After looking back on 2013, now it’s time to look forward to 2014.
While I’m thrilled with hitting 1000# total and a 315/245/440 on my lifts, I’m not thrilled with all that it took to get there.
And not the good weight either.
I presently weigh 250#. It’s the most I’ve ever weighed in my life. I wish it was all muscle, but alas I’ve got a nice layer of flab over my entire body, and I’ve got a visible gut. I’m estimating 30% body fat, but that’s just based on some basic measurements and looking in the mirror comparing to some charts I’ve found online. Really, it doesn’t matter what the specifics are because the bottom line is…
I hate it.
I hate how it feels. I hate how it makes me feel. I hate the difficulties it brings. I hate that it stresses my body in ways that it doesn’t need stress. And yes, I hate how I look, even with clothing on, because I just do not like seeing that gut sticking out. I want my shirt to hang from my pecs, not rest on my tummy.
Yeah I know, I’m not all that bad compared to a lot of people. But this isn’t about them, this is about me. And this is not where I want to be. It was a means to an end, and I sure learned a lot in getting to this point. Now it’s time to learn more in going the other way.
So my next goal? Losing fat. Not weight, per se, because I really don’t want to lose muscle (tho I know I will). I want to drop fat.
Exactly how much? I don’t know. It’s not as much about scale weight as it is about how I look and how my clothing fits. I don’t need to get bodybuilder ripped or anything, typical pictures of someone with 12-15% body fat looks good to me. So doing some rough numbers, I figure 40# is a good number to initially target. Again, tho it really isn’t about the numbers, having numbers helps when figuring things out.
How To Get There
I tried Carb Back-Loading in the past, and I’ve also looked at Carb Nite Solution. I’ve read on things like the Renegade Diet, Anabolic Diet, Carb Cycling, Shelby Starnes’ stuff, various Paleo-things. You name it. I’ve looked at all sorts of things. And when you get down to it, it all tends to be similar enough: high protein, “high” fat, (almost) no carb. Stick with it for a while and it’ll work. Carbs are evil, protein and fat are not. Well, carbs aren’t totally evil, but for what I’m doing, carbs are what I do not want.
So what am I doing?
Well, I actually stumbled into Harry Selkow’s version of the caveman diet. It’s a pretty simple protocol. It’s 3, 2-week phases (6 weeks total). Breaks down like this:
Phase 1 – only food you can eat is food that has, or will have, a face (so meat and eggs). Can only drink water. No carbs, period.
Phase 2 – add dark green leafies (spinach, kale, dark romaine, chard, etc.).
Phase 3 – can add all the colors of veggies, and local seasonal fruit after 5 PM.
You don’t count calories. You just eat. If you’re hungry, eat until satisfied. Tho I will say, given some stuff I read from Shelby Starnes about doing very-low carb diets, it seems like if I want to target something, 300g protein and 100g fat per day is a reasonable place for someone like me to start. I do think I keep that somewhat in mind as I eat so I can ensure I am eating enough (even if I have to force it) but not eating too much. There’s more to it than that, but that’s the basic idea. It’s not only there to put you into the physical state of ketosis and get your body burning off that fat while keeping protein pretty high to avoid muscle loss (tho there will be some muscle and strength loss), but it’s also a huge mental component. There’s a discipline aspect, which is critical to any diet success.
And really, regardless of protocol, just about every ultra-low-carb diet starts out with this 7-14 day “recalibration” phase. There’s minor variation in what you do, but it’s all essentially the same. So, protocol doesn’t matter as much as just getting the carbs out and getting into ketosis.
Thing is, as you read this, I’ve already been on it. The day I deadlifted the 440 and got my 1000# total? I started immediately onto Selkow’s protocol. However, after 5 days on it, I had to change gears. In short, the complete lack of fiber becomes um… difficult. I’ve got some medical issues that ultimately all of this isn’t meshing with, so I had to stop for my health. But, all I did was change to CarbNite Solution.
Carb Nite Solution was the protocol I was originally considering, so I don’t feel all that horrible. And again, the first 10 days of CNS are all about ultra-low-carb, so I’m essentially on track. I can just add in fibrous veggies, which is a good thing! CNS has a lot of success stories, and I intend to be another one.
I will say, doing the no-carb thing isn’t as bad thing time around as it was some months ago. I know a lot more, I can manage hunger better, there are better recipes to work with, Wife’s changed a few dietary things herself which impacts what foods we have and eat around the house. And the biggest thing is I’m squarely motivated to drop the weight, which helps with the discipline part of things.
As for exercise, that won’t change much. I’m not going to be bumping up cardio or anything like that. I’m just going to keep lifting same as I have. I am still doing the math on things, but I’m considering resetting my weights (now that I have some true 1RM’s), recalculating all my percentages, and going from there. I mean, keep working hard, lifting as I have, but acknowledge I’m going to lose some strength. So if dropping my weights helps me be a little more in the “mass building” range, helps me get more reps which means more ability to focus on technique, and dovetails with the unavoidable strength loss well… yeah, that might be the way to go. Still figuring.
And will I report?
Yeah. I figure some logging of my progress will happen. Pictures? Well, I am taking pictures of myself, but I’m not sure I’ll share those. It feels a little too personal. So I’m not expecting to share pictures as I go along, but… I wouldn’t be surprised if when I got to the end I shared a “before” and “after”. 🙂
The body recomp, the fat loss, that’s my main goal. Whatever it takes to get there. But I would expect I should be able to get there before the end of 2014. Frankly tho, I’d like to get there before spring/summer.
After that, we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll pick up on carbs some and try to rebuild my strength and muscle mass.
I keep having thoughts about competing in a powerlifting competition, but that isn’t something I’m counting on because I want my focus to be not on bar numbers but on scale numbers, y’know? Still, right now I’d have to lift in the 275# class. To lift in the 220# class would be nicer. 🙂 Yeah, that sorta sits as some motivation on this too. I just don’t want to focus too much on this thought tho, because I don’t want to have conflicting goals. The fat loss has to be my focus.
I want to look good in some tighter Under Armor t-shirts I have. I want my shirt to hang from my pecs, not rest on my belly. I want to have a flat enough stomach so I can carry AIWB. I want to drop weight that is doing nothing but adding stress to my ankle and knee joints. And hey, what positive effect will it have on my ability to do pull/chin-ups?