Monday, July 21, 2014

My monthly fatloss progress report....

Monday, 7-21-2014

This month’s report is a mixed review with some positive and some negative.
I both gained some leverage and lost some. 

1.  Here’s my immediate progress section first:

I lost a half pound on the scale.  BUT my waist measured what it did last time.

Because I was able to maintain some of the recent increase with faster to fix and less expensive vegetables and DID make some progress on my strength training, I maintained my progress basically.

(I’m now at 3 and a half pounds over my goal weight; but my waist measurement shows I need to either lose below that or add muscle or both.)

2.  I did make two changes that could have caused the small weight loss.  If I maintain them, I may lose the 3 and a half pounds over my goal weight I am now or a bit more.

And, since those will be fat pounds, I may also lose a half inch on my waist.

3.  Because of extra stress, I did let my number of drinks per week go from about 9 to about 11.  I was able to cut that to 9 again the last week of the month. 

Since every drink a week tends to equal 1.5 pounds of fat on the scale if not burned as an energy source, that may help me lose three pounds of fat and only be a half pound over my goal weight if I maintain it for a few more weeks AND after that.

I was under as much stress the week I did that and still got it done.  So, I think this time I may be able to sustain it.

4.  I was eating a big plateful of greens once a week before in a salad with a bit of avocado and feta cheese and a light olive oil dressing at a local upscale cafe.  Since I eat olive oil and avocado separately, I’m saving a few dollars a week buying a plate of greens and eating them by themselves twice a week.  Since the added drinks didn’t add too much before, it may have been that change of eating more greens with less oil that caused the half pound weight loss.

That change looks sustainable! It may be helping my fat loss.  It costs less.  And, it’s doubled my intake of raw, fresh greens. 

So, that is promising news despite the small size of the improvement.  That’s added to by the fact that the changes that caused it only happened the last week of the month.

Doing them every week for four weeks might make faster progress than just a half pound.

5.  The new method I added last month for strength training seems to be helping me get stronger with small enough increases to allow for more continuous progress in strength than what I was doing.

I now do two sessions a week for upper body strength training.  At one, I am doing more reps at the slightly faster slow speed and fewer reps with a heavier weight than I was using. The progress is a bit slow; but it IS happening.  At the second session two days later, I use a couple of notches less weight BUT I do more reps and at the slower slow speed.  In that session, I just did 18 reps with each hand in an exercise that was MUCH harder for just 9 reps not long ago.  I’m at the point I can jump the weight for those sets!

THAT is encouraging!

My leg strength training is mostly better.  My two substitutes for the leg press on the machine are gradually doing better.  They involve using my bodyweight for only one leg at a time.  Best of all, neither one is making the injury I seemed to get act up the way it was before on my substitute super slow squats holding dumbbell in each hand.

My one leg at a time calf exercises are still making excellent progress on my right leg.  But I hurt my left Achilles tendon doing something away from my exercises which had not bothered it.  But now it’s injured, I’ve had to drop from holding a 35 or 37 pound dumbbell to using one with 10 pounds to using one with 8 pounds and will need to go to 5 pounds or even three to do that exercise without preventing that from healing.  So, I’ll just keep my right leg exercises the same until I can gradually build back my left leg to do that weight again.  By doing the similar style with the lighter weight with my injured leg and doing the same weight with my right leg, the studies show that by doing those two things,  once the injury heals the strength will build back just fine relatively quickly.  So even though it’s irritating to have to wait a few weeks for that to happen, my confidence in the method is as good as it was before.

If all keeps going well, I’ll need to buy a new 40 pound dumbbell as the 35 pound with the 2 pound wrist weight will not be enough to be challenging if this keeps up.

My muscles LOOK a bit bigger.  So even though I’ve not gained enough to increase how much they weigh and calories they burn.  After another year or so, I may gain a pound or two at an age when most people lose 5 pounds of muscle instead!

4.  The two sessions of progressive short sets of high intensity, interval cardio have been a mixed review.  But the overall news is good.

(I kept my weekly session of 4 sets of back to back abdominal exercises and my weekly 10 minute session of intense variable cardio on my Nordic track where I was already at a high level I’d worked up to gradually.)

I hope to be able to do two sets of jump rope to replace one of the two abdominal exercises sessions in a way that increases my calories burned by 100 calories a week or more at some point.

Clearly, I’ll have to get a better jump rope and one on one coaching to do it and of course wait until a few weeks after my left Achilles tendon heals.

But until I do that and get to superbly fit and a bit less fat, I’ll do what I have been and keep my very good level of fitness and not gain the fat that people my age normally do.

I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing now.

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