a comprehensive diet and exercise plan, as well as a lot of insights into the psychology of fitness- but especially the psychology of working with your fit body in society. Some very interesting concepts that I have seen enough in real life to believe have a lot of credence.
More on this as I work through the program.