Whew! Another week done. It was as far as gym-going was concerned. I was also more sore than in weeks previously. The good news, for those who don’t want to read the whole post, is that I am down three pounds this week. The sober assessment is that the success of this week is A) no cause to go super crazy with calories and B) no promise that I will see a similar decrease next week.
What have I been doing differently?
The first few weeks of my Heavy Duty personal improvement plan were over the top. I was running intervals four days a week and being SUPER active on the weekends. I was also not getting as much sleep as my body needed. As such, the stored fat my body had, didn’t want to be given up easily. The wonderful biology of the human body when confronted with such high intensity is at first to conserve stored energy while repairing muscles (and building them up in the process). There is truth in the phrase “muscle weighs more than fat,” but when the goal is the loss of fat, putting too much muscle on in the beginning CAN be counterproductive.
Last week I decided to slow things down a bit. Instead of the treadmill, I opted for the elliptical. Instead of workouts with near-peak heart rates for 30 minutes, I did the math and found the “fat-burn” heart rate sweet spot and stuck with that for 30 to 40 minutes. I also instituted the “nothing after nine” rule and really cut back on drinking calories. I also tried harder to get a decent night’s sleep (which, thanks to our amazing sleeper of a baby, is not too hard to do).
I do want to run again…this week I did one day of intervals but my body wasn’t ready.
The beautiful thing about wearing minimalist shoes (which I have done for years) is that one can listen to the needs of the body more easily. My calves are a little too stressed for the impact of my, now, 287 pound mass of man. I am working on walking and some jogging, but I’ll know when the time is right to begin again down the road of running.
We also were gifted an AWESOME elliptical machine for our home from my (follow me) sister-in-law’s parent-in-laws. Their generous gift has made a world of difference for both Kristin and me. It helps on days when it’s either too nasty for a walk OR I can’t make it to the gym for one reason or the other.
On a final note…last week I was reflecting on what it really meant to lose ONE pound. The best image I could come up with was a package of butter from the store. Those four sticks are one pound. That much is OFF of me. Even if I were to lose a half a pound, TWO sticks are gone. Slowly the boxes of butter will add up and, if you are like me, you can look back and say, “Wow, I have lost 8 boxes of butter from my body, not too bad.”
Good luck with your personal journeys of improvement. I would love to hear some of your stories and tips to how you keep yourself motivated on the long road of this heavy duty.