Monday, July 19, 2010

My personal, monthly, progress report on my fatloss....

Today's Post: Monday, 7-19-2010

As many of you know, at the end of last year, I decided to do the things I thought would likely lose the 15 pounds that I’d gained back of the 30 I initially lost. I also hoped to lose about 4 inches off my waist but was less certain of that result.

As of last month, 6 months through the year, I’d lost all 15 pounds but only 1.5 inches off my waist. And, it was clear, that while the rest of me DID look less fat and my muscles were less hidden by it, I really still had closer to SIX inches I needed to lose off my waist if I lost all the fat on it and in it.

So, how did I do since last month?

This month was interesting.

1. My weight on the scale did not change since last month. I’m still at my goal weight – neither above or below it.

However, that's no surprise. It's what I expected.

Since I ate in a way to lose the fifteen pounds I lost by eating that much less, that means that I've been eating in a way to support what I weigh now ever since I began.

And, since it's easy to do and I certainly don't want the 15 pounds of fat back, I'll continue doing it.

2. But since I don't want to eat less, or at least not yet, nor do I want to weigh less, I decided to work on losing fat by increasing my efforts to add muscle. My hope being that I can eventually add enough muscle to lose the 4 to 6 inches of fat from my waist that I clearly have yet to lose.

I did begin my efforts to do that. But they are just barely beginning to get started. So I'd not yet expected any effects.

The good news is that I did get some progress anyway!

Since last month, I lost half an inch off my chest; half an inch off my waist!; & half an inch off my hips. That means that, since I weigh the same, I am more compact and dense in my body. And, since a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat, that means I did lose some fat and added some muscle.

The only bad news is that I lost half an inch in each of the 3 measurements. I didn't need or want to lose off my chest or hips and would have been MUCH happier to have lost an inch and a half off my waist and have had the other two stay the same.

But here's what produced the little progress I did get.:

a) My progress in my jump rope has stalled out; but I am continuing to do it. For me at what is now over 65, it's turned out to be a bit too high impact to be OK for me to do the 6 sets of 98 I'd planned to build up to. And, it works my legs hard enough they have not been recovering quite enough between my sessions. So, they've felt tired and depleted at the start of each session.

So, I've decided to do 5 sets.: 28, 42, a "big number set" where I do build up to
98, then 42, then 28. I find I can do sets of 28 and 42 often without a miss even when my legs are tired. And, by not overdoing adding more, my hope is that I'll be able to do each of the sets more smoothly and easily and with far fewer misses once I've done that for several more weeks.

And, I can feel that my legs feel more solid than they did. Plus even though the weather has been warmer, my Nordic track performance has been as good as it was in cooler weather from the conditioning effect of the jump rope.

b) The new thing I added was to buy a 12 Kg kettlebell. (That's about 26.4 pounds.)

Because it does handle a bit awkwardly and is new to me, I'm being extra careful to begin with fewer repetitions than I am fit and strong enough to do and then add more slowly.

I decided on a 9 exercise set where I do each of the nine parts without a break. But I began with one rep in each one. Then I did two in each one. And, I'm just now up to doing three in each one. My goal is to do three sets of 25. Now, I just do three sets of three.

One of the basic kettlebell exercises is to get into the position of a football center hiking the football and swing the kettlebell back between your legs and then to swing it forward and up until it's over your head and then repeat.

(Because the kettlebell is awkward and gives you little leverage in controlling its motion, you do have to be careful. So, if at the top it starts to flop to the side, gently begin your downward swing before it does. Then swing a bit faster next time to use the centrifical force to hold it in place for you. )

My nine sets are:

1. a two handed swing; 2. a left handed swing; 3. a right handed swing;

4. a left then right handed clean and press with leg assist as need; 5. a left then right handed row bracing my opposite hand on a bench and my back parallel to the floor; then 6. a left then right handed shrug.

7. a left handed swing; 8; a right handed swing; & 9. a two handed swing.

BUT, already, when I'm finished, I can feel the effects and can tell it is building muscle in my upper back, arms, and shoulders in a way that I'd not gotten using a 25 pound dumbbell with more traditional exercises. However, since I now do 25 reps with those, I am certain I can reach my initial goal with the 12 Kg kettlebell.

And, based on what I already feel, I think it has a shot of working to shrink my waist by building my upper body and core muscles by that much.

The fact that so little may already have worked a little bit, was and is a surprise.

So, I look forward to the next three or four months to see if it does that much more!

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