Monday, August 18, 2014

My monthly fatloss progress report....

Monday, 8-18-2014

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 gained a half pound on the scale.  Not too bad and close to the same and at the lower end of the range I’ve been in over the last year --- about 4 pounds over my goal weight.

Considering that I went on a minivacation over a three day weekend the previous weekend and ate differently and more I think and with a few more treats than usual that’s actually GOOD news!  I’ve gained 6 pounds in similar situations before.

BUT my waist measured a half inch more.

On the 3 day weekend, I WAS able to eat well for protein foods and vegetables and I avoided the bread and cold cereals everyone else ate and ate the rolled outs I brought from home instead and ate vegetables and the almond butter I brought along instead of bread.

Also, I did burn a bit more calories with two short hikes and one of over 5 miles. (At home I would have burned about 500 calories instead of the 700 to 900 I burned on the 3 hikes.)

So the extra stress and treats may have added a bit of belly fat but for a 3 day vacation I did well I think!

The rest of the month 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 4 pounds over my goal weight; but my waist measurement still shows I need to either lose below that or add muscle or both.)

2.  Because of extra stress, I did let my number of drinks per week go from about 9 last month to 9 and a half to about 10 this month also which was a likely cause of the added half inch on my waist also.

3.  I maintained my vegetable upgrades but not the drink totals.

4.  The continuing good news is on strength training.  The progress is still VERY slow but if I continue getting stronger every week or two AS I HAVE BEEN for another few years and am able to add back more safe to do leg exercises and make that progress with them, I will keep adding muscle when most people 15 years younger than I lose that much muscle or even more in the same time period!

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!

At my last session, I made progress on two exercises.

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 leg press substitute super slow squats holding dumbbell in each hand.

I’m now at the point I can add weights to my hands while I do the lunge style one legged squats.  If increasing the weight is as easy as I expect it to be and I get no recurrence of my left leg injury limitation, that will be great! That’s because I’ll be working my legs harder with a heavier weight one leg a time than when I was doing both sides at once.

And, as I get stronger that way, I believe I’ll be able to begin to do complete one legged squats in my other weekly session.  I can only go about a third of the way down to almost a half and do two of those now with each leg.

Once I can do 7 complete reps at a superslow speed all the way down and up with each leg, I think I’ll add enough muscle in my legs, lower back, and butt to cut my belly fat a bit.

(These are called “pistol squats” and the leg not lifting does get exercise as you hold it straight as you do them.)

My one leg at a time calf exercises are still making excellent progress on my right leg. 

I had to scale all the way back to zero and more on my injured left Achilles tendon.

I had to drop from holding a 35 or 37 pound dumbbell for 12 superslow reps to doing ONE with no dumbbell at all for my left leg.  BUT now that I do that and do 12 where I use both legs to go up and go down slow with just my left leg after reading that was a successful treatment, I can now exercise it without it hurting right then OR after the workout!

Now I can finally start adding reps and weight without re-injuring it and will do so! 

Since I  am likely close to still strong enough to do what I was before with my left leg (and I’ve maintained my right leg exercises) by simply adding as fast as my Achilles will allow with my left leg, it’s now just a matter of a few weeks to be back to where I was!  And knowing what to no longer do away from exercise that caused the injury initially I think I can then resume progress!

So, I just keep my right leg exercises the same until I can gradually build back my left leg to do that weight again -- 35 to 37 pounds plus all my bodyweight for 12 superslow reps.

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.

And, now I’ve reached a point where the injury to my left Achilles is healing, I believe I’ll be able to do that in about another 3 or 4 months.

Then 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.

Overall, my muscles LOOK a bit bigger, particularly my arms and shoulders; and though my middle is still fat, my thighs have definition and are clearly hard and toned.

So even though I’ve not gained enough muscles in size or weight to increase how much they weigh and the calories they burn as I’d like to do  ---  After another year or so, I may gain a pound or two of muscle 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.  AND I’ll have to get coaching to ensure this no longer injures my shoulders!

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.

5.  It’s just a matter of time too to the day I can get and use the Vitamix to boost my vegetable intake enough to lose some fat that way.  

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