Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My monthly fatloss report....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 1-20-2013

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

That status seems like AND IS where I’ve been stuck for some time!

My hope of course, is that I’ll gradually make progress by relentlessly continuing the things that have lost and kept off the fat I no longer have;
having the things I’ve added get traction and gradually help lose some more fat;
-- AND find things with more leverage that work well when I try them -- and then keep doing them also! 

(See the news at the end of this post.  I have found a new way to remove extra belly fat that might work!)

1.  Here’s my immediate progress section first:

The news this month is likely temporary; but it is NOT good. I gained 2 pounds since last month.  AND, that means I’ve gained about 5 pounds in 5 months.  So I’m now 9 pounds over my goal weight and need to reverse the trend!

After running about half a pound LESS than last month the first three weeks -- the last week, I gained 2 & a half pounds. Ouch!

Though eating a large plate of multiple kinds of vegetables, 8 kinds!, last Friday was likely good for my health, it was about that much heavier than the few mushrooms I’ve been eating on Fridays.

To be fair, that extra 2 and half pounds was likely temporary and had I weighed what I did the week before, the gain over 5 months would have been more like 2 pounds.

But this is NOT good either when I want to lose more fat than that 9 pounds!!

BUT my waist still measured exactly the same.

I had the flu most of the time since my last monthly report.  My waist remained the same because of the extra work coughing up the debris in my lungs. 
But the things I put in place to get rid of the flu while a bit slow to get rid of it DID make it much milder as a chest infection and generator of bacterial chest infection. 

So instead of losing 5 pounds and a half inch on my waist from so much coughing as I did last time I got to sick, my waist only remained the same and I did not need to burn so many calories coughing.  This was good in that I was able to work and function better and didn’t feel quite so bad.  But this time the flu didn’t help with my fat loss any.

In fact, having to cut back so severely at first on my strength training and even more on my new PACE cardio routine, just losing a half inch on my chest and gaining a half inch on my hips was likely added fat and reduced muscle even more than the scale indicated.

The much better news is that I’ve already almost got back to the level I was at when I got sick and that was working.

So by next month those readings should be better.  (Just before I got the flu, my new cardio program had reached my goal of 98 reps for each of the 5 new short sets of very vigorous cardio.)

Last month I wrote:

Apparently, the progress in my new PACE or high intensity cardio session of 5 sets I added of abdominal exercises -- both toned my muscles and tightened them up or maybe added some of the three pounds over the last two months as muscle.

I’ve now gone from 14 reps to 90 of the 98 reps I plan for each of the new 5 sets!

Clearly it has helped me to gain muscle instead of fat.  I may well be burning 300 calories or more each week than I was a few months ago.

But due to the stress I’ve been under recently, my other two efforts to lose fat by taking in less calories as I gained the muscle actually were not quite enough.

And, though it is again a bit glacial in speed I’m doing a bit better on my strength training.

So between the two I really might have gained the two pounds as muscle. 

But it’s not quite what I wanted either.  I’d hoped for a net effect of three or four pounds less fat too.  

I’m finding mixed review with this one.  On one exercise, I do keep doing better each week.

But my try at forcing faster overall progress while successful for the first two weeks then was more than I could recover from and progress stalled a bit. 

Maybe getting a couple of key stresses behind me and adding back two supplements, quercetin and astaxanthin, that help with recovery may help.

2.  But some things are still OK including my plan to drink less wine:

The last 4 weeks I drank closer to 32 glasses of wine, two 8 glass weeks, a 7 and a half glass week and an 8 & a half glass week added up to 32..  That’s decent and better than it was before.  And, I think it will be back to closer to 28 next time.
And, that was still 4 glasses less than the 36 the month three months ago!  So that part was a success.

3. I have kept up the added vegetables.  I’m actually doing well with maintaining it each week!

Losing enough more fat to cut it from my belly fat as I want to do will mean adding even more vegetables than I eat now as Vitamix drinks.

Two months ago I bought and read a book that suggests that both adding even more vegetables AND taking one week in four where I also eat less of many other foods – other than vegetables, may produce net and sustainable fat losses.

I’m still limited in what I can do now.  BUT, I am on the right track and will do what I can get to now and plan for much more when I can.

4.  As I mentioned above, one of the continuing good news stories is my strength training.  The progress is still VERY slow but if I continue getting stronger every week or two AS I HAVE BEEN for the past several months and continue 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’ll resume that in full in one or two more weeks full after my temporary but significant cut back for the flu.)

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 have done 23 reps last time with each hand in an exercise that was MUCH harder for just 9 reps not long ago.  I was at the point I can jump the weight for those sets! 

And, in that second session, I did try doing an instant second part of each set with a lighter weight to help force the muscle to grow more.  It’s too early to tell about those hoped for results.  But I am already doing a bit more repetitions in those second parts of each set.

(That’s the one that worked great at first but I wasn’t quite recovering from well enough to continue. So to resume it effectively, I need to find out how to get my recovery better.)

My leg strength training is mostly better.  My ONE substitute for the leg press on the machine is gradually doing better. 

I dropped the one that was both too hard and tweaking my knee tendons.  The other is one at a time lunges several times with each leg while holding dumbbells to add to the effort.  I was adding five pounds twice a week.  Now I’m at 89 pounds, the equivalent of adding 178 pounds or more with two legs, I’ll have to add the weight more slowly after that.  But I can begin to do more and slower repetitions.  (This part is working so far, I’ve gone from 8 partial reps on each leg to 9 full ones.)

My new goal is to do 14 full reps at a superslow speed all the way down and up with each leg while holding 89 pounds – like over 178 pounds with two legs., I think I’ll add enough muscle in my legs, lower back, and butt to cut my belly fat a bit.

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.

The good news is that I’m now OK with my left Achilles tendon. 

But last month in my effort to get back the strength in my left calf, it simply wasn’t strong enough yet.  Worse, my strong effort did have some effect -- it gave my left foot arch a mild stress fracture.

The good news is that I’ve thought of a way to both take it much easier on my left calf and foot now and build back the strength more gradually.

My goal is still to get my left calf back to what my right calf can do.  But it’s beginning to look like another several months.  So, it’s a bad news good news report:  the original injury seems to have healed but getting back the strength while the second injury heals while it will take longer will more reliably do the job than what I was doing.

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 16 superslow reps.

(My right calf has gone from 12 hard to do reps to 16 somewhat easier ones.  So my left calf now has even more catching up to do!)

Even though it’s irritating to have to wait a few MORE months for my left calf to catch up, maybe six months or so, I think it will eventually.  (This confidence is boosted by the time I got a worse stress fracture in my right foot and which is strong and healthy now.)

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.

(I also have made enough gains in my arm exercises to go to the 40 pound dumbbell for the one exercise that has both been easiest AND in which I’ve made the most real strength gains!)

Overall, my muscles LOOK a bit bigger, particularly my arms and shoulders; and though my middle is still fat, my thighs have some 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!

5.  My progressive short sets of high intensity, interval cardio were a mixed review. 

But the overall news was better last month!

(I kept my two weekly sessions 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.)

My new cardio 5 sets that had gone to 62 last time on the way to 98 each that I plan, I had gone I recovered from the two minor injuries in each of two sets and am now to 90 in all 5 sets. Next time I expect to be at 98 each.

6.  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.   

And, I did just find out that removing a few things for a week once a month may enable me to lose fat that week every month.

And, by maintaining the extra vegetables all month, that plus the continuing improvements in my exercises may really get me there.

So the conclusion is that despite being hammered more than usual by outside negative influences, I’m still maintaining most of my efforts that lost fat for me to begin with.  AND, I’m still adding promising new things that are working already or might work.

AND, I plan to both continue doing that and have even more in the pipeline for as soon as I can manage to add them.  

7.  New this month:

One of the health emails I got had a new supplement that you had to pay to get and get information on that promised to almost wipe out the effect of stress on abdominal fat.

This sort of thing usually is smoke and doesn’t work in practice. 

But it WAS a potential solution to the exact problems I have.  If true, it would enable me to lose as much as the entire 24 pounds of belly fat I’m still carrying.

I then looked up the information that WAS in the ad on Google to see if there was more information elsewhere for free.

Here’s what I found: 

The effect may in fact be real but not enough by itself to do more than half the job without adding a safe way to boost my level of growth hormone closer to my youthful levels.

(And the existing supplements using it have other ingredients to help it boost heart health which I’ve already done.  So not only are those likely a bad fit for me, they might not be entirely safe as my heart indicators have almost gone past optimum now!)

However, this class of active ingredient is in lemon and orange peel. 

And, at Whole Foods I can get the organic lemons and oranges that would make them safe to add to my Vitamix drinks often enough to at least lose 12 pounds of belly fat.

This is VERY interesting to say the least. 

Last month while eating at a restaurant, I got a fish dish and ate most of the lemon rind.  I found this easier and far less sour than eating the main part of the lemon!

And, I got some organic lemons and an organic orange at Whole Foods to try in the next few days. I was also able to eat the peel for those with no trouble eating them.  But the set up was a bit more time to do than I have had since.

I suspect that I need the Vitamix to add enough EVERY DAY consistently enough to do much. 

And I think I may be more in need of the safe growth hormone boost I don’t yet know how to get.

But I’m experimenting with what I can do by eating a few each week.

If it only helps me cut 3 pounds of belly fat instead of gaining them in the next few months, I’ll be very pleased.

(Our preparation for moving into a smaller space PLUS the flu derailed my plan to add this every day since my last report.

But when I can get back to it, not only it may have the effect in the study and cause some belly fat loss, I may be able to eat the organic lemon or orange rinds instead of a slice of Irish grass fed cattle cheese that has more calories.  So it might also help me lose a pound or so overall.)

Then when I do add the Vitamix and more frequent consumption, I may lose another 9 pounds of belly fat.

The other possibility is that adding back the two faster recovery supplements might enable me to do more on my strength training and get some growth hormone boost and lose more belly fat from that.

So, the conclusion is that some of what I’m doing and will keep doing is working. 

And I have several planned improvements likely to work and these two very promising new things that might.  

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