Going through changes

Well, it’s happening again. Quads growing. Arms growing. Both my thighs and my arms are getting itchy. It’s weird, and also pretty exciting, growing my muscles all over again. I’m really hoping I can get fitter than I was before, which probably wasn’t very fit at all. I’m really liking Strong Lifts. I have the app on my phone, and it does all the thinking for me. The only things I have to calculate are the plates I put on the bar… I still get them wrong embarrassingly often.

There are a couple of difficult things though. Getting out of bed early enough to go to the gym, workout, and get to work by 7am is pretty hard. Sometimes getting the motivation to get up, and get my gym buddy up as well, is really hard. The workouts have left me feeling really good though, so it’s mostly a matter of just getting there and doing it.

After going through that terrible time back in Feb/March/April/May/June, I am sure it had a lot to do with me not eating much. I mean, the jobless situation was definitely the main driver. But then not eating much meant that I couldn’t do well at other things either – so my lifting was absolutely shit and it made me feel like shit when I couldn’t lift anything near what I used to.

So. Lifting again. Eating again. Drinking daily protein shakes again. Dis gon be good.

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ANZAC Day 2015

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It has been a long day. Tony and I decided to go to the dawn ceremony at Auckland War Museum, and we decided to take the train. We got up at around 3:45am and walked to the train station, which is about 15 minutes away. We’ve been up since then – just full of that kind of tiredness where you know you can’t sleep, just because it’s daytime. Though we did watch Snatch, The Addams Family, and Easy A when we got home – hence the lack of activity from around 8:30am to 2:30pm!

YES – is the answer to but did you go to the dog park today? Yes we did. Although we drove there and only walked one measly lap. YES – is the answer to and did you see any border collies? Yes we did! A super cute, super fluffy, black and white collie walking calmly with her owner. YES – is also the answer to but what about that guy you see there every day? Only passed him once today.

Kilojoules are going well, my weight has remained in the 63kg range for the past three days (inaccurate today because of the early rising).

And I’m coming second out of all my Fitbit friends. I never thought I’d ever topple Trent, but there you go. I don’t think Lisa is possible to beat though because she said she uses a mini trampoline while watching TV. My Fitbit friends are pretty cool. I actually know only one of them in real life. The rest are basically cool people from Reddit who have Fitbits. It really is great being able to push myself by competing with people with similar step goals.

I also had a thought last night when I should have been getting more than three hours of sleep: I could try C25K again. Just at the dog park. I could walk there, do the running, and walk home. I think it would be a good challenge. Ankle permitting.

63.5kg

Today, and yesterday, I weighed 63.5kg. This is 4.6kg less than my highest weight, 68.1kg, at the end of January.

Obviously, I’m pretty stoked.

What seemed to get me off the plateau that is been stuck on for the past month was increasing my kilojoule limit, and focusing on getting enough protein. Weight loss seemed to rev back up once I started doing that!

I’m seeing a few small physical changes, like under my cheekbones I’m starting to see shadows, and my top abs are now appearing. My three pairs of shorts are becoming too big – one pair is basically only good for lowriding now. I’m a bit sad, as that pair had excellent pockets. Yes, they were that good, it needed to be in bold.

I’ve gained some muscle too, so it looks like I’ve found that awesome combination of eating enough to gain muscle, but limited enough to all lose fat. My biceps are probably the most notable in terms of growth, but I think my awesome upper back is coming back! Not to mention my hams. I neglected them in my last program, but with all my kettlebell swings and Romanian deadlifts, I think they’ll become pretty mighty.

NROL: Supercharged, Basic Training I

I’m mostly through the first stage of Supercharged, Basic Training I. I’m getting a lot of throwbacks to New Rules of Lifting For Women, and that’s because a lot of the exercises are the same, and the structure is very similar.

The unusual thing about it is that core work comes first. It’s followed by either a power much like jump squats, or a combination move like lunge and press. Then comes what I consider the “real work”: the alternating sets. And finally the interval training.

At the moment it is the perfect workout level for me. I am definitely challenged, especially with the interval training at the end. I get pretty sweaty and I push my weights if I feel up to it.

My ankle has been a limiting factor, especially in squatting exercises, so I’ve been giving myself a lot of leniency on those. Squats have always been a problem exercise. My quads still get very tight, even after my 7 min cycle warmup, and I’ve even taken to foam rolling them before the workout as well as after just to try to loosen them up a little.

On the other hand, I’ve really been taken with kettlebell swings. Initially I had them as a power exercise, but now I use them as my interval training. It’s so much more fun than just cycling. I’m hoping to have mighty hams by the end of the programme.

I have about a week left on Basic Training I before I start Basic Training II. Should be good.

Last Day of March

I’ve been fretting (to put it lightly) about my lack of progress in March. March has been a bad month for the scales, and a very bad month mentally.

In the past week I’ve seriously tightened my kilojoule count. EVERYTHING that doesn’t come out of a packet is weighed on my food scale to the closest gram. EVERYTHING I put in my mouth goes onto My Fitness Pal. FINALLY I am seeing a slight downward movement. Today I was the lowest I’ve been since I started my calorie counting: 64.2kg. It’s not much of a change as I’ve been sitting around 64.5kg for the past week, and before that had sat on 65kg for about 3 weeks. As I keep saying, I hope this is part of a downward trend.

Foodwise, I’ve decided to keep my favourite things like barbacoa, but instead serve it on cooked veg instead of tortillas. I am not really big on salady stuff, especially lettuce, but I bought a big bunch of silverbeet, spinach, portabello mushrooms, green beans and courgettes, which I’ll cook up instead of having the usual corn tortillas. The feijoas on the tree out front are becoming ripe too, and I look forward to adding them to my daily diet.

I’ve done a lot of flip-flopping on programmes, as usual. I have started Supercharged again, initially to support Tony, but now we have decided to sort out our fitness separately. I enjoy the Supercharged workouts much more than LiveFit, so hopefully I’ll actually stick with it. Thanks to Supercharged, and my inability to do squat jumps right now, I learned the kettleball swing yesterday. That might become part of my metabolic workout.

I also discovered that the dog park is a pretty good walk from home. A round trip, including a walk around the park, is about 8km. That is definitely making it into my regular exercise regimen. I managed to complete a full Supercharged workout yesterday (including the metabolic workout, which is pretty much interval training), and then later do the 8km walk and still eat less than my allotted 5024 kilojoules/1200 calories. My ankle is still in pain so when it’s better I’ll be able to do more – maybe even running again.

I suppose I should start thinking about goals for April now too. I succeeded in finally seeing my doctor, seeing my osteo, and joining a gym. What will the next steps be, I wonder?