Towards a Thinner Tomorrow: Preparation

I’m re-launching my workout & exercise blogging again. Last time I did it, I went full throttle out of the gate and burned out pretty quick. The reality is that this is a lifestyle change that takes gradual adjustment. I’m taking a smarter approach to things this time around – I’m easing into it all, slowly developing physical activity as a routine that will stick rather than a temporary ambition. I’m starting with a simple yet critical aspect: mentality.
Currently, physical fitness is quite possibly the aspect of my life that draws most of my attention. To put it simply, I’ve really let myself go. Two years ago, I was actively exercising and in the best shape I’ve been in since I was a kid. This says a lot, because even then I wasn’t in shape. I used to be a normal child. Growing up, my mom cooked a lot of “rich” food, and my dad always delegated his nutritional responsibilities to me to the closest fast food eatery. These eating habits persisted until after I graduated high school, when I made the conscious decision to avoid fast food burger joints like the plague. I started running every morning, and managed to trim down a lot. As I persisted with my physical activity, I started achieving a normal body shape and a seriously amazingly defined jawline.

Me - 2005me2007

me2008me2011

Me: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011

This past year, I gave in and caved to the pressures of my life, and stopped caring about myself in many aspects. Not in a depressive helpless way, just an indifferent one. I went back to bad eating habits, stopped exercising, even let go of my usual meticulous attention to how I look; I stopped my facial care regiment and groomed only as necessary.
Presently, I simply just don’t feel good. When I look into a mirror, I do not recognize myself. I’ve become a really heavy smoker, bordering on a pack a day. I constantly feel sick and bloated, and awkward when I move. I’ve lost my awesome jawline. I have a bunch of pants hanging in my closet that used to be in regular use, and now rotate between two tightly fitting pairs of pants that even a few months ago were loose. Much as I hate to admit it, my self-confidence has taken a hit, and I constantly feel like my body is limiting me and preventing me from living the kind of life I want to and should be living.
Now, I want my life back, and I want it to be better than it was. I more or less want to become a jock. I want to shed all of my excess body fat, I want to become a moderate athlete, I want to become proficient at activities such as rock climbing, biking, and gymnastics. I want to push this body to it’s true limit, and shape it into something impressive. I want to go out clubbing with my shirt off. In short, I want to be healthy and I want to be as attractive as possible. On my way there, I’m going to log and blog the process religiously.
On a closing note, yes, the majority of this post is recycled from an earlier entry. I decided to edit and repost it as it’s own, as the category I’m filing it and all other exercise related posts are essentially going to be a sub-blog.

Measurement Monday: The Start of a Diet & Exercise Shift

I am resurrecting a practice I once started to use awhile back that I called “Measurement Monday”. Now, I had already done this back in July right before I wiped all my accounts to a clean slate, so this might be redundant if the original post was read.  Now, As much as I’m excited and eager to do this, it’s a serious long term commitment that honestly intimidates me; Not only is the commitment aspect intimidating, but this particular practice introduces a risk of humiliation. “Measurement Mondays” aren’t just text updates of tables and numbers. I also plan to attach photographic documentation, and publicly posting revealing photographs when you’re not physically in shape is a pretty embarrassing prospect that can only be validated through change and progress. So I have to really be committed and reach my goals, or end up making quite a big fool of myself.
When I think of this project and all future posts under this “fitness” category, I wish I had an extremely defined plan, something that whatever few readers I get could not just follow, but also participate in.  However, I don’t have detailed knowledge when it comes to diet and exercise like a nutritionist would. I’m just going to go along with what I have, and document the progress. However, I do have a rather vague plan, and I’ll get to that later on.


STARTING POINT


Stats
Height 5’ 10”
Goal Weight 160
Day # 1
Date: 08/02/2010
Measurements
Neck 17
Upper Arm (Left) 13
Upper Arm (Right) 13
Chest 44.5
Diaphragm 44
Waist 42
Abdomen 45
Hips 43
Upper Thigh (Left) 24.5
Upper Thigh (Right) 25
Upper Knee (Left) 17
Upper Knee (Right) 17.5
Calf (Left) 16.5
Calf (Right) 16.5
 
Total Inches 378.5
Total Inches Lost 0
Weight 232.6
Weight Lost to Date 0
BMI 0
Change in BMI 0
Goal Distance 0
100531-181400 100531-181401 100531-181403 100531-181505 100531-181507-0
More of me than anyone should ever have to see [Taken back in July 2010]

PRESENT SITUATION


Right now, I’m at the heaviest I’ve been in two years. I’ve gained (what I’ve recently learned to be) more weight than I estimated over the past 6 months. My sleep schedule has also gotten way off track lately. I find myself staying awake into the late hours of the early morning, and waking up in the late mid-morning hours (around 11:30 – 12:00). When I wake up, I feel lethargic and tired for a good two hours after waking up. My energy levels are pretty low. My metabolic rate is abysmal. My circulation, I’ve learned by how easy my legs "fall asleep" when sitting cross-legged for a moderately short amount of time, is also really poor. Compounding this, my cigarette consumption has gone through the roof due to stress and boredom. I haven’t had an elevation to target heart rate since I last went to the gym about months ago. I feel my body yearning for exercise because I get really restless often, but mentally, it’s been so long without regular exercise that for some odd reason I find myself scared to engage in it, because of how badly I’m expecting to perform. I haven’t done any of my favorite things, like walking or dancing, in quite some time as well. Nutritionally, I’ve also been failing pretty hard. Due to the budgetary restraints imposed by unemployment, a lot of my diet lately has been consisting of cheap fast food and frozen processed foods, both of which are doing me absolutely no favors. Subsequently, bowel movements have been kind of infrequent and more often than not feel lackluster. Again, I blame what my diet has been mainly comprised of lately.


PLAN OF ACTION


I’ve been preparing mentally to start working on my physicality, and also materially. Combined with equipment I already owned, my current resource pool is as follows:

IMG_7006

  • Large Balance Ball
  • Perfect Pushup Handles
  • Iron Gym Pullup Bar
  • 8lb Medicine Ball
  • Ab Roller
  • Resistance Tube Set
  • Jump Rope
  • Light Resistance Band
  • Medium Resistance Band

Not pictured, I also have 4 750ml stainless steel water bottles, which I plan to drink at bare minimum three per day to meet the recommended daily water intake.
I’ve also recently acquired copies of the P90X DVD set. So for the first few weeks, I’m going to do running and combinations of the workout DVDs supplied with the balance ball and resistance tube set before graduating up to the P90X videos. Once i get other pending matters in my life squared away, I’ll renew my membership to 24 Hour Fitness and work fitness classes and gym time into the routine. Far as tracking goes, I’ve done my research on systems. On the web, there’s Spark People, Dailyburn, and Livestrong to name a few. On the iPhone, there’s also a range of apps, such as Lose It! and iFitness. After playing around with different interfaces, I’m going to attempt to use Spark People and iFitness, since they seem like the ones that’ll work best, and I’d rather hit a home run with my first picks than try ones that don’t work and have to waste time exporting data to another system.


GOALS


Upon doing some more internet research, I’ve also determined a goal weight. Average ideal weight of people my age/height/weight/gender: 194 lbs Medical Recommendation: 132-174 lbs. Devine Formula: 161 lbs All the sources listed present quite a big range. Initially, I was just gonna take the average of the first two and eyeball it from there, but I like the Devine formula. 161 lbs sounds good, but considering my body type and frame, I think 165-170 is the target range. Other body specific goals:

  • Get rid of the gut, get some ab action going
  • Get my poor arms to match the bulk and tone of my calves (which are pretty boss, considering they carry the rest of me around)
  • Whittle down the mass of my thighs. They’re way too big.
  • Build some muscle in my ass. Shape and tone back there would be nice.
  • Have my back muscles well defined too

Performance specific goals:

  • Vastly improve time it takes to run a mile
  • Be able to do a set of handstand pushups
  • Increase flexibility. I have pretty awesome flexibility now, but I’d like it to be borderline gymnast status
  • Train body in basic tumbling and flips