Weigh In Wednesday – #100kreasons Week 2

It’s time for another reality check in the form of WEIGH IN WEDNESDAY! I created a new template to track my measurements, since bodybuilding.com went ahead and changed their website to a new format that doesn’t allow you to see … Continue reading

Weigh In Wednesday–A Little Late…

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I have been all over the place this week. Just a messy week, full of basically nothing other than mental exhaustion. Since I am late posting these results, we will just call this my weekly weigh in–even though it was done on Wednesday. Whatever.

This has been a big week that follows the ‘no excuses’ theme to a tee. I have had some serious sleep issues that I can’t really explain, which is ensuring that I work my 9-5 exhausted, followed by the gym, and another lack of sleep night. Somehow I have found energy at the gym, and today is the first day that I have missed my morning cardio, which I will inevitably tag on to my workout tonight. Luckily, I haven’t faltered in my diet at all and I am even finding new ways to make meals feel like cheat meals while sticking in my macros.

I actually got the best gift ever yesterday that will make sure I have no excuses at all to fall off my diet. I got my birthday present a few weeks early, Men’s Health Muscle Chow, which looks like the best book invented for bodybuilders looking to also be foodies, like me. I got it yesterday, and I will be experimenting with it and exploring its many wonders for a long time to come, and I am sure I will write all about it once I have had a chance to really look at it. Long live flavor!

Anyway, to my Weigh In Wednesday results:

Nov 20

This week has followed all of my other weeks, with small changes, that will lead to big changes. Kris Gethin always says that in the beginning of a program, changes are happening underneath that you can’t see, and if you stick it out long enough you will be amazed at what you actually have been building. That is true for me, especially in my last program when all of a sudden, I dropped a few pounds and was shocked to see the difference. This is only week 2, so any changes are appreciated. It shows that I am doing something right. I did my measurements really fast, so some of the numbers don’t really make sense. I will probably re-do them on Sunday.

My weight was at 128 yesterday, and 127.8 on Sunday, and 127 today. At least it is consistently around the same number, and under 130!

Highlights:

My weight dropped at least .8 lbs from last Wednesday, 1.8 lbs today. I did a more intense cardio session, so maybe that can be attributed to my 1lb loss? We will see Sunday.

My body fat percentage went down by 1mm, which to me is huge. This took me from 23.8 to 22.1%.

My chest appears to have gone up half an inch, weird. My thighs also went up by 0.25 inches. My calves went down by 0.5 inches.

I have determined that I will re-do my measurements on Sunday when I have more time to be careful with the tape!

Rules are Made to be Broken?

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Although I love and idolize Gizmo, I do not aspire to be him on the scale 😉

Today I broke my rule of stepping on the scale between weigh in’s. This can be just as dangerous to progress as eating between meals. When you step on the scale, you may be filled with optimism, reminiscing on that terribly difficult HIIT session you did the other day, or all the water you drank that must have flushed away the excess water weight you have been holding onto. Sadly, all your dreams may be dashed away in seconds when you see that your weight is the same as the last time you were on the scale, or even worse- went up.

When you are keeping this close of an eye on your weight, the scale is bound to lie, at least a little bit. Deep down we all know that the scale can only tell us so much about our progress, but sometimes it is hard not to fixate on a magic number that you desperately want to see. I have been dying to see my scale tell me I am 110 since 2008, but this isn’t going to happen overnight, and I also have to accept that it may never happen again. I have never really been the type of person who just drops 5 pounds fast. I have no idea how people do this, it can’t possibly be healthy, and it never happens for me.

After seeing my weight rise 0.2 lbs between Wednesday and Today, I decided to check out my weight history on my bodyspace to see how my weight changed the last time I did a transformation program, and when I was living a more sedentary lifestyle.

MY WEIGHT HISTORY 2011-Nov2013

My body tends to like to stay in the mid to high 120s naturally. If I am inactive, and spend a lot of time in restaurants, I will get closer to 130. It takes a lot of effort and careful eating for me to get into the 110s now, but I tend to feel much better and more energetic when I live this type of lifestyle. When I started Kris Gethin’s 12-week transformation program, I was about 130 as well. I started on April 1, 2013. I slowly edged my weight down from 128 to 124 in four weeks, which is a healthy loss of about 1lb per week. The greatest changes started to happen for me between weeks 4-8, and by week 8 I was in the best shape I had been in since before grad school.

This demonstrates that it takes a long time for my body to adjust to a new exercise program, and that consistency is the key to seeing results. During that diet, I only cheated three times and each time it was an emotional binge on a chocolate bunny I had stashed away from Easter. This time, I am taking a different approach. I will be attending events, just like I did last year, but instead of restricting myself entirely, I will be allowing those to be planned cheat days. This may make my progress a little bit slower, but if this is going to be a sustainable change, I have to be open to cheating a little bit, considering I won’t be doing a show for quite awhile.

BF Percentages 2011-2013

I tend to see body fat as a better indicator of progress. It is hard to lose body fat, and since I am using a caliper, I need to lose an entire millimeter to see a change in percentage. My issue with measuring body fat is that I am not the greatest at it. A lot of my measurements were completely wrong because I had no idea how to use the instrument properly. Sometimes I would find websites to calculate body fat for me based on measurements. I am really happy when those measurements give me the same result as my caliper, then I start to think I am on the right path.

I can say without a shaddow of a doubt that all of my measurements for March 2013 are wrong. I calculated the 25.5% measurement using a website, and I believe that result much more, considering I have seen my body at 20% and it did not look like the pictures from March. Again, like with the scale, I slowly edged my body fat down to about 18%. It stayed there for quite awhile. When I get back there, I am fairly certain that I will probably be hiring a competition trainer to help me lose the rest.

After carefully scrutinizing these numbers, I feel very confident that I can achieve the same results again. I am starting in a slightly better position, as my body fat is lower, even though my weight is higher. I maintained some of the muscle I had built between April-June 2013, since I was going to the gym fairly consistently despite my questionable diet and lack of cardiovascular activity. I am excited to see my results over time, and I will be sure to keep an open mind about the numbers. After all, they are just numbers.

Weigh In Wednesday

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So apparently this is a thing–Weigh In Wednesday. I have always just selected Wednesday as part of my twice a week weigh in just because it is in the middle of the week, but hey, if everyone is doing it then I must have the right idea. So here is my first of many Weigh In Wednesday posts. Since I don’t really subscribe to the scale being the best form of progress measurement, I will be including a detailed breakdown of all of my measurements. Ever the pessimist, I also do not trust my scale. Not only do I not trust that my scale is the one and only correct scale (since I always seem to weigh more or less on other people’s scales), but I also do not trust that my scale will not lie to me and change the next day. I weigh in twice a week because I feel that if the scale gives me a similar reading over the course of multiple days, then it has earned my trust. I will not get excited about weight loss until I am certain it is a reality. That is just one of my rules.

That being said, I also only weigh myself twice a week so that I do not get obsessed with the numbers that appear on my scale. I’ve gone through that obsession many times before, and it never ends well. I also tend to set very unrealistic goals for myself, such as losing 20 pounds, hitting the coveted 110 lb mark, etc. and fixating on doing this quickly also ends with me upset, eating chocolate bunnies. Even though this may be part of my long term goal, it is much more than that. I tend to prefer body fat as an indicator of my progress, but even that leaves me confused much of the time, especially since it is confusing to use a body fat caliper.

Right now, I have set a short term goal that I will work towards as a healthy Step 1. That goal is to reach 125 by my work Christmas Party, which takes place on November 30. This is a more manageable goal, and I am tracking my progress on my favorite site in the world, http://www.bodybuilding.com

Nov13 Goals

I started with a weight of 131 lbs, on Saturday, November 9, 2013. After my weigh in today, it is evident to me that part of that was probably water weight, or bloat, caused by my unhealthy diet. Four days later, I have dropped 2.4 lbs, but my body fat percentage stayed the same. I can work with this.

Nov13

Like scales, not all body fat calipers are created equally. The reason I say this is that I measured my body fat today and Saturday, and received a result of 23.7%. A few days prior, I used the electronic body fat calculator at the gym, which provided me with a reading of 20.1%. Since I cannot use that calculator regularly, I am sticking with my 23.7% reading, as I can use this to check consistency, even though deep down I choose to believe I am already at 20%. Either way, changes will be made slowly and that is the way it works. Nothing great happens immediately, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If it’s worth working for, it’s worth waiting for. One day at a time.

For me, I will focus on small changes. These changes can be lasting. This is why I do not subscribe to the idea that cleanses and fad diets work. You simply cannot shred 5-10 pounds of fat in a week. It is unrealistic. What you cannot fake is your measurements, unless you start measuring in different places. I try to be really careful to ensure that my measurements are as accurate as possible. The highlight of this bi-weekly measurement is a loss of .5 inches in my waist. This may also be attributed to water weight, and remains to be seen. Either way, I am really enjoying being back in the game and seeing how a healthy diet and exercise can improve all aspects of life.

The Fluctuation Story

Fluctuation Collage

My issue has never been that I have to force myself to go to the gym. I don’t hate every second I spend there, I don’t dread going. In fact, I actually enjoy it. It is thrilling to me to lift more this week than I did last week. I love seeing the changes that happen in my body. I even love supplementation, trying new products, and waiting for my Bodybuilding.com order to arrive. My issue is not the fact that to be fit, I need to be active. My issue is that I cannot stay consistent. I fluctuate, over and over. I don’t just go up by a few pounds, I don’t drop 5 pounds a week either. I go up and down by 10-15 pounds over the course of a few months. I do it so quickly, that it escapes me that it is even happening. For me, it is all diet. I love to eat, and that is great, but I can’t just have a cheat meal here and there, it has to be every day, all the time. My life is run on cravings, which is extremely unhealthy. 

When I was in high school, I was on the swim team. I was so active, that I could eat whatever I wanted and never notice it. I’d go to grocery stores in the middle of the night, buy a cheesecake, peel back the metal base, and just eat the whole thing like that. Not an inch was gained. McDonald’s was my best friend. No longer. Of course, that comes with age as well. When I went to University, the meal plan killed me like it does every Freshman, but instead of gaining 15 pounds, I gained 34. One day, I woke up and weighed 142 pounds. I didn’t even notice it. I just went to put on a pair of jeans I used to wear, and they wouldn’t go half way up my thighs. Well that was that, right? Changes had to be made? Nope. I have NEVER dropped all of that weight. I have gotten close, but no cigar. People tell me that I can’t possibly weigh the same as I did when I was 17, and that it is unrealistic, but to be a bikini fitness competitor, I best be in better shape than that 17 year old cheese-cake consuming girl. I would hope.

Either way, I went on a journey to drop those pounds, and I have dropped and gained over and over for the last 6 years. It was easy to keep it off in high school. The Catholic School uniform helped for sure. I knew I was getting fat as soon as it became difficult to close my pants. So I would just notice that they were getting snug, and I’d cut back on the crap foods. In the real world, filled with sun dresses and yoga pants, it is harder to track those small gains, leading to bigger gains.

I have never hit 140 again since 2008, just like I have never been below 110. I tend to go between 115-130. I do this over and over again. This is my fluctuation game. For fun, I made a collage of these gains. The first two images are the most serious, since that was my 34 pound jump. After that, I stuck to gaining and dropping 10-15 pounds. The only time this loss was done properly was when I did the Kris Gethin transformation program, which is displayed between the last three images. The first, was March 2013. I started the program in April, and finished at the end of June (the image in the park). Then, I went downhill and ended up back at the last image, today’s image, which has brought on this change.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not constantly obsessing over my weight, but I would really like to make a solid change and live a healthy lifestyle. It can’t be healthy to gain and lose weight over and over again. This pattern will stick with me for life if I don’t break it soon. My father is in the same position, having lost “thousands of pounds” over the course of his life, because we tend to like to over indulge, and then follow that up by obsessive fitness binges. Instead of ending up desperate for change, I want to find a lifestyle I can stick with. I want to stop the fluctuation, and really focus on growing as a person beyond my waistline.