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Mr. O Gets Real

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Kzoppistan

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Anybody who knows me knows some very defining attributes about my character, namely, that I'm a fat drunk. Well, not really fat, more like a bit paunchy- but definitely a drunk. A debaucherous animal that caters only to it's carnal whims. A chain-smoking, hard drinking, sexy animal, mind you. :smug: (And I can't lie, I've loved every minute of it.)

However, the other day I decided to get off my lazy ass to engage in my quarter-yearly act of masochism, otherwise known to the world at large as exercise. :gag:

And aside from the abject humiliation of dragging my silly ass around the block in full view of all the college denizens with all their smarmy youth, oh, and the wheezing escaping from my lungs that sounded like nothing less than a squeaky dog toy gone bad, it was great. And by great, I mean I thought I was going to puke. But I didn't, nor did I faint or cry, which seemed like definite possibilities at one point, or stopped running until I reached my mark. So there's that. I also hit the weights before and after the jog, and threw in some calisthenics for good measure. Then got a nice protein laden meal.

So of course the feeling afterward was pure ecstasy. You get that pump, the kind that makes you all swoll, makes you spend 10 minutes flexing in the mirror, cheesing at chicks, and walking around with your chest all puffed out. And all was right in the world, which is a good place to stop, if you have any sense about you.

But then I made that fatal mistake we all do when perched on the top of the world: I uttered those damning words, you know which ones, those whispers of delusional self-confidence mumbled only by the brain damaged or the mad. I said: "I'm gonna make this a habit!" And with all the sincerity I reserve for those statements such as "Of course I love you, baby, now let's get those pants off" and "I'm not really into blow anymore", I, more-or-less, pretty much meant it.

But WTF was I thinking? That was not only a stupid thing to promise myself, it was also insane considering my penchant for laughing in the face of people who "try".

And now here it is, the end of day three (the second I took off to heal) and my running shoes are sitting there laughing at me. Those !@#$%^&* are enjoying my usual descent into apathy. They're saying "ha ha, don't you have enough habits as it is? Fun habits that don't require copious amounts of sweating or getting out of bed any earlier than absolutely necessary?" And I have to admit, o shoes of great wisdom, you make some very valid points.

I've enjoyed the way things are. Shouldn't I just be content to work and live life the easiest way possible? My failure to pick up the torch again today is pretty indicative of the body and mind's natural state. And who am I to question that, right? In this old age, it's pretty impossible to change such ingrained tenancies like sloth and loserdom. So it seems.

...but you know what?

$%&@ that.

No seriously.

$%&@ that.

I've had enough. No more whining. No more procrastination. It's time. I hear-by proclaim and make public my desire to embrace a new standard of physical health. To become faster, stronger, more unstoppable than ever before. To once again feel the power of one's body fine-tuned into a machine of explosive ability. The goal is now announced, and I won't back out now. The avatar of the modern warrior beckons for me to re-join the ranks of ass-kickers and name-takers.

So $%&@ you, running shoes, I'm gonna shove my feet so far up your shoe-holes your tongues will be ticking my toes. And then I'm going wear your sorry soles out ever other day for the next month!

I was inspired by this exert from a blog post titled "13 Things to Avoid When Changing Habits"

8. Having no accountability. Speaking of accountability, it’s the second half of the all-important public commitment. It’s not enough to make a big announcement on your blog and not follow through. For example, I announced my plans to get in shape earlier to all of you … but I also created a small training blog (or “tralog”) that will help keep me accountable. I report my progress daily, whether I fail or succeed. Take a look at my “tralog”. Even if you don’t have a blog, you have to set up a system where you remain accountable — maybe post your log up at your workplace, or email your progress to people, or just report to them daily in person.

So there you have it. I'm making a month long commitment to develop the habit of exercising every other day. Once that's done, and my body is adjusted to the rigors, I'll probably switch it up into split routines so I can work out 6 days a week.

Failure or success, I'm going to post in this entry every day I'm supposed to exercise.

Wish me luck. I'll probably need it. -_-

courage_of_samurai_by_artgerm-d3bu26k_thumb.jpg

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Good luck man. We'll help keep you accountable. At the risk of being annoying and preachy, I'm going throw out some things I've learned along this road myself that I wish someone had told me years ago:

-The first time you do an exercise it is almost inevitable that you will feel so sore the next day (or week) that it seems impossible to do it again. It'll get a lot easier. It can help to do the same motion even if you are sore, just much less intensively (e.g., walk instead of run, but still moving).

-Anything is better than nothing. If running a mile seems overwhelming, at least put on your shoes and running clothes and see how far you can walk.

-By that same token, I've found it necessary to have an exercise schedule that is completely mandatory. No matter how tired or unmotivated, it just isn't an option to not do it. It's the only thing that keeps it going for me.

-Actually getting what you want out of weightlifting is way harder than it seems. I spent years doing workouts that didn't get me anywhere. There's a real method to it though, that isn't necessarily intuitive. This book is almost universally recognized as the essential guide to getting bigger and stronger:

http://www.amazon.com/Starting-Strength-3rd-Mark-Rippetoe/dp/0982522738/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335552325&sr=8-1

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Hey, thanks guys, you're making want to put on "eye of the tiger" right now.

Prodigal Moon, that's some great advice and an excellent book suggestion, thank you.

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Ok,

Day 1. (4/27)

I have completed the following:

all weights are for each arm. sure wish I had a barbell and bench.

30 lbs curls, 8 reps, 2 sets

Squats with 10 lbs in each hand, 10 reps, 2 sets

Bicycle Crunches, 10 reps (1-2-1-2 ect), 2 sets

Pushups, 10 reps 2 sets

5 sec. supermans, 10 reps, 1 set

Kickbacks 10 reps, 1 set

Sit-ups, 10 reps, 1 set

Shoulder shrugs w/ 10 lbs in each hand, 10 reps at 5 sec. holds, 10 fast

Chest fly's, 10 lbs each hand, 10 reps, 1 set

Followed by a brisk jog to the local diner to eat. .7 miles.

notes: I really wanted to round out 3 sets for all exercises, but, for once, remembered how I always go overboard and am never ready for the next exercise date due to stiffness/soreness. This time I took it easy, and I'll see what the damage is tomorrow.

might jog in my off days, but I'm concerned about my calorie intake.

will probably start doing this in the morning cause I don't want to do jack !@#$ after I get off work.

Whoo, 1 down. 14 more to go.

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Good luck man!

Note: I'm sure you have done a ton of research into working out and what not, so please excuse me if I make it seem like I am talking "at" or "down to you" below (as if you don't have a clue about working out, which is likely not the case since you actually seem to have a plan).

I'm currently down 18 lbs (161 -> 150) as I attempt to get myself back into swimming shape over the last two months (well, 59 days) and aiming to drop at least another 10 lbs of fat before I start bulking up muscle (tore my rotator cuff 3 years ago which stymied my college swim career, so I'd at least like to swim one seasons since I'll be around next year). Just make sure you are eating frequently (after around 5 hours, your body begins metabolizing ketone bodies which aren't good at all for your body) and staying hydrated (water gives you energy since it's a key component for ATP synthesis along with flushing out additional fat via sweat and urination; it's especially important if you are stacking a lot of protein as too much of certain amino acids can damage your kidneys, so the extra water helps keep your kidneys from getting over-worked in producing urine from the excess ammonia from amino acid breakdown/catabolism). Likewise, make sure you plan out EACH meal and EACH work out. Generally-speaking, spitballing a diet and workout on a daily basis does not end well (though you seem to have it all figured out ahead of time given the structure of your workout and such).

As for your quote in your post about accountability: what I found is that while the 'motivation' of getting back into shape should be good enough, sometimes it just isn't... so what I've begun doing is having my bud charge me a dollar for every time I go off my diet (minus cheat days) and/or workout. Oddly enough, I find it equally satisfying knowing that I didn't lose a dollar each day along with getting into shape.

One last tip, I've found that taking weekly pictures for yourself helps you see a physical growth along with the strength/cardio and mental growth you will achieve. The more body fat % you burn each week makes each subsequent picture starkly different than the time 0 picture (at least for me), so it helps remind me of the progress I've put so much effort into making.

As for your concern about calorie intake: as long as you don't dip below 1,400 calories (I say 1,400 since the 1,200 number people throw around is a rough average and some people have different body compositions), you should be okay. Pre-planning meals (and even pre-preparing meals) is essential here though; the work you put into the gym NEEDS to be complemented by the work you put in the kitchen. Without a proper (and HEALTHY!!!) diet, weight loss/muscle bulking will be extremely difficult.

Just food for thought and congratulations on making the first big step: telling your inner-self to $%&@ off and start getting work done (that's generally the hardest part). Good luck again!

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buy a pullup bar. It's the best.

6 pullups. Work your way up in increments of 2's. then start doing pushups after them. upper body and back will look great very quickly.

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You'd be surprised how much weight you'd lose if you just walked to realistic places you normally drive. (To pick up a few things at the grocery store, to the post office/bank, to school/work). I started doing that, and trimmed down quite a bit. I've never been a huge fan of toil and sweat at the gym or whatever, but I walk everywhere I can and jog 3-4 times a week. That with eating better (which we should all do as we get older) and I feel good and look better.

Good luck man, and keep with it... even if you have to take a few days off. It'll pay off in the long run.

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No problem man! If you have any questions feel free to ask (me or the community as there are a ton of knowledgeable people here). Just a few extra tips diet-wise:

*As long as you spend more calories than you consume, you will cut weight (body consumes glucose reserves and fat to cover the deficit)

*Eat too few calories (<1200-1400) your body goes into starvation mode, thus your body begins stockpiling fat (glucose gets converted into fat; fat cannot convert to glucose in humans as we lack a glyoxylate cycle)

*Different nutrients have different effects:

-Monounsaturated Fats

Why? In moderation, these have the potential to increase High-Density Lipoprotein concentration which moderates your Low-Density Lipoprotein concentration. In laymen's terms, HDLs, or "good cholesterol", reduce the amount of LDLs, or "bad cholesterol", which can help prevent a slew of heart-related illnesses, notably atherosclerosis. Too much is potentially bad for you, however, hence why I will emphasize the "in moderation". Nonetheless, lipids/fats can be broken down into their fatty acid chain components and converted into straight energy (fatty acids -> Acetyl-CoA -> CO2 + electrons; these electrons then contribute to oxidative phosphorylation, which contributes to ATP synthesis at the end of the electron transport chain in Complex V).

-Polyunsaturated Fats

Why? These are your Omega-3s/Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)! These help promote a lot of good stuff for your body (brain function, neural performance, etc. etc.). Just be weary of Omega-9 as there is conflicting research pointing to potential hazards that may outweigh the benefits (this is potentially due to the fact that our bodies already make Omega-9, or Oleic Acid, so by consuming more, we are taking in too much). Just like monounsaturated fats, they contribute to ATP synthesis (same mechanism as above). Also note: for fats, they contribute more than double the energy glucose/proteins provide (9 calories from 1 gram of fat, 4 from carbs/proteins).

-Saturated Fats

No, why? These are not good for you, I'd say, 98.5% of the time (I'm sure there are some instances, biochemically, they play some intrinsic role) these do very little good for you. Cardiovascular Disease is not something anyone should particularly aim for.

-Fiber

Why? There are two types that are both beneficial: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber is not metabolized and eases bowel movements by absorbing water and creating a laxative-like effect. Soluble fiber forms a gel when it reacts with water in the colon, which helps slow down digestion so you feel full for a longer period of time. Soluble fiber also has a positive effect on insulin: it promotes fat metabolism via pathways related to insulin.

-Protein

Why? First and foremost, the essential amino acids are: lysine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, phenylalanine, and histidine; these are the amino acids you want to consume, especially when exercising (amino acids like glutamine and serine are sometimes needed based on individual health or other specific needs). Of these essential amino acids, the "most important" ones are leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). These are especially important because when they are degraded by BCAKA dehydrogenase complexes (or the enzyme responsible for catalyzing the break down of BCAAs), they provide a lot of energy in the dehydration process. Likewise, they help promote immune system maintenance, prevention of lean muscle loss due to atrophy, and maintains longer protein synthesis in your body. Due note, however, that protein must also be taken in moderation; too much of this wonderful thing could be potentially bad (aka kidney damage, Maple Syrup syndrome, etc. etc.). Also something to note: certain proteins are more efficient than others; in other words, some proteins (i.e., caseine from milk) will be absorbed by the body better than other proteins.

-Carbohydrates

Why? This is your primary source of glucose and is critical for proper bodily function. It helps keep your insulin and glucagon levels in check (thus maintaining healthy and consistent fat metabolism) and probably the most important function is brain/neuron metabolism: the brain/neurons cannot break down fats in normal situations, so they rely on ketone bodies and glucose for energy. As I explained before, ketone bodies are bad for the body. But why? When the body is in starvation mode and is stockpiling fats for future use, the liver and kidneys begin to process them and send them through the blood to the brain. Due to their chemical properties, they are acidic, so they lower the pH of the blood. This change in pH not only can result in ketoacidosis, but also inhibit normal chemical concentration gradients (i.e., chemiosmotic gradients) that are critical in many metabolic pathways. So while you don't want too many carbohydrates because they add up very quickly and readily convert to fat if you consume too many carbohydrates at once (your body is very adept at regulating what and when it needs certain nutrients), you also do need them to maintain energy, especially for workouts (also so you don't have to rely on amphetamine supplements).

-Other Vitamins

Why? There are a slew of vitamins that the body needs (B6, C, A, D, E, Folic Acid, etc. etc.), so don't neglect these! You can get a lot of these through a pretty wide-ranged vegetable diet during the day, or you can just take a multivitamin in the morning if you already have a pretty structured diet regimen working for you. It's important to maintain these vitamins because due to the stress you put on your body during consistent exercise and initial dieting, it could have implications on your immune systems (body runs out of energy to adequately maintain immune processes, etc. etc.), hence why a lot of athletes like runners get sick from time to time mid-season.

*Natural is NOT always better; don't be fooled by organic/natural labeling. Case in point: apple seeds contain cyanide, so just because they are natural it's okay to eat that kind of cyanide because nature made it, right? Easy question to answer, I know. It's similar to the soy hype: soy does, in fact, have plenty of beneficial effects on the body, but it can also have detrimental effects too (something you don't often hear about). So how do we always hear about how these Asians who are living to 120+ have diets consisting of only soy, fish, and rice? Hint: likely has to do with how and where they're grown.

*Does it say low fat? Low carb? Low sodium? I suggest you look up the FDA guidelines for what types of foods qualify for these "low" qualities. My favorite is the "High in antioxidants!" category. The guidelines that allow companies to label their foods as "healthy products" are absurdly low, which brings me to my next point...

*Not to sound like a conspiracist, but I'd suggest avoid going by most FDA regulations and standards. Now I won't be so bold, as others often do, to say that the FDA guidelines have contributed to obesity rates (it's an amusing thought to have though), but I think the growing rate of obesity in America does result, in part, from Americans thinking that because they eat x% of carbs of their diet per day as per the FDA, they are fine. The FDA guidelines are horribly, horribly, horribly, horribly, out-of-touch and out-of-date. I could be wrong on the regulations process, but from what I understand and have read, there is just simply too much inertia (or lobbying if you would believe some of the books out there) to change a lot of the guidelines since some things have become so integrated into the American diet. Likewise, all nutrition labels are regulated by the FDA, but pre-regulated nutrition labels can still be used, so be weary of these and always double check to make sure the food you are buying is actually healthy.

That's all I can think of for now. Sorry for blowing up your comments!

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SoM, do you hang out on the bodybuilding.com forums by any chance? Because that is the most obsessively detailed amount of nutritional information I have every seen someone provide outside of that place :awesome: (I mean that in a good way).

I second all of that, except that I've found a bit of saturated fat when trying to bulk up can be useful. 2% in particular milk has something in it that makes you grow - others have pointed this out before and I swear there is some truth to it.

Lean body weight in grams of protein is a rule of thumb I've seen thrown around, and I've found it to be a good balance of adequate yet reasonable. So if you're 180 lbs, 10% body fat, your lean weight would be 180 - 18 = 162. So 162 g of protein per day.

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I think I have an account on bodybuilding.com but I couldn't be sure (too tired and lazy to check right now). I work with almost exclusively proteomics dealing with specific metabolic pathways so everything I know about nutrition and the sorts comes straight from biochemistry and organic chem. Likewise, I've grown up in a family of personal and Pilates instructors (my mom, my aunt, etc. etc.) and the sorts, so it's just something I've grown accustomed too (not a biochem major; marine and evo. bio!!!).

Regarding saturated fat: yea, saturated fat helps with bulking up because of the immense energy it provides in fat metabolism; I was referring to their general value for fat loss (though again, I'm sure I'm forgetting some process where saturated fats benefit fat loss other than contributing to the TCA Cycle). I won't get into the nitty-gritty chemistry behind it, but essentially lipids (predominantly saturated triacylglycerols which are three-chained lipids) are broken down into their 3 fatty acid components. Each fatty acid goes through an activation process and beta-oxidation which converts each fatty acid chain into Acetyl-CoA, which is the starting component of the Citric Acid Cycle (dominant process that produces a little bit of ATP for energy, but it's primary purpose is to oxidize carbon chains so that they release electrons that then go on to the Electron Transport Chain in Oxidative Phosphorylation. The longer the fatty acid chain, the more potential ATPs that can result (though you the quat L-Carnitine in order for longer fatty acids to cross the mitochondrial membrane since longer chains simply cannot diffuse through the membrane, so they need a carrier factor to bring them across) (~1 Acetyl-CoA per 2 carbons found on the fatty acid chain). Hence why the number of Calories per gram of fat is 9, whereas carbohydrates are generally 4 Calories (around double dude to the 2C:1 Acetyl-CoA ratio). Why it's not evenly doubled is due to odd numbered fatty acid chains which result in Acetl-CoA and then the last three carbons yield Propionyl-CoA, which can then be used to yield ATP in a separate metabolic process (converts to Succinyl-CoA which is used in TCA Cycle).

Also, the primary protein in milk is Casein. You'll find this protein in a ton of supplements or stand-alone inter-meal mixes. Essentially it is a slow-degrading protein that staves off anabolism of the polypeptide chains in the protein. One very good thing about Casein is that it is totally absorbed in the body; that is to say, 100% of the Casein you consume is absorbed by your metabolism, so there is no (significant) waste/loss of protein. So it might be that the Casein is helping you retain your bulk (the paradigm now seems to be shifting from MILK IS BAD POST-WORKOUT to Milk might actually be somewhat beneficial post-workout). All the same, that extra energy saturated fats provide will obviously provide energy required to break down amino acids in other proteins to create/build muscle mass.

Lastly regarding protein intake: I currently take in my total body weight and redneck-convert it to grams (150g of protein per day). This is, for me, the best since I have no way to accurately measure my body fat % (I have a rough estimate of it but I'd rather have physical manifestation of low bf% rather than a number). The problem with protein is that too many amino acids can build up and since your body cannot keep up, it'll start readily breaking them down into ammonia products, which your body tries to expel. These wreak havoc on your kidneys (whose main purpose is to get stuff like that out of your system). I mean, the only reason why I consume so much protein yet not trying to bulk up (rather cutting in my case) is simply because I cannot consume fat, so I make up the caloric deficit in protein and carbohydrates (my current diet is *roughly* 150 prot. : 100 carb. : ~50 fat, though I focus on unsaturated fats, insoluble/complex fibers, and high absorbing protein). Obviously different body compositions will work differently! I mean, I personally don't know what amount of protein is considered dangerous, to be honest. The FDA recommendations are super low for my tastes, and the only value I can find is discussing the FDA RDA, which is absurd (0.35g per pound for protein). Another value is 0.91 g of protein per pound of body weight, which seems arbitrary given that the study didn't look at a key component: water consumption. Drink enough water, your kidneys will be fine as it'll have a ready supply of water and doesn't have to synthesize its own water from taxing metabolic processes. I've been drinking 125 fl. oz of water per day and 1.00 g of protein per pound of body weight for the last few months and I've been fine (I have actually had myself checked out to make sure that my body isn't dying from the inside without me knowing it!!!).

EDIT

It's 1:36... AM... just read over the first paragraph and I facepalmed. So many grammatical and spelling errors. Feel free to ask for any clarification and I am too tired to fix 'em now!

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I'm honestly not even going to bother fixing the grammar in that post, or the spelling, or whatever. If I made some clerical mistake on the ratios feel free to correct; likewise, there is some debate over how much ATP is generated during the transport chain. Just to translate this sciencey mumbo jumbo into better words, I'll just give an example diet I normally consume during the day + exercise (just picked a random one):

Day 45

7:00 AM: Dynamic stretch & Motivational Vids

7:15 AM: Meds

7:15 AM: Cardio III

*15 Min. Interval Run (3: warm up + 1: medium + 0.5: hard + 0.5: easy + 1: medium + 1: hard + 1: easy + 1: medium + 0.75: hard-er + 0.25: easy + 2: medium + 0.5: balls-to-the-wall + 2.5: easy)

-2 min. rest

*2x 100m jog (circuit)

-5 sec. rest (prep.)

*1x 100m timed sprint

-1 min. rest

*2x 40m timed sprint (15 sec. rest between for prep.)

*5 Min. Cooldown Jog

*5 Min. Static Stretch

*2 Min. (1L/1R) PT Shoulder Iso.

8:00 AM: Breaknoms:

-2 Hboiled Eggs [140 cal. 10g fat (4s/6u) 2g car (0f/2s) 12g pro]

-1 Special K Protein Plus [100 cal. 3g fat (1s/2u) 14g car (5f/2s) 10g pro]

-1 Skim Milk [140 cal. 1g fat (0s/0u) 26g car (1f/25s) 9g pro]

-1 Supplement (Omega) [20 cal. 2g fat]

380 cal. 14g fat (4s/10u) 42g car (6f/27s) 31g pro

11:00 AM: Tea Time:

-1 Orange [140 cal. 1g fat (0s/0u) 27g car (1f/25s) 9g pro]

-1 Almond Pack [100 cal. 9g fat (0.5s/8u) 4g car (2f/1s) 4g pro]

-1 Beef Jerky Pack [50 cal. 1g fat (0s/0u) 0g car (0f/0s) 10g pro]

-1 Clif Mojo [190 cal. 9g fat (2s/6u) 20g car (11f/9s) 9g pro]

480 cal. 12g fat (2.5s/14u) 51g car (14f/33s) 32g pro

2:00 PM: Afternoon Delight:

-2 Wheat Bread [140 cal. 2g fat (0s/0u) 26g car (2f/6s) 4 pro]

-1 Peanut Butter [190 cal. 16g fat (3.5s/12.5u) 6g car (2f/3s) 7g pro]

330 cal. 18g fat (3.5s/12.5u) 32g car (4f/9s) 11g pro

4:00 PM: LegCore IV

*Dynamic stretch

*Circuit 1:

-75x Hindu Squats

-25x Situps (45 deg.)

-1x 1 Min. Wall-sit

-30x Bicycles (15 per leg)

-15x Squat Thrust Jumps

-1 Min. Plank

--Rest 1:30

*Circuit 2 = Circuit 1

--Rest 1:30

*Circuit 3 = Circuit 1

--Rest 2:00

*Circuit 4 = +25 Squats, + 5 reps, +6 lbs. medicine ball for sit, + 30 sec, Alt. Spiderman Plank (0:30 Spiderman - 0:30 Grounded Forearm - 0:30 Spiderman)

*Static Stretch

*5 Min. Hip Flexor/ITBS Iso.

~5:00 PM: Post-workout Reward:

-1 Whey Isolate [140 cal. 0g fat (0s/0u) 4g car (0f/1s) 30g pro]

140 cal. 0g fat (0s/0u) 4g car (0f/1s) 30g pro

8:00 PM: DinnER tiME:

-1 Pan Seared Chicken Breast [85 cal. 0g fat (0s/0u) 0g car (0f/0s) 26g pro]

-1 Chopped Green Chiles [5 cal. 0g fat (0s/0u) 1g car (1f/0s) 0g pro]

-2 Cut Green Beans [40 cal. 0g fat (0s/0u) 8g car (4f/4s) 1g pro]

-1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil [120 cal. 14g fat (2s/12u) 0g car (0f/0s) 0g pro]

250 cal. 14g fat (2s/12u) 9g car (5f/4s) 27g pro

Total: 1580 cal. 58g fat (12s/38.5u) 138g car (29f/79s) 131g pro

Not a perfect diet but on a day like this one since, upon looking at my daily comments, I was "tired as balls". I think what happened was my fridge died over the night so I lost most of what I had made for that day. :( For my core meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) I like to change up what I eat, so I generally rotate between eggs and bacon for breakfast (depending on the daily routine, that reward of bacon and the energy the fat provides is quite nice), oranges and bananas and apples and mangos (the carbs from fruit are harder to judge against because they are deceivingly high; they aren't the same as process carbs), and the cereal I change between Fiber One and Special K (along with Soy Milk, 1% Milk, and Skim Milk depending on what I decide to buy at the store when I go shopping). For lunch I go with peanut butter sandwiches, chicken breast and whole grain rice (with some broccoli or something "crazy" I feel like to get over the monotony of cooking for the next two days' meals) along with salad (Spinach, Romaine, etc.), or a slew of other fun combinations (I always make sure to incorporate some carbs and protein into lunch because it allows me to make it to my approximate workout time and use the carbs I have left over before they are fully metabolized). For dinner, I go with shrimp once a week (unfortunately they are absurdly high in cholesterol...), scallops over whole grain pasta with some complex carbs involved if some reason my eating schedule gets out of whack by me starting my day sooner or my morning work out doesn't look too much fun, or more chicken, lean beef, turkey, a variety of fish. With the exception of the pasta, I generally try to avoid consuming too many carbs and fats at night (just protein so I can stave off protein catabolism for my sleep cycle). The one thing I've learned is that you shouldn't be so limiting with your diet; it makes it stupidly hard and it's not necessary or price efficient.

So Kzopp: obviously you are aiming to be healthier (which is probably the best reason you can have to decide to exercise), but are you currently trying to cut fat? Or are you trying to cut fat while building strength? Or cut fat while bulking muscle? Or cut fat while building cardio? Or some combination either mentioned or not mentioned? Gotta keep in mind that certain workouts and diets work differently with your type of workout regimen. Also, I'd say that with your workout (at least with the weights), you should pick a weight that allows you to reach complete failure after 10-12 reps per set (so that instant moment of physical deterioration at the end of 10-12 reps with "high weight"). You could also couple your bodyweight/isostatic exercises to make super-sets which will build more strength and burn more calories due to the added resistance lactic acid build-up provides (so 1 set of push ups and 1 set of sit ups, for instance, = 1 super set, so you treat the super set like any other normal set). Lastly, like in my workout, I'd also suggest in cardio you alternate between "straight" running and interval running. Straight running will, no doubt, build your cardio up and allow you to go further over time; interval running burns more calories and tones your legs and core. Again, all food for thought and I'm no expert; if you have access to a personal trainer or nutritionist, you'd probably benefit immensely from it.

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Hey, Kopp! I just wanted to let you know that I've read your Diary, and I support your endeavor. I presume there are no medical issues? I'm rooting for ya. Let me know how you did today! :)

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