Fitness Update: The Long and Winding Road

(My apologies to the Beatles)

Been a while since I’ve done one of these, let’s have a bit of catch up, shall we?

So, back at the beginning of January, I started a diet to cut some of my fat. It both worked and didn’t work. I know, confused me too. Here’s how it went: I planned for a 12 week diet. For the first 9 weeks or so, I lost weight at a safe rate; average about 1 lb per week. Then at about week 10, I started to gain it all back with amazing rapidity. There are many confounding variables here, but I think the two most important were that my calories were way too low, (1700 is too way too little for me), and my thyroid levels were lower than they’ve been in the last 4-5 years.

(I have a long history of thyroid disregulation, both Hypo and Hyper. One of these days, I’ll write more about that, when I feel like I can do so without it turning into some kind of excuse for my insane behavior over the years. Oh, it definitely had something to do with it, but that’s another story.)

So, in the span of about 2-3 weeks I gained back all of the weight I had lost, plus about 2 pounds. All this while continuing to exercise regularly and maintaining strict adherence to my diet.

So, in light of my blood work results, I’m back on a low dose of thyroid hormone, to see if it helps.

I have also restructured my diet. That’s something I’m continuing to experiment with to find the combination of macro and micro-nutrients that makes me feel the best while still working on increasing my health.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to work on getting the extra fat off my ass – and every where else – but it’s just one of the things I’m trying to accomplish.

So, as for stats, (because I know posts like this are ruled by the numbers), here’s where I stand as of today:

Weight: 261 lbs

Body Fat percentage: 27.9% (too high, but no longer medically dangerous).

Squat: 340lbs for 3 sets of 5

Deadlift: 340 lbs for 1 set of 5

Bench: 260 lbs for 3 sets of 5

Overhead press: 172.5 lbs for 3 sets of 5

Since I last had my body composition tested, last September – I use the BodyPod – I have put on 14.2 lbs of lean body mass, and only 4 lbs of fat mass. Which astounded me, because I feel like a busted can of biscuits most days. But that’s why I track data, because my intuition for such things is terribly inaccurate. So, I’ve gotten stronger, I’ve gotten bigger, and my body composition percentage hasn’t changed in about 7 months.

I’m on a diet break right now. Dieting is a stress on the system and shouldn’t be kept up year round. sometimes you have to eat at your maintenance calories and let your body de-stress. This break is only going to be 7-8 weeks. In that time, while not losing fat, I’m not standing still. I’m continuing to pursue my strength goals. Which, right now, are:

Squat: 405 lbs for 3 sets of 5

Deadlift: 405 lbs for 1 set of 5

Bench and Overhead Press: as high as they’ll go – safely – in the interval.

After this diet break, I’m going to stop focusing on gaining strength and focus solely on losing fat. It is almost impossible, except for beginners in their first 1-2 years of training, to gain muscle or strength, while losing fat. After a while the numbers just win. I’ve been training for a while now, and it’s time to focus specifically on one or the other, in order to achieve more optimal results.

Also, I’m not a strength athlete, and I’m not going into competition – like ever – so, getting too much stronger than I am now just isn’t worth the loss of mobility and risk of injury. Plus, I’m tired of being so fat.

I’ll admit it, I’m at least that vain.

Losing the excess fat will also greatly improve my health, and that won’t suck.

But that’s where I am at the moment, about 8 weeks from my 39th birthday and stronger than I’ve ever been.

I suppose I should say something motivational here. Don’t know if I’ve had enough coffee for that but here goes:

I’m getting old, I’m fat, and I feel sloppy as a soup sandwich. But I’m achieving my goals. The path snakes a lot sometimes, but it continues forward.

If I can do this, You can do this.

That’s it.

(Also, you can thank whatever gods you pray to that I’m sticking to my pledge of not posting pictures. I have too much respect for you to subject you to that.)

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About tessarnold2

I'm a writer, a student, and someone generally crazy enough to think other people will be interested in his deranged thoughts.
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