Week 7 Update

Overall, this week went pretty well. I wasn’t perfect in my routine, but who is? I have found myself really bored with my body weight workout. All I’ve been doing is a day of push-ups and a day of planks (the house I’m currently in doesn’t have a place for my pull-up bar), I’ve seen some nice improvements but I find myself dreading the workouts because of boredom. To help remedy this I’m going to start using this workout 2-3 times a week and use push-ups and planks as a progress measurement tool. On a related note, I’ve seen almost no growth in my chest or arms since starting this routine. Part of this is probably because of human error and inconsistent measuring, but most of it is that my routine hasn’t really made muscle-building a priority. The only exception to this is my thighs where I am seeing pretty consistent shrinkage, I think I store a lot of fat in my thighs as well as my waist. As my weight approaches a level that I’m more comfortable with, and once I move into my own house this week, I will start focusing more on muscle production. My performance and health will improve if I have strength underneath the fat I burn away.

I have also started taking two Coursera classes (one on writing and one on data visualization), and I’m also using Khan Academy to improve my math skills. I’ve hit a rough patch with my book writing and am having trouble getting myself over it. It is a struggle but I am still working towards it.

My nutrition work has been going really well and I think I’m going to start to stray a little bit from it. I think a cheat meal (or day or evening or something) each week will help keep me motivated. Ideally, I’d get to the point where having things around the house daily wouldn’t be a huge temptation or become a slippery slope, but I’m not there yet. Maybe in a couple of months I can enjoy just one alcoholic drink or small treat daily, but right now I’m going to just allow myself one night a week to not worry about calories.

The measurements (What is being measured: This weeks measurement (Change from last week, change from day one)

  • Weight: 164 lbs (-1, -14)
  • Waist: 33.5 inches (-.5, -3)
  • Neck: 16 inches (+.5, +.5)
  • Chest: 39.75 inches (-.25, -.25)
  • Left Bicep: 13.5 inches (+0,-.5)
  • Right Bicep: 13.25 inches (-.5, -.75)
  • Left Thigh: 23 inches (-.5, -1.25)
  • Right Thigh: 23 inches (-.5, -2.25)
  • Left Calf: 14.5 inches (-.25, +0)
  • Right Calf: 14.5 inches (-.25, +0)
  • BMI: 24.93 (-.17, -2.13)
  • Body Fat %: 19.00 (-1.10 -6.02)
  • Average Daily Calories: 1802.14 (-56.14)
  • Average Waking Mood: 6.29 out of 10 (+.14, +3)
  • Average Midday Mood: 7.29 out of 10 (-.43, -.14)
  • Average Evening Mood: 7.86 out of 10 (+.29, +.57)
  • Average Morning Sex Drive: 5.71 out of 10 (+.14, +.29)
  • Average Midday Sex Drive: 6.57 out of 10 (+.57, -.29)
  • Average Evening Sex Drive: 6.14 out of 10 (+.43, +.43)
  • Walked: 7.25 Miles (-3)
  • Total Walked: 90.5 Miles
  • Ran: 11 Miles (+-5.25,
  • Total Ran: 70.25 Miles
  • Biked: 52.5 Miles (+28.50
  • Total Biked: 103.75
  • Pull Ups: 0
  • Total Pull Ups: 196
  • Max Pull Ups Set: N/A
  • Push Ups: 196
  • Total Push Ups: 1,778
  • Max 2-Minute Push Ups: 68
  • Plank: 900 seconds
  • Total Plank: 3,210 seconds
  • Max Single Plank: 300 seconds
  • Meditated: 75 minutes (+5
  • Total Time Meditating: 325 minutes
  • Average Nightly Sleep: 7.93 hours (+.61)
  • Daily Orgasm: 5 out of 7 (-1)
  • Blog Posts: 6 out of 7 (-1)
  • Foreign Language: 7 out of 7 (+3)
  • Work on Book: 1 out of 7 (-5)
  • Khan Academy: 5 out of 7 (+5)
  • Coursera: 5 out of 7 (+5)
  • Resting Heart Rate: 54bpm (-8, -5)

Currently Reading:

  • “Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama” by Daniel Goleman (Psychology and Science – Career Development
  • “The Gift” by Hafiz (Poetry)
  • “The Great Hunt” by Robert Jordan (Fiction, Audiobook)
  • “The Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday (Personal Development)
Advertisements

Week 6 Update

I’m feeling a little ill, so this is going to be just a basic update on measurements. I do have a few notes:

  • I’m really proud of myself for working on a foreign language four days this week, working on writing my book six days this week, and blogging every day (and occasionally twice a day)
  • I fasted on Tuesday and plan on continuing to do that
  • I’ve started drinking once a week or so socially
  • I’m going to start using Khan Academy to reteach myself math. I don’t really want a career in math or anything but learning it (much like learning a foreign language, reading, writing, and meditating) is a way to exercise my brain and keep it healthy.
  • I currently weigh less than I did when I was in the military… which is pretty cool

 

The measurements –

  • Weight: 165 lbs (-2, -13)
  • Waist: 34 inches (0, -2.5)
  • Neck: 15.5 inches (+.25, 0)
  • Chest: 40 inches (-.5, 0)
  • Left Bicep: 13.5 inches (+.25,-.5)
  • Right Bicep: 13.75 inches (+.25, -.25)
  • Left Thigh: 23.5 inches (+.25, -.75)
  • Right Thigh: 23.25 inches (0, -2)
  • Left Calf: 14.75 inches (0, +.25)
  • Right Calf: 14.75 inches (+.25, +.25)
  • BMI: 25.1 (-.29, -1.96)
  • Body Fat %: 20.1 (+.35 -4.92)
  • Average Daily Calories: 1858.29 (-59.57)
  • Average Waking Mood: 6.14 out of 10 (+1)
  • Average Midday Mood: 7.71 out of 10 (+.86)
  • Average Evening Mood: 7.57 out of 10 (+0.14)
  • Average Morning Sex Drive: 5.57 out of 10 (+.57)
  • Average Midday Sex Drive: 6.00 out of 10 (0)
  • Average Evening Sex Drive: 5.71 out of 10 (-0.71)
  • Walked: 10.25 Miles (+.25, 83.25)
  • Ran: 16.25 Miles (+10.75, 59.25)
  • Biked: 21 Miles (+11, 51.25)
  • Pull Ups: 0 (-11, 196)
  • Push Ups: 418 (+309, 1,582)
  • Plank: 675 seconds (+585 seconds, 2,310 seconds)
  • Meditated: 70 minutes (+20, 250)
  • Average Nightly Sleep: 7.32 hours (+.18)
  • Daily Orgasm: 6 out of 7 (0)
  • Blog Posts: 7 out of 7 (+2)
  • Foreign Language: 4 out of 7 (+4)
  • Work on Book: 6 out of 7 (+6)
  • Resting Heart Rate: 62bpm (-14, +3)

Currently Reading:

  • “Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama” by Daniel Goleman (Psychology and Science – Career Development
  • “The Gift” by Hafiz (Poetry)
  • “The Great Hunt” by Robert Jordan (Fiction, Audiobook)
  • “The Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday (Personal Development)

Week 5 Update

It has been another busy week for us and my routine has been a little off. I missed a lot of work outs and several runs, and have been kind of struggling to keep up with my writing and my meditation. Hopefully, now that we are in Wilmington (yay!), I can get into a better routine again. We are staying in the spare room in the house of an awesome, beautiful, sweet, kind, gloriously cool friend that we met on Couchsurfing (another reason to travel is that you get to meet cool people who can help you out in new cities).

I actually gained one pound this week, but my waist shrank by half an inch so my body fat % was actually down. I think there are three overlapping cause of my weight gain this week:

  1. The way I report my measurements is, by necessity, just a snapshot of two points in time and not a motion picture. Those individual snapshots can be outliers in the grand scheme of things, which throws off the weekly report. The graph below shows my weight change over the last five weeks and, despite gaining a pound this week, I am still along the trend line. Basically, my extreme low last week was an artificial low based on dehydration, empty bowels, etc.Week 5 Weight Change
  2. I also had kind of a bad fitness week. I had several days of higher calorie consumption and missed some exercise. This could have impacted my results for today.
  3. It is also possible that I’m approaching a plateau. In the past my body has trended towards 195lbs, 180lbs, and 170lbs. I am right in the 170 range right now. If in a couple weeks I am still stagnant at 170 (and I decided I want to keep trying to lose weight), I’ll look into some exercise and dietary changes to push my system past this plateau.

Anyway, here are my current measurements, with the normal disclaimer that human error and variations in my body like full bowels, hydration, etc can create inaccuracies. I’m still happy with the direction things are heading… burning fat and getting stronger. I know I haven’t posted any photo updates recently, it has just been logistically difficult. Hopefully I can remedy that soon.

It is set up like this Measurement: Current (change from last week, overall change). For example, my weight is 16 right now so it will look like this “Weight: 16 lbs (+1, -11)”. I gained one pound in one week and lost eleven pounds since “Day 0” (July 8th).

  • Weight: 167 lbs (+1, -11)
  • Waist: 34 inches (-.5, -2.5)
  • Neck: 15.25 inches (-.5, -.25)
  • Chest: 40.5 inches (+.5, +.75)
  • Left Bicep: 13.25 inches (-.25, -.75)
  • Right Bicep: 13.5 inches (+.5, -.5)
  • Left Thigh: 23.25 inches (+.75, -1)
  • Right Thigh: 23.25 inches (+.75, -2)
  • Left Calf: 14.5 inches (-.5, +.25)
  • Right Calf: 15 inches (-.5, 0)
  • BMI: 25.39 (+.15, -1.67)
  • Body Fat %: 19.75 (-1.42, -5.47)
  • Average Daily Calories: 11917.86 (+124.29)
  • Average Waking Mood: 5.14 out of 10 (-0.435)
  • Average Midday Mood: 6.86 out of 10 (0)
  • Average Evening Mood: 7.43 out of 10 (+0.36)
  • Average Morning Sex Drive: 5.00 out of 10 (-0.43)
  • Average Midday Sex Drive: 6.00 out of 10 (-0.14)
  • Average Evening Sex Drive: 6.43 out of 10 (+0.645)
  • Walked: 10 Miles (-15.75, 73)
  • Ran: 5.5 Miles (-15.5, 43)
  • Biked: 10 Miles (+4, 30.25)
  • Pull Ups: 11 (-57, 196)
  • Push Ups: 109 (-216, 1,164)
  • Plank: 1.5 minutes (-6.5, 27.25)
  • Meditated: 50 minutes (+20, 180)
  • Average Nightly Sleep: 7.14 hours (-0.63)
  • Daily Orgasm: 6 out of 7 (N/A)
  • Blog Posts: 5 out of 7 (N/A)
  • Daily German: 0 out of 7 (N/A)
  • Daily Write Book: 0 out of 7 (N/A)
  • Resting Heart Rate: 76bpm (+16, +15)

Currently Reading:

  • “Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama” by Daniel Goleman
  • “The Gift” by Hafiz

Week 4 Update

I wasn’t able to do an update last week because I was in St. Louis. That trip was a bit of a hiccup in my life routine, but overall it went well (I blogged in more detail about the results of that here). Even after returning from St. Louis it has been a struggle to get back into the routine of things. We went up to Wilmington one day to look at houses and my mind/energy has really been on those things. I neglected my meditation and much of my workouts (except running). It looks possible that we will be moving to Wilmington next week (yay!) and that means this next week will be kind of stressful and busy but I’m going to try and at least do my meditation and push-ups.

I originally planned on starting intermittent fasting this week, but I think I’m going to wait until we are settled in Wilmington (if we move up there), I am just not in a good mental place to be introducing new challenges yet. I think it is important for me to change things up and add new things every four weeks or so, but with life being a little chaotic I am going to postpone that. I haven’t studied any German or written my book in the last two weeks and I need to re-evaluate my priorities and techniques. It may be that studying German on my own isn’t the best way to do it and if I truly want to learn it (and maybe I actually don’t, it may not have value to me) I may need to take a more traditional class. Writing, on the other hand, is something that I am confident that I truly want to do but I haven’t been able to find or implement a system that works for me yet.

Here are my current measurements, with the normal disclaimer that human error and variations in my body like full bowels, hydration, etc can create inaccuracies. I’m still happy with the direction things are heading… burning fat and getting stronger.

It is set up like this Measurement: Current (change from two weeks ago, overall change). For example, my weight is 166 right now so it will look like this “Weight: 166 lbs (-7, -12)”. I lost seven pounds in two week and two and twelve pounds since “Day 0” (July 8th).

 

  • Weight: 173 lbs (-2, -2.5)
  • Waist: 34.5 inches (-.5, -2)
  • Neck: 15.75 inches (+.25, +.25)
  • Chest: 40.25 inches (+.5, +.25)
  • Left Bicep: 13.5 inches (-.25, -.5)
  • Right Bicep: 13 inches (-.5, -1)
  • Left Thigh: 22.5 inches (-.5, -1.75)
  • Right Thigh: 22.5 inches (-1, -2.75)
  • Left Calf: 14.75 inches (-.25, +.25)
  • Right Calf: 15 inches (+/- 0, +.5)
  • BMI: 25.24 (-1.06, -1.82)
  • Body Fat %: 21.17 (-0.01, -3.85)
  • Average Daily Calories: 1793.57 (+96.71)
  • Average Waking Mood: 5.575 out of 10 (+0.145)
  • Average Midday Mood: 6.86 out of 10 (-0.57)
  • Average Evening Mood: 7.07 out of 10 (-.07)
  • Average Morning Sex Drive: 5.43 out of 10 (+0)
  • Average Midday Sex Drive: 6.14 out of 10 (-.57)
  • Average Evening Sex Drive: 5.785 out of 10 (-0.355)
  • Walked: 25.75 Miles (N/A, 63)
  • Ran: 21 Miles (N/A, 37.5)
  • Biked: 6 Miles (N/A, 20.25)
  • Pull Ups: 68 (N/A, 185)
  • Push Ups: 325 (N/A, 1,055)
  • Plank: 8 minutes (N/A, 25.75)
  • Meditated: 30 minutes (N/A, 130)
  • Average Nightly Sleep: 7.77 hours (+0.16)
  • Daily Orgasm: 9 out of 14 (N/A)
  • Blog Posts: 8 out of 14 (N/A)
  • Daily German: 0 out of 14 (N/A)
  • Daily Write Book: 0 out of 14 (N/A)
  • Resting Heart Rate: 60bpm (N/A, +1)

Bonus! Here are some charts. The first is my daily weight and the second is my weight change from day to day. You can also see all kinds of notes and measurements and stuff on this google doc. I will also be uploading new pictures to the shared folder later today (as always, the pictures are nude so don’t look if that will freak you out).

Charts

Currently Reading:

  • “Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama” by Daniel Goleman
  • “The Great Hunt” by Robert Jordan

St. Louis Routine – Post Mortem

Last Thursday my partner and I took off from Myrtle Beach to visit her family in St. Louis. This was the first real challenge to our health and fitness routine and, overall, things went pretty well. It is always really difficult to keep a food and work-out schedule while travelling, particularly when four out of the seven days we were driving 10ish hours a day. Disrupting the routine also creates opportunities to have a good time (which is kind of the point of increasing our fitness, to have more opportunities to enjoy life), but those opportunities cash in some of the health credits we’ve racked up over the last couple of weeks.

So, here is a rundown of how we did. I don’t have any regrets or anything, though there were areas for improvement next time we travel (probably in mid-September).

Perfect: There were only two areas where I wasn’t disrupted at all… I kept track of my calories and I weighed myself daily (we brought our scale with us).

Pretty Good: We only missed one run day while traveling, which is pretty good. We also only ate out for three meals out of twenty, and we were relatively healthy during those times. My calories were only significantly higher than average on two nights.

Okay: I blogged most days, but missed a couple. My orgasm frequency was also pretty good (which is definitely a challenge when you are staying in other people’s homes). I drank a little bit more beer than I wanted, but it wasn’t anything too crazy and it was only at social occasions.

Needs Improvement: I didn’t do any reading, German practice, meditation, book writing, or working out (except for running). I really don’t have an excuse for this. I was lazy and thrown off by being in a new environment. I also justified slacking because I was “on vacation”, which is kind of true but I need to want to be able to keep some sort of routine even when traveling or on vacation. Life is never ideal.

Overall, I did okay, but I’m excited to get back to Myrtle and into my routine. I am almost a month into our time in Myrtle and it is time for me to re-evaluate my schedule and add more areas for improvement. I’m particularly interested in adding weight-lifting and intermittent fasting into my routine. I also need to really put some thought into things like learning a new language, I don’t seem to have a strong passion or desire for it and I’m not sure if it will provide a good return on investment.

Anyway, life is in flux and we will see what the future brings.

St. Louis, It Begins

After two days in a car we finally arrived in St. Louis yesterday, and with it came my first real temptation… a night out with my partner’s sister and her friends. There was booze, of course.

I don’t really the view as a “failure”, though I did get a little tipsy and eat some delicious food. Life is about living and if I put on an L.B. every month or so having a good time than so be it. It could have been a lot worse and I actually exercised a bit of control… the food stayed vegan, the drinks were in relative moderation, and I succeeded in keeping track of my calories and mood and such. I even got up this morning and went for a run, despite a fair hangover. Running with a hangover is terrible and I do not recommend it.

Tonight we are probably going to get a drink somewhere and I’m going to try to stick with only one or two drinks. I know it will be worth it tomorrow to run feeling good instead of wanting to vomit every quarter mile. When I was in the Army I was able to handle drinking and exercising, but apparently I’m not 22 anymore. Stupid body… science needs to hurry up.

 

Off to St. Louis

This morning my partner and I took off to visit her family in St. Louis. It is going to take us about two days to drive there, then we are spending three days in STL, and then two days driving back. This is going to be the first real challenge for our workout and health routine. Travel and time away from our kitchen is not ideal for maintaining a consistent health practice, but that is life… things are never going to be perfect and we need to be able to thrive in imperfection.

So far, my biggest concerns are staying consistent with my push-ups, pull-ups (we brought our pull-up bar), and planks. I already struggle with motivation to do those daily and sitting in a car most of the day is not going to help with that. I imagine this is also going to really effect my body’s metabolism because it is used to getting up and going for pretty decent walks 3-4 times per day, in addition to any running we do in the morning. I’m not really going to be too embarrassed or anything to do push-ups at rest stops, any discomfort I had for that type of thing has disappeared due to the bike ride… we spent a lot of morning brushing our teeth and having meals in public, I’m just going to lack motivation. Maybe I can try and shoot for some sort of maintenance exercise instead of my normal routine.

We did shift our running schedule around to be more flexible. Our two rest days each week are now during our driving days, and I’m optimistic that we will keep each other motivated to get up and run while in St. Louis. Our diet is also a small concern… we aren’t going to be nearly as strict as we’ve been for the last three weeks but we are going to eat and drink in moderation. We agreed to confront each other directly if we try to order a second drink on any given night and when we go out to eat we are going to have salads for appetizers and probably share a entree to keep the portions in size with what our bodies are used to. My best case scenario is we don’t lose any ground on our fitness, but I imagine that we will have taken a step or two backwards by the end of the weekend.

That’s okay though. Life is about living and not just preparing for the future. Even if I stumble completely and gorge myself on 3,000 calories of beer and pizza and don’t exercise one day I won’t be mad at myself. All I can do is dust myself off and keep moving forward… and record my progress and measurements for the world to see.