Monday, December 20, 2010

Sixth Weigh In

Well I'm down 1 lb at least ... I suppose that's better than breaking even again this week or even gaining but I am a bit irritated with it at the same time.  I've killed myself on the EA Sports Active for the past two nights, followed calorie protocol every day this week, burned 300 calories every single day this week, and lost one pound?  One?!

My arms hurt so bad that I can't pick up my cup of coffee with one hand.  My butt muscles are so sore from doing squats that I am in pain just sitting here at my computer.  I'm starting to think that running in place for part of my Wii Active workout was a mistake with as heavy as I am because the bones in my feet hurt as if they're on the verge of breaking from the repeated impact.  ONE FREAKIN POUND!  Ok ... deep breath.  I will be home this week through Wednesday and then we're heading to San Diego pretty much the instant we get off work on Wednesday night.  I've already considered the possibility that burning my 300 calories is going to be really hard on Wednesday considering it will take us a 5 hour drive to get to our destination.  Of course I will have to beef up my lunch-break exercise hour to compensate and make sure I get the job done.

I am experiencing a literal, tangible fear regarding whether or not I will behave myself this weekend.  I want to, oh how I really do!  But it is so much harder to exercise and log calories when I am at someone else's house, it was nearly impossible at my mom's.  At least I am off school until the 3rd so that's one less thing that I will have to worry about during the holidays.  One pound ... *shakes head sadly* that hardly seems fair, all things considered.

3 glasses of water
8 oz mocha flavored protein shake
1 cup of coffee with creamer
1 Korean Laver Roll (kimbap)
1/2 cup seaweed salad (wakame)
1 banana
1 pear
3 little smokies w/sauce washed off
1 can progresso light chicken soup
1 whole wheat bagel
2 light laughing cow cheese wedges
1 Snickers 90 calorie snack bar
Daily Caloric Intake: 1375

200 crunches
50 leg lifts (side) each leg
50 leg lifts (front) each leg
10 min on the shake weight
Daily Caloric Burn: 334


  1. Girl, we have all been there when the scale is not giving the love we think it ought to. Just remember that eventually the weight WILL come off if you keep at it. As far as staying on plan when you're at someone else's house, you may not always be able to control what you eat (the content) but you can always control how much you eat (portion). Hopefully I can practice what I preach because I am going out of town for two weeks in a couple days. Best of luck to both of us!

  2. Don't be too upset. When you start a new routine..One that causes muscle sorness is a result of small tears in the muscle fibers. That is what cause the pain. You will also get swelling which is fluid. That will subside in a couple of days.
    So you may have lost a few pounds but are holding onto some fluid.
    Wait a couple of days and then weigh again.

  3. Joy, you are absolutely right. Honestly my biggest caloric danger is going to be alcohol. I don't really drink much, as I'm sure you've all noticed, but when I am around "Temptation's" brother I tend to cut loose a little. Since we only see him a few times a year it seemed perfectly harmless until I started dieting but, from experience, the mimosa's flow freely on Saturday morning's and we usually hit the Karaoke bar on Christmas eve.

    Renea: You're amazing. Just a few days ago I was helping you through your frustrations and now here you are returning the favor. Thank you so much. :) My muscles do hurt, most definitely, as do some bones. My left hand is practically inoperable, shoulders, fore-arms, triceps, glutes, lower back, my neck, the fronts of my thighs, calves, and the arches of my feet are all really, extremely sore. I'm sure there is some swelling involved and I've probably built some muscle too. Thanks so much for reminding me.

  4. (another book... part 1)

    The problem is that you are shocking your body *too* much... strict low-cal diets cause stress on the body... frequent intense exercise causes stress on the body... stress causes the body hormonal-responses to combat against the stress... weight-retention is often a mechanism the body uses combat stress.

    Another problem is also caused by frequent intense exercise: muscle-gain and water-retention. As you exercise, you gain muscle -- 1 pound of muscle weighs twice as much as 1 pound of fat... now I don't want to mislead you, you didn't gain 5 pounds of muscle this week while losing 10 pound of fat; no, no, no, muscle is *much* harder to earn than that -- it's a good year if you can consistently gain 1 pound of muscle per month! -- but certainly you are gaining muscle and since fat-loss and muscle-gain occur intermittently in spikes and at different times you can lose a bunch of fat for a few weeks and then experience a few weeks of muscle-gain which can add to the perception that you aren't losing weight (among other additional factors)... the other side of that is water-weight... any exercise that causes muscles to break-down (which, if your arms are sore then that means you have worked them hard enough to cause muscular break-down) will cause an opposite-response in the body to counteract the muscular-breakdown... that opposite-response is when the body takes swift-action to replace the destroyed muscle-fibers, which it will do if you give it the things it needs to build muscle (rest, water, and proper nutrition) -- and when it rebuilds muscle it will make an effort to build a bit more than you had before in order to help it cope with the strenuous-exercise so that maybe next time it can perform the exercise without being so stressful that muscle gets destroyed. But of course next time you work out just a tad harder and/or a tad longer, causing the new stronger muscle to break down, causing a response to rebuild yet even stronger muscle -- which leads to muscle GAIN. One of the hitches in this equation, though, is that one of the first responses the body has to muscle break-down is to stop the catabolic-response (muscle-breakdown) as soon as possible and establish a neutral-environment so that it can begin to start an anabolic-response (muscle-building) -- which it does by pumping a number of different nutrients into the affected area. One of the major nutrients it pumps into that area is *WATER*. Thus, no matter how good you have eaten on a given day, if you work out pretty hard that day, you are almost certain to notice a weight-gain (or at least not a weight-loss) within the next day or two.

    The water-retention factor of all of this is temporary, though, it's not a true weight-gain and your weight (with respect to the water-retention) will eventually go down as the water in those areas is allowed to drain back out.

    Water-retention is the reason you feel "buff" after a good workout. It is also the reason many overweight people feel "buff" in some areas (like their arms) but "bloated" in others (like their stomach) following an intense workout.

    Anyways... my point is that *some* of your plateau-experience is likely temporary and not real (the water-retention component) while other components of it are real but are due to you placing *too* much *consistent*-stress on your body.

    Generally you will probably experience better results if you *cycle* your diet as well as your exercise.

  5. (part 2)

    A cycling-diet looks something like this: let's say you daily caloric-needs are 1500 calories. On day 1 you eat slightly-below that threshold... maybe 1400 calories... on day 2 you eat well-below that threshold... maybe 1000 calories... on day 3 you eat slightly-above... maybe 1600 calories. Over 3 days you still ate a net-loss of 500 calories, but you did it by cycling... allowing your body to dig deep into it's reserves on one day, just barely on another day, but then relieved the stress on it (and helped it not think it was starving, to keep your metabolism from dropping) by eating just a bit higher on day 3. On day 4 you start back at day 1.

    Cycling your exercise looks like this: you do a day of strenuous all-body exercise using some form of resistance (weights, bands, body-weight, etc)... do each exercise until you can no longer complete another rep *safely* (called "going to failure"). Avoid exercising more than 1 hour, but otherwise workout until you are just plan exhausted (best-coupled with the day you eat slightly more, by the way). Now do several days of long-duration, low-intensity cardio (essentially, walking) for at least 30 minutes but 1 hour is best. Don't do intense-exercise again until you've had a day or two of not feeling the effects of your last intense workout and your energy is completely back and you actually "want" to workout hard again. The timing on this will vary for every individual, and even for the same individual at different points in time, so you just have to listen to your body. But Mentzer's philosophy on this was originally that you'd do an intense workout about 1-2x per week... but as he got older and more experienced (after his professional-days he went on to become a coach to other lifters) and did more research he revised that pretty drastically, saying that most people really should only workout hard about once every 7-10 days and that very experienced lifters might only need to exercise once every 2 weeks.

    It sounds crazy, it runs totally against the grain... but before you judge against it so quickly, consider: if exercise breaks-down muscle (which nearly everyone agrees it does) and if that causes the body to respond by rebuilding additional muscle (which again nearly everyone agrees it does) then it's logical to conclude that you don't want to interrupt the muscle-building stage by working-out again until the previous muscle-building stage is first complete (in other words, you don't want to break-down muscle while it's still being built). And you also don't want to put stress on your body back-to-back with no rest (ie: you don't want to immediately break-down muscle as soon as it's done rebuilding... that's too much stress, your body does need to rest for some period of time, right?)... so now ask yourself this: if 7-10day cycles seems crazy, *WHY* does it seem crazy??? Do you actually *know* how long it takes for the catabolic-anabolic-cycle to complete??? And even then, how long -PRECISELY- does your body need to rest before it's sufficiently ready to restart that cycle again???

  6. (part 3)

    The fact is, none of us know a one-size-fits-all number. Everyone's body is different so people who tell you you should workout hard every day, or 3 days a week, or whatever, are just making blanket-statements not based on any concept of reality.

    YOUR body is unique. For you you might find the effects of a hard workout disperse in about 3 days and by day 5 you are rip-roaring and ready to go again. Great! Or, you might not be sufficiently ready until day 12. That's fine too.

    If you keep your diet on-track, and you walk quite a bit on your non-hard-workout-days, you will get in shape just as well (indeed, most likely BETTER and FASTER) than if you tried to keep working-out hard every day.

    The point of all of this: your plateau is likely due not to not trying hard enough, but because you are trying TOO HARD. Give your body a break, it needs to rest.

    In the meantime, work on eating even healthier on the days you don't workout -- try eating more fish and salad, look for a better mineral-supplement, etc. And walk.

  7. "As you exercise, you gain muscle -- 1 pound of muscle weighs twice as much as 1 pound of fat."

    ?????? - a pound is a pound.

  8. Hi PrettyWoman. I caught that typo too and I think he meant to refer to spacial measurements. When I had a gym membership they had a plastic simulade for muscle on the counter near the scale that weighed one pound and another simulade for fat that also weighed one pound but the fat simulade was two times larger (spacially) than the muscle. I think that's what my brother meant to say.