Loving the Gym

Loving the Gym

unnamedI am glad to be back in the gym and I’m doing well. The last time I was in on a regular basis was two summers ago. I was having trouble with my shoulders and a mysterious weakness in my left arm. I believe the weakness was the cause of my shoulder problem as well.

The most I could bench press during that summer was 95 lbs. I could never increase the weight because of the weakness, and pain is so draining mentally that I was literally wanting to just quit everything.

Since my neck surgery to release the pinched nerve that leads to the weakness in my left arm I have been a whole lot better. Today, only my second time doing the bench press at the gym, I am already up to 150 lbs. I am very excited. I was able to have a great chest workout. I know it was great because instead of my shoulders hurting I could feel every muscle in my chest working under the weight of the workout. When I was done with my workout every muscle involved in the workout was just about numb. I’m sure I will be quite sore tomorrow, but, I welcome pain related to working out rather than injury.

I am getting better at my diet as well. It is very hard to stay within the low carb range I want. Sometimes it is hard to consume the amount of fat required. It is definitely a learning process.

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Pasta & Marinara w/Chicken

The discovery of MiracleNoodles.com has been a blessing, making it quite a bit easier to stay low carb. They don’t taste like anything, but, take on the flavor of whatever sauce and flavors you add to them. They are a great vehicle, aiding in getting lots of fiber into the body, and remaining low carb. And they add no calories to your diet.

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Chicken & Rice

Right now my weight loss seems stalled but, I’m not worried. It feels so great getting back to the gym that I am too excited to be discouraged about it. This diet seems to be working great in conjunction with the gym. Two summers ago while in the gym, I was pretty much on a high protein diet, and hunger was always waiting, either immediately after the workout, or within an hour of the workout. On the keto-diet I have plenty of energy for my workouts, and, when I’m done I am not hungry. The diet sustains the workout and keeps me satiated until I get home to have my next meal. And when I do eat it is never because I am desperately hungry.

I am anxious to see what kind of results I can get following my current program. When March comes around it will have been a year since beginning the keto-diet. I have 8 months and I want them to be extraordinary. I don’t have to reach my goal weight, but I expect to be damned close and looking much healthier.

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20 Weeks In

20 Weeks In

Working out in the gym

I have been working out in the gym for over a week. It has been 6 weeks since my neck surgery. It feels pretty good. I haven’t had any real issues with pain.

I am trying to work as many large groups of muscle at the same time as possible. I want to stimulate as much muscle growth and fat burning as possible. I was fat in my early 20’s, and when I started lifting weights seriously the fat just seemed to melt away quickly. Hopefully, it will work pretty much the same way in my 50’s.

In my 50’s however, the exercises are way more difficult than they were in my 20’s and 30’s. I like working out. It’s just harder now. And everything seems to be happening so slowly.

Every time I see myself in a pic or in a video it’s hard not to be discouraged. On my body, 30 lbs of weight loss are not visible. Right now only my determination and a certain amount of anger keep me going.

Current Workout Schedule

Monday: Legs
Tuesday: Chest
Wednesday: Back
Thursday: Shoulders
Friday: More legs (different tactics)

A Right Frame of Mind

A Right Frame of Mind

x240-9Zx10 pounds in a week? Yea, that’s a  bunch of bull!

I think to get your health back you have to be in the right frame of mind. I know a lot about nutrition, and I have for many years, but that means nothing if your head is not right.

The Navy was really good about training it’s people in every aspect of our responsibility. In other words, if they expected us to stay in shape, they provided proper taining in that area. They didn’t always get it right, but they made a really good effort.

When it came to nutritional health and exercise they had a decent handle on things. However, as we got older getting  in  shape got harder. In youth, getting in shape was really easy for me and many others in the Navy. Just change a few things that you were eating  and add some exercise and you were good to go.

Because of how easy it was my head wasn’t necessarily in the right place when it came to getting in shape. Now it is not so easy to get in shape. In  fact, it’s not easy at all.

I’ve tried all kinds of diets and programs that promissed results for just a little bit of effort. The reason plans like this attract so many of us is because they appeal to our laziness. We naturally want things to be easy. Or we want to continue our old eating  habits and sedentary life styles and expect to achieve results that make us look like super models.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. We have to reset our minds. We need to become willing to change. We need to accept the idea that we may have some food addictions; like sugar, carbs, processed food, and general over eating. This is what I mean when I say we have to get in the right frame of mind to succeed in changing our health.

I have come to grips with the fact that I have food addictions. I also eat when I get discouraged or depressed. Early on I learned to love beer, wine, and many other alcoholic beverages. I’m addicted to simple carbohydrates, and sugars. The sad thing is that they are cheap and sometimes the only thing that poor people (like me) can afford.

Now my head is in the game! I know what to eat. I know what not to eat. I don’t always get it right, but I KNOW. I am more determined than ever to put the right things into my body for its best health. I am willing to put in some work exercising in order to strengthen my body.

Sometimes people ask me what I’m doing when they notice the changes in my  appearance. When I tell them I’ve given up bread, rice, and other grains, and alcohol, they usually respond with, “oh, I can’t do that. I love bread.” Well, I love bread too. But I’ve changed my mind about these foods. I’ve come to the conclusion that these foods are no good for me.

I believe I will be able to succeed by these simple changes in my mind. I am in a frame of mind to succeed and get what I want, which is my health. You can do it to if you willing to change your mind and get your head right when it comes to food.

First Day Back at the Gym!

First Day Back at the Gym!

On Wednesday I went to the gym for the first time in nearly two years. Two summers ago my shoulders began to hurt. So much so, I ended up doing 6 weeks of physical therapy.  I had never injured my shoulders before that, ever. I had not put together a possible reason for the pain until I was in the gym Wednesday.

I had an MRI about a month ago and, the results showed that I have a ruptured or bulging disc in my neck, which is pressing against a major nerve to my left shoulder, arm, and hand.

Two summers ago during some of my workouts I experienced weakness in my left arm and hand. It was sudden and happened multiple times. I had no idea what was causing it. Like an idiot I kept working out like that, probably over compensating for the weakness, injuring my shoulders.

I did’t feel any weakness today. I was only using very light weight. But, I could feel the pressure in the area where the doctor told me the bulge had happened. Only then did I realize that this is probably what caused the weakness I felt two years ago. I will probably end up having surgery some time this summer. I don’t want to, but, what ever was going on two summers ago may happen again if I do not.

Other than that realization Wednesday I had a pretty good workout. I did some chest work, shoulder work, and upper back. Then I did a forty minute cardio workout on the elliptical machine.

I have to say that I was surprised by the amount of energy I had for cardio. Usually there is that sick feeling I get when I first begin, and once I push past that I can go on to finish the workout. Today however, even though I was expecting that sick feeling, it never happened. I had full energy from the start. No nausea. No hard time getting started. Just GO!

The only thing different is the diet. Not burning glucose (sugar) in the beginning; Burning fat! The Ketogenic diet is crazy. I am absolutely amazed. Its almost too good to be true, but it is!


Workout:

Strength Trainging
4 sets dumbbell chest press
4 sets lat pulldowns
4 sets military press

Cardio/Elliptical
40 minutes
2.59 miles
413 calories burned

The Gym

Body_Coach_Dumbbell_set_10_kgI have been feeling really good for several weeks now. I have been thinking of going back to the gym, or maybe some exercise besides walking, that does not require weights.

I learned my lesson  a few years ago. I really am aging. I won’t over do things again. I know what to do, and I’ll do it correctly this time. Besides, I still have all the pains I’ve been complaining about for the past couple of years. Some of them I created the last time I went to a gym.

I am confident I can work out without furthering any previous injuries. I just want to take advantage of how well I’ve been feeling lately.

Until I do I will continue walking.

Doctor Visit

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A favorite: ground beef steak, cauliflower, and roasted red bell pepper

I had my doctors appointment yesterday. As usual the numbers from my last blood test were not that impressive. However, I had not made any dietary changes that I could stick at the time.

Things are looking up  though. My BP was 126/80. It hasn’t been that low in months. My resting pulse was 69. And my weight is currently 249 lbs. I started a month ago at 267 lbs. – 18 pounds and counting.

I asked her about the low HR during exercise and she, “that is a good sign.” It means that some of the inflammation in my circulatory system has been reduced, most likely due to my change in diet.

She had never thought to check to see if I was allergic to glutens or any other grain foods. The reduction of grains seems to have been a good thing for me, and it has been easy. I have pretty much stopped drinking alcohol as well; no occasional wine.

I don’t know if I am strictly on any one diet. I am basically keeps my carbs low. And when I do eat them, I make sure they are nutrient dense. My doctor liked it. She just told me not to eat too much red meat because of the uric acid in the fats, and if I do, stay with the lean stuff. Any other healthy fats I am not worried about.

I have been walking on a more consistent basis. I haven’t been to the gym yet. Probably won’t go (if I go) until summer begins. I won’t be taking classes. I am almost done though. I have four more and I’ll be finished.

I may take pics, or post a video some time this week – before the weekend is over for sure.

Moving along

Moving along

Making Progress

For the past several days I have ridden a bicycle, once. I have also done a bit of walking, as I am back in school. I am easing into a new diet which seems to be working, as far as me not getting hungry and having those severe hunger pains that make me want to eat every freaking thing in the house. What I am saying is, I think I have found the foods that will not Spike my blood sugar.

I’m not going to tell you what the diet is right now. I want to see if it will actually help me first. I know that it feels good in my belly, and I feel satisfied.

I have been drinking plenty of water. I have done no cheating so far. The diet is supposed to be for weight loss. I have not jumped on the scale to check to see if it’s coming off rapidly. I don’t care if it comes off fast, I just want to know that it’s coming off. And when I know it is coming off while I’m feeling good about what I’m eating, then I will be satisfied. And then perhaps I will tell you what diet I am easing into.

I intend to ride the bicycle more. I also intend to use my Total Gym inside. That is mostly because the last time I went to an actual gym I ended up injuring my shoulders and lower back. I don’t know what I was thinking when I was using such heavy weights, injured as I was when I went in there in the first place.

I have to accept that I’m getting older and can’t do the things that I used to do, but by cracky, I will find the way to slim down and relieve some of my pain, which I know is caused by the extra weight. I will not give up.

Getting Back On Track

I hurt myself in the gym by overdoing things last year. Then I spent about 8 weeks in physical therapy. That is the reason I crashed and burned.

I never really got my eating under control, so when I couldn’t workout anymore I seemed to lose control of things. I’ve gained all the weight that I lost, plus some.

So now I’m trying to get back on track, starting first with my diet. I have cut out all starches such as potatoes, rice, and bread. I am consuming complex carbs and proteins, and allowing one cheat day per week.

I got the idea from a book I am reading called, “The 4 Hour Body,” by Timothy Ferris. There are some solid ideas in the book. Some of the info I don’t agree with though, but, its a pretty interesting read.

I do think the basis o f the diet is sound and sustainable. Hopefully it will allow me some weight loss, then, maybe I can get back to some light workouts, or at least walking. I will try to keep recording my progress.

No Go on the Full Body Workout

Well I did my best, but I can’t handle the workout schedule I tried to keep this past week. I am sore in ways that don’t feel like they will heel, even over the weekend.

First of all I think it takes too long in the gym. It take a lot of energy. The second time you do it in a weeks time is very painful, even though you’re doing different exercises. For me this pain was a motivation killer.

The system I was using was working. Maybe slower than I would like, but, it is working. So I will be going back to my normal routine next week.

Making Progress

I am really sore after this week’s workouts. I had some good sessions. I even learned a thing or two about working out calves. I learned in the gym that a lot of the guys workout their legs twice a week in an effort to get them to grow. That surprised me. I can see doing calves twice a week, but not quads and hamstrings, well maybe hamstrings. So I did a short set of calf raises today after my chest workout, even though I did legs yesterday. I had watched a video the night before on youtube, on working the calf muscles. The one set of calf raises I did today after watching that video was better than the nearly 10 sets I did the day before.

I guess learning is part of the deal. I am making great progress. I have had some problems building strength and building chest and shoulder muscles because of my shoulder joint pain. It hasn’t stopped me though. I have been working with lighter weight, trying to work around my pain, and I’m slowly, but surly increasing my strength and muscle mass.

I am down to 235 pounds, as of today, from a starting weight of 260. However, my weight is still fluctuating. Next week I may be back up to 240. It won’t be long before I break into the 220’s though. I am confident. The goal weight is 165. However, if I get to anything under 180, and I’m looking pretty good, I’ll be satisfied.

I don’t know what to do about my sleep pattern. I am up at night and awake from about 2 pm until 6 am. I have tried to straighten it out but I can’t.  The good news is that I’m getting about 8 hours of sleep, just at the wrong time.

Well, that’s about it for this week.