Monday, August 23, 2010

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

Today's Post: Monday, 8-23-2010

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 my June report, 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.

Then, the month after that in July, I lost no more on the scale as I expected; but I did lose half in inch off my waist – a very pleasant surprise. So I’ve now lost at least the first two inches off my waist of the 8 inches I really needed to lose.

So, how did I do since last month?

This month was interesting also.

Even though I had some setbacks last month, I was surprised again!

I’d not expected to lose any on the scale since I did not the previous month and not only ate about the same this month, I went to party for a volunteer organization my wife belongs to. (Although I did take my own advice and eat 95% from the vegetable tray, strawberries, and some cheese – produce and protein – and left the dessert tray mostly alone, I did have two unplanned and extra glasses of white wine.)

The surprise was I lost a pound on the scale since last month! So, I’m now a pound under my goal weight.

So, how did I do losing more off my waist?

Since I clearly have 4 to 6 inches to lose there; it has a bit of fat you can pinch; and makes me look fat, I would have loved to lose at least an inch. Even half an inch to go with the pound I lost would have been nice.

I might have lost a bit. I got two readings. The one where my muscle was just a bit tense showed I lost one fourth of an inch. But the one where I was slightly more relaxed – the more conservative measure – showed I’d lost no inches & it was the same 38 inches as last month. I decided to go with the more conservative measure which was the same as last month. (That seems like the right thing to do given how it looks.)

What did I add and do extra last month?

Besides maintaining my new eating pattern that lost the now 16 pounds this year, I added or maintained my added exercise.

I continued to do my two kettlebell sessions and jump rope Monday and Weds evening after work.

And, I added some extra leg exercises to my Sunday leg strength training session that added about 100 calories each time.

(My real hope is to eventually add about five more pounds of muscle or more in my legs and hips also.)

And, although since I conceived it, I’ve had things come up to prevent it, I plan to do this a second time each week on Tuesday evening which will increase my added calories burned to 200 a week and is more likely to add the pounds of muscle as I keep doing it twice than just doing it once a week would have done.

On Tuesday and Thursday, my other leg exercise days each week, I added 15 quick squats with no added weight DURING my workday, the five times each of those two days. Similarly, five times each workday on Monday, Weds, & Friday I know do one brief set of tummy vacuums and a very brief grip exercise once with each hand.

None of those sessions lasts long enough to break a sweat; but it is much less sedentary than sitting down during those times as I was doing.

Key point: I once thought of something similar to this plan and found I never did it. THIS time, I took a small pad of paper and marked down each time I do one of these brief sessions. That worked & has kept me doing one or the other of these every workday since!

The first two or three weeks of the last month, my Kettlebell exercise was going well. I didn’t feel I was working that hard and was being careful not to try to do more too fast. However, the two sessions each week on Monday and Wednesday after work were burning a total of at least 100 calories each week. And, best of all, every time I did a Kettlebell session, my muscles felt really solidly exercised. So I knew I was building muscle also.

Then somehow I strained a muscle in my left arm that has since kept me from doing my normal three-times-a week strength training exercises for that arm – worse, it has made it so I can only do the kettlebell exercises with my right hand.

Since I was planning to buy a 5 pound heavier dumbbell for my regular strength training and go from one set to two with the kettlebells, to suddenly have to do less instead has been very irritating and disappointing.

But, I had a slightly different injury to my right bicep and know the rehab required. I didn’t drop my weight I used at first with my left hand and wound up making the injury worse. So now instead of having to use five or ten pounds less for three weeks, I’ll have to use 15 pounds less for two or three weeks to get back to using 10 pounds less. And, it may take me until two months overall from now to get back to what I was doing.

But, I’ll continue everything I can continue and do what I find I can do safely with my left arm until then.

Eventually, I’ll be able to do what I had expected to do and can then build from there as I planned to do – although I may have to hold off a month to be sure I’ve recovered first.

The growth hormone I’ll keep releasing by my increased amount of leg exercise and right arm exercise and the cardio my left arm can handle, will speed the healing.

Also, it has also been shown that doing the exercises with my right hand and with a much lower weight with my left hand each also will help speed the healing of my left arm.

My hope of course is that I can eventually do a good bit more with my upper body with the kettlebells and the slightly heavier dumbbell to add muscle to my upper body. And, the added leg exercise sessions plus the bit of leg exercise while doing the kettlebells will add some more. If that works eventually, I should lose more off my waist as I add that muscle.

Hopefully I’ll be able to report progress on healing my left arm and a bit more inches off my waist next month.

The good news is if I got an injury and an unplanned session of extra calories during the past month -- and I can still lose a pound I’d not expected plus maybe lose a bit off my waist and definitely did NOT gain either weight or waist inches, my basic plan IS working.

So, by persisting until I get it back on track, I have a good shot at getting the results I want.

Hopefully that’s what I’ll be able to report next month.

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