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, looks like I missed workout number 2. Been crazy busy with work and didn’t make the time to get to the gym.
I joined a “discount” gym down the road. It’s much closer than the upscale one I used to belong to, but didn’t get to nearly often enough to justify the sizable monthly outlay.
Again, the food today was hard to keep up with. I’ll need to make up some meals ahead of time so I can keep up with the schedule. Eating every 2 to 3 hours requires quite a shift in my routine (which is usually to work for hours at a time in front of my three computers, getting up only to get coffee or to get rid of coffee)
Had the most fantastic chicken and fruit salad for lunch- sliced deli-style chicken with cantaloupe, almonds, fresh blueberries and grapes. Honestly, one of the tastiest meals I’ve had in a long time.
Adonis Index 1.275
Okay, today was another busy day with work projects, but I tried to jump into this nutrition plan.
I did all that shopping, now let’s see what the daily execution is like.
Looking over the plan, I was shocked to see only 1,800 calories on the line next to day’s total. Shit. You mean I’m gonna starve on this diet? Not sure that’s gonna work.
The thing I really liked about my approach to nutrition was that I didn’t have to count calories and I could live with the diet. Always eating my fill (of mostly healthy choices) meant I was never hungry. It also meant I usually had lots of options- including eating out.
This plan’s going to be a real challenge to stay on target with a meal out (other than the once-a-week free meal). But I’m committed to keeping up with this for the 12 week plan. Not sure how that’s going to work during my week on the road at the end of the month, but we’ll see.
Worked through my workout today and missed a couple snacks, but this diet plan has some great food combinations. I guess I’d say I stuck to 80% of the plan.
Oh yeah, those calories are plenty. I can barely work through the volume of food in one of these meals. I feel full and I’ve missed a couple snacks, so even when I’m working out again, I have a feeling that I’ll still be feeling satisfied.
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.