A Merry Rogue

One working Dad's journey to find "healthy".

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Me vs. The Scale

First, I’d like to state that I’m not one for focusing on my weight.  When I’m healthy, I’m healthy.  It’s about how I feel and what I see in the mirror.  At 6’2”, I consider my healthy weight to be between 215 lbs and 220 lbs.  Since high school, about the lowest I have ever been is about 209 lbs, a bit thin in my opinion, but that was after suffering a herniated disc in my low back which prevented me from working out for quite a while and caused some muscle loss.  The highest I have been since high school is 265.  I found myself at that weight back sometime around 2001 or 2002.  

Ironically enough, that is where I find myself today.  Towards the end of December 2010 I was laid off for the first time in my life.  I was jobless for a little over two months.  Two months spent looking for work and not getting any exercise, not really getting out much either.  From there it was pretty much all down hill.  I did make it to the gym now and then, however I didn’t make it a priority, so it never really equated to any weight loss.

So what exactly am I going to do about it?  

My workout routines have constantly changed and evolved over the years.  I still use a lot of the things I learned in High School weights class where we used a program called B.F.S (Bigger Faster Stronger).  I’ve also added a lot of things through trial and error.  Taking exercises and workout formats I’ve read in magazines, books, blogs and even stuff from workout DVDs.   

The main theme this time around is “Simple”.  I tend to get too complex with my workouts and end up burning out on them.  Heading to a gym by yourself and being the only one doing a specific routine can be tiring and time consuming.  It’s not like weights class where you have a whole class of people doing the same routine and all tracking it and writing it all down.  Instead, this time around I am just setting some minimum goals that I need to achieve.  I do have my workout lists that I will bring with to the gym where I will track my sets, reps, & weight used, but I’m not going to force myself to do that each and every time I hit the gym.  

Minimum Goal #1:  Go to the gym 5 times per week and workout for 45 minutes.  That’s it, that’s all.  As long as I am doing something, I am burning calories.  Whether that “something” is a 45 minute weights & cardio workout or just 30 minutes on the elliptical & 15 minutes of stretching/movement . . . at least I will be doing something to work towards my end goal.  

Goal #2:  The “end goal”.  What is it exactly?  To lose 40 lbs (in truth it’s more like 45).  According to the “experts” they consider a healthy weight loss rate to be 1-2 lbs per week.  So roughly 20 weeks to get to my goal, give or take a few weeks.  

The actual format of the workout plan I intend on doing goes as follows:

Week 1:  That would be this week.  The plan for this week is to “ease” back into a regular schedule of working out.  I’ve tried several times over the past two months to get back into the gym and failed each time.  The first time I over did it and strained a few muscles.  Then of the coarse everything else was a priority!  Work, the holidays, gaming, sleeping . . . being lazy!!  Yesterday and today were spent on the elliptical.  45 Minutes yesterday and 35 minutes today.  Plus some stretching.  The rest of the week will be much the same.  I’ll take two of the last three days of the week to lift some weights so that I know what weight I need to use for each exercise.

Week 2 and Beyond:  I plan on using a combination of traditional weight lifting, Kettle Bell, and Cardio for my weekly routine.  Each week will vary from the prior week.  I will also start restricting myself on how much time I spend at the gym.  I will not spend more than 45 minutes lifting weights on the days that I lift.  On the days that I lift, I generally spend about 20-30 minutes on the elliptical afterwards . . . So an hour and fifteen minutes max.  
Weight Lifting:  The routine is pretty basic. Hit all major muscles groups. Each week will be a change in the set/rep format. 3 X 8-10, 5 X 5, & 5-4-3-2-1 are the ones that I usually stick to. Once in a while I’ll use the machines to keep it simple. Hit each machine and you’ll typically hit each muscles group.

Kettle Bell:  I’ve fallen in love with this type of workout. I’ve always enjoyed exercises that worked several different areas at once and Kettle Bell is great for that. It adds a combination of strength training and cardio. These will almost always follow the 3 X 8-10 set/rep format.

Cardio:  My typical cardio workout is done on the elliptical machine or the stair stepper machine. I also use the Plyrometrics video from P90X at times to change it up. On lifting days, I usually use the Fat Burner setting which requires a lower heart rate (about 130-140 for me) than the Cardio workouts. On days where I don’t lift, I’ll use a workout setting that requires a higher heart rate. 

Other:  I always leave it open for other options, depending on how sore I am or what mood I am in, I always allow myself room to change it up. The gym I go to has some free group classes that I may look into participating in. The two that I am interested in is a Spin Class, and a Movement Class. Spin of coarse is stationary bikes, Movement is all exercises that replicate movements in life with weights. Pushing, pulling . . .etc. 

I am not the type of person that counts calories.  I’ve tried several times and have failed.  I am someone who loves to cook and loves to be creative.  I don’t eat a lot of unhealthy foods.  Most of what we buy and eat in our house in non-processed foods.  Not exactly “organic”, but real vegetables, fruits and the like.  

One of my biggest problems in portion size, especially when my lifestyle is not really active.  Like most people, I was always told to finish what was on my plate before I could leave the table.  I just need to dish up less and I’d probably be fine.  Also planning on adding more vegetables to my diet.  Currently meat makes up a majority of my diet, followed by bread.  Could do with a bit less of both & a bit more of the vegetables.

I am also cutting back on alcohol intake.  If you are someone interested in calorie counting, check out how many calories you intake when drinking alcohol.  It will surprise you.  

I am not someone who takes supplements for gaining muscle or the like.  I do partake in protein shakes and vitamins, but nothing specific to weight loss or muscle creation.  

So there it is!  Should all go as planned, I will have attained my goal by the end of May.  Just in time for all those trips to the cabin, the beach, . . . renaissance festival practices, parades for fest . . . so on and so forth.

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