So, from looking back at the posts from around this time over the past few years, it would seem that I do pretty much the same thing every year. The process seems pretty simple and one I think that a lot of you guys out there in the blogosphere can probably relate to. It goes something like this:
Step one: stay in good shape for most of the year.
Step two: give up on staying in shape starting around Thanksgiving through new years (due to all the food, parties, food, booze, parties etc.).
Step three: Realize how much tonnage has been added, and quickly start on a plan to solve the problem.
This year was a little bit worse than in years past in some ways, and a lot better in others. I started slacking off on going to the gym right before I bought my house because my life and free time was occupied with searching for a home, packing, and getting everything in order so that I could make my net worth go from a positive number to a negative one and become a homeowner. I still went to the gym, but it was maybe once or twice a week as opposed to 3-4 times every week. The first few months after I got the house I slacked off on the gym as well for several reasons including work and getting the house fixed up. So while I wasn’t in terrible shape, leading into Nov. I was a little softer than I like to be and about 4-5lbs. more heavy. Right about that time comes Christmas and Thanksgiving with countless parties, lunches, dinners, happy hours and other events that make eating healthy almost impossible. Well…. My first weigh in on Jan 1 was a bit of a surprise. I figured I’d be somewhere around 168 or 169 (about 6-7 lbs over where I like to be). Nope… Tubby over here tipped the scales at 174. I think I could hear the scale groan when I stepped on. 174!!!!! I’ve been that heavy before, even more heavy than that, but that was when I was lifting like a mad man and was real bulked up. This wasn’t a good 174. Time to come up with a plan and some goals.
Here are where things are better than before. I’ve done this a few times and have it down to an art, so I can put the wheels in motion pretty quickly and lean down. I also seemed to get back into better shape faster this year, thus allowing me to burn off the lard even faster.
Go to the gym at least 4 times a week, with a 70-30 or so ratio of cardio to weights.
Cut calorie intake to no more than 1200 per day.
Limit liquid calories (coke/beer/booze…ok ok ok…that really means mostly beer and booze) to no more than 4 drinks per week.
That’s it, a pretty simple plan.
This was a little bit tricky, because I set this goal when I thought I was going to be around 168-ish on Jan 3. So I set an aggressive goal based on those numbers, which means that when I almost broke the scale at 174…the goal got even more aggressive and difficult.
By Feb 3, be under 160lbs.
That’s 14 lbs. in 1 month. That would mean burning about a half of a lb. per day for the whole month.
Well, it’s not Feb 3 yet, but I thought I would give a status report. So far, I’m doing much better than I thought I would. As I noted before I think being in better shape last year than most of the years before really helped me get back into shape faster than ever before. My cardo health really got up to speed quickly and I can now really burn the calories at the gym. My 1 hour work outs right now are about 40 mins of cardio, buring 400-500 Calories, and about 20 mins of weights focusing heavy lifting on large major muscle groups. I also do lots of pull-ups. This morning I weighed in at 160. That’s just .1lb from my goal, and I have 7 days left. I’m pretty sure I can manage to lose one tenth of a pound. I’m in such a burning mode right now I think I’m going to keep going with it for the rest of the time and see if I can get down around 155. Over the next week or so I’ll start doing more weights, and also focus on more protein in my diet to build a little mass.
I like that I’m able to really get aggressive with this and get fast results. It makes it easy to stick to the plan when you see real and significant results every week. I’m not sure I could do this if this was going to take several months. It feels good having my pants fit right again, and my knees and ankles can tell the difference of just losing those 14 lbs. My clothes fit better, I feel better….all around it’s just a good thing to be back in shape. I never want to get to the point where I’m so out of shape that getting back into shape will take months. Keeping things in check like this will help me make sure that never happens.
The official weigh in yesterday was 159. Mission accomplished. I think I’m going to keep leaning down for another week or two and see what I can do.