Roadblocks Are Not The End

I discovered over the weekend that the scale I use every day to weigh myself is not working properly anymore. I’d been experiencing a few  glitches with it over the last several months which meant weighing myself multiple times in a row to see if I hit the same number two or three times so knew that this day was coming. However, seeing my weight climb back up by several pounds in a few days had me worried that maybe my scale wasn’t broken and I was just losing all of my progress. I’ve ordered a new scale and am hoping that my defunct scale was wrong and that I’m still right on track.

This came after seeing a full 11lb loss on the scale before I finished my 8th week of macro coaching and also scaling back on my training due to piriformis syndrome flaring up. My left hip felt locked up in the back, my glute was extremely tight and I was feeling sciatica symptoms beginning to travel down my leg nearly to my knee. Needless to say my squats last week felt like garbage and the discomfort I was feeling meant I backed off completely from my deadlift. This is the second time I’ve missed that specific workout in the last month or so and it scares me that I am potentially losing progress but I know that holding off while I got the issue corrected was the right decision.

I went to a chiropractor for the first time in my life and I have to say the improvements have been pretty dramatic – especially considering the discomfort I felt was starting to get in the way of my sleep, was affecting my mood and my overall feeling of wellness. My chiropractor performed some ART across my left glute and hip to break up some of the locked in feeling that I was having. Everything was very tender and uncomfortable and sensitive to the touch but I knew I had to suck it up and just get it done. I didn’t realize how bad the issue had become as I am prone to just ignoring my issues and not seeking professional help for them. I’ve had three treatments since and I’m able to move a lot easier, my sleep has been restored and I am cleared to start doing some lighter lifting again. I am hoping after my next 2 sessions I can get back to business as usual.

Between having a broken scale and having to slow down with my workouts I have started to feel some of my resolve wavering. Seeing a 4lb gain on the scale (whether real or just a result of the scale calibration) has started to creep in the back of my mind and scare me into thinking that I might not be able to meet my goals. It has made me question if I’ve really been as successful as I thought I was. It has made me wonder if I’ve just been tricked into thinking that I am losing fat and that I’ll come solidly under my weight class at the time of my competition. Combine this with just how exhausted I was feeling after feeling pain for a few weeks in a row and you can imagine that my emotional state has started to lose a little bit of it’s solidity.

I am trying to look at this through a different perspective. I’m asking myself if my food choices were solid, if I drank enough water, if I did everything else I could to make sure that I was on point. I can honestly say over the last week the answer is “No.” So what am I going to do about it? Well… I’m going to have to go back to carrying a notebook around with me and taking notes through the day. I need to recover the laser focus I had during my first six weeks of coaching. I need to get back to walking more often, making sure I am nailing all my accessory work and not skimping on the heavy lifting that I know I have to do to get stronger. At this point the strength doesn’t matter as much as the weight loss. I already know that whatever total I put up at the meet doesn’t matter because it’s my first time going but I won’t be able to put up a total at all if I can’t compete due to my weight. So now I have to shift my gears and make sure that my food is clean, that I am supplementing intelligently, that I am walking a LOT and that I do the best I can in the gym based on my limitations with my hip. Digging deep and getting on track is something that is always a challenge for me when I feel roadblocked so I am hoping that I can continue to be the best version of myself and do what I know I have to do in order to succeed despite anything I perceive as holding me back.

Fingers crossed. I know I have it in me.

I Made It… So Far

The first month of this journey is now over. I have to tell you, my fourth week was an absolute nightmare and I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to push through. The end of my week looked a lot like having anxiety at the grocery store realizing that I didn’t balance my macros properly and feeling like if I even so much as saw a chicken breast I was going to scream.

All of this came to a head when Chris and I accidentally ran over a squirrel. I ended up sobbing in the car in his driveway which turned into a rant about my macros and how if this was how it was going to be I didn’t want to do it anymore, followed by not wanting to compete in May, and basically every spec of self doubt and worry I had been feeling around getting strong and fit came tumbling out of me in a rant. I felt trapped and overwhelmed.

What was really going on was that I had stayed in the same 1lb range for nearly two weeks straight. I hadn’t planned my meals properly for a couple of days and I was stubborn about having a very specific breakfast each day which was cutting heavily into my fats and carbs and was too low on the protein. I wasn’t thinking logically during that breakdown and the anxiety I felt in the grocery store was only because I subconsciously wanted to sabotage myself and was reaching that too familiar wall where I had done well for a few weeks and wanted a “break” from consistency. Chris made the very simple suggestion that I write this out to my coach and discuss potentially jiggling around some of my macros to see whether or not we could increase some flexibility in my diet. Who would have thought that communicating that you were struggling would be the answer? That just goes to show how easy it can be for an anxious mind to get in the driving seat. It’s like being a passenger with someone who insists on driving off a cliff and trying to wrestle the wheel from them. It can be tempting to give in but if you allow it to have full control even once then you may find that next time anxiety is driving a plane and pushing you out without a parachute.

After that incident I ended up going to the grocery store and bought some alternative foods. I started drinking my coffee black. I started making huge omelettes with one less whole egg and a whole lot more egg whites. I started cooking my chicken in the morning and having it in a wrap with some cheese string, maple leaf ready  cooked bacon and a bit of Frank’s red hot at lunch. I found that having a massive salad from Pita Pit felt more satisfying in the evening than wanting to over eat on potatoes and sour cream. I came back into balance and at the start of week 5 I was very solidly down into the next LB range.

The result is that I was able to get more easily sustainable macros. A little less in the protein, a little more in the fat and still very moderate carbs. Even just an additional 10 grams of fat gives a ton of wiggle room and can mean the difference between 2 delicious cheese strings or 1. Also, I am feeling super strong.

So far (if going by my lowest weight this week) I am down by 6.2lbs, 11.5 centimeters and in a mock meet a couple weeks ago I was able to hit a 155lb squat, 200lb deadlift and a 95lb bench which I am pretty pleased with (I’ll detail all that in a separate post). The competition is in three months and I still have a lot to do but am hoping that now with my new training program (GZCL) I’ll keep moving in the right direction.

Checking In

This past week was a complete and total drag. Having my period and trying to diet and still get into the gym to do what I needed to do felt overwhelming. I was so exhausted every single day last week and it felt like I really had to dig in and fight to stay accountable through the whole week. That being said, the week was a success as I hit my lowest point on the scale at 195.7lbs which was exciting for me. I never thought I would be happy to see that number on the scale but as each pound slowly comes off I am feeling stronger and more confident. I am starting to regain the parts of myself that I started to lose when I became subconsciously more depressed and emotionally chaotic as the weight  came on.

But let’s look at the progress so far:

Staring Measurements (in CM)
Sunday January 17 2016
Waist (Belly Button) 103.7
Hip bone 113.0
Hip (Around butt) 112.0
Waist to Hip Ratio 0.93
Chest 109.5
Biceps 37.2
Upper Thigh 68.7
Lower Thigh 57.5
Calf 40.8
                  Measured at 196.5 lbs 01/17/2016
                   Average weight for this week is 198lbs
Measurements (in CM)
Sunday January 24 2016
Waist (Belly Button) 104.2
Hip bone 112.1
Hip (Around butt) 112.5
Waist to Hip Ratio 0.93
Chest 106.5
Biceps 37
Upper Thigh 67.7
Lower Thigh 57.5
Calf 41
               Measuring at 197 lbs 01/24/2016
             Average weight for this week is 196.9!

So some of my weight has begun shifting. Unfortunately I am someone who collects most of their fat in their upper body – particularly in my back and my arms so I felt pretty good to see some of the measurements falling (even if just slightly) from those areas. In total I think I am down 1.5 inches in 1 week which is not a massive amount but it is still something that I am happy about!

Now it’s Monday morning and I am embarking on week number 3. What I am hoping to see on the scale is an average weight of around 195.5lbs. That would be really nice. I am starting my week today at 197.2 but my body is holding onto what I  ate on Saturday which happened to include a slice of pizza and apple pie. Now that I finally am not feeling tired right off the hop I feel ready to get into the gym and do what I have to do. I have prepared all of my food for today already so have no excuses about feeling hungry or having too much food left at the end of the day. My biggest challenge has been timing my food to see what I need to eat when and I’ve struggled so far to get adequate protein in. This week I have decided to shift around my walking and am hoping to split up my workouts between lunch and in the evenings so that I can really get everything in that I need to each day without burning out.


My fingers are crossed that I can really nail down my macros, food timing and slay it in the gym. I am feeling ready to kill it this week!

The Tracking Has Begun

I am really not a fan of weighing, measuring and tracking everything that I eat. I have a scale to measure my food at home and I have a pocket sized scale that I use at work. I try to log my day in advance – either first thing in the morning or the night previous to get an idea of where my protein, carbs and fat will be for the day and try to plan out when to eat what based on what my exercise activity will be for the day. But it’s working.

I hired ChelseaLifts and my first official day on the program was January 11, 2016. I was 199.5 lbs, I had 17.85 weeks/125 days until my competition and for the first time I felt like I was about to get some major control over my fitness and my eating. I had been working out consistently and getting stronger but as per usual my food selection was only seeing me gain weight and I had enough. At one point I stepped on my scale and saw 200.4 lbs and nearly had a meltdown. My heaviest weight was 217lbs back in 2008 and the idea that I was approaching that again terrified me and I knew that I’d reached a point where I had experimented with my food (what macros to eat, how many calories, intermittent fasting, protein sparing modified fasting, low carb, high carb, no carb, etc) enough to know that no matter how many podcasts I listened to, no matter how many studies I read and no matter how hard I was trying to figure out what was optimal for me, I was just not getting anywhere. I was not getting closer to my body fat goal of 28% and I was not seeing the kind of strength gains I thought I would in the gym. Overall, I felt like it was time for me to admit that I needed help.

For my first week I documented my weight in the morning each day after using the bathroom and before eating or drinking anything. I tracked all of my good in MyFitnessPal. I weighed and measured my food but was sloppy with it because the battery on my scale at home died. I exercised. I did HIIT, I walked, I lifted. It was the week before my period was meant to start which meant that I was carrying a lot of water weight, I was feeling weak and I wanted to eat everything but I ended up dropping 3lbs. I admit it, the first two days I was so hungry I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to function and I began splitting up my major lifts over different days because I felt like there was no way I was going to have the strength to get through everything. As it turns out, this was the best idea and I am now squatting 130lbs instead of 115. I am deadlifting for reps over 180lbs and I can now bench 85lbs.

I took my body measurements and my starting progress pics. Something that I thought was interesting was that my shape had definitely changed since the last time I’d taken my measurements back in September of 2014. Some parts of me stayed the same size (within 1cm), some parts of me expanded by a couple centimeters. My calves went down by a few, but my arms went up by the most. I thought it was very odd that most of the fat that I’d gained ended up in my arms and I never really realized it. Despite gaining weight I still fit in to my pants. Most of my tops fit, but I never realized that most of them were very tight through the arms and some of my back. It looks like I am just one of those people who accumulates fat in their upper body faster than any other area and unfortunately those are areas of my body that I am most self conscious about. Here’s hoping that I will see changes week by week (even if they’re tiny!) as I continue to weigh and measure everything in my life.

Now that I am half way through my second week I notice that my hunger has regulated itself. Being the time of my cycle that it is, my weight has flatlined for the first several days. Today I am 197.1 but it’s still down from the 200.4 that I recently saw and it’s still nearly 2.5lbs down from where I began. My goal originally was to weigh in at 175lbs on competition day but I have a feeling it will be cutting it a lot closer to 185lbs. I am just trusting myself to do the work and trusting that my coach will guide me. It’s not even two weeks in but I am still feeling in control. There’s this strange switch that has flipped in my mind where I have been telling myself “you don’t have to do anything other than what you have to do, and the weight will come off.” It’s a very weird feeling being back in control which is something that I haven’t felt since I originally lost 65lbs.

I hope I have exciting updates to share here as each week passes.

The Diet Begins

Today is the first day I’ve made any discernible effort in controlling my diet in a long time. Over the past couple of years I have experimented with a few variations in terms of macronutrient goals (how many grams of carbs, fat and protein to eat a day) and have overall continued to put on weight. Naturally some of this weight is muscle mass as I am absolutely stronger than I’ve ever been but there’s no denying that I have physically begun to expand and most of that expansion has happened recently.

Since getting into weightlifting I have learned to become more objective about my body and what the number on the scale says. I have learned that just because the scale gives me one number it doesn’t mean that it is an indicator of health and performance and it’s certainly not an indicator of size. Right now I still fit (snuggly) into most of my clothing and I am only on the brink of feeling physically uncomfortable. Had I not been going to the gym several times a week to lift some weights I think I would be telling a different tale.

As it stands I need to lose at minimum 15lbs to make it into the weight class in the powerlifting competition I entered. I have just about 18 weeks to achieve this goal. I know myself and I can safely say that when I feel under pressure to lose weight I end up doing the opposite. The stress of figuring out how to eat without triggering anxiety and while getting stronger and also losing some fat is not something that I want to deal with and I definitely don’t want to go on a crash diet at the last minute to cut as much weight as possible in a short period of time. For this reason I decided to hire a macro coach.

I started following Chelsea  ages ago. I really like her approach to fitness and nutrition. I like how transparent she is about everything going on with her channel, her gym, her clothing business, etc. What I responded to most is her confidence and objective viewpoint of her body. She talks about weight, strength and physique without emotional attachments and really seems to feel confident and loves herself whether she’s somewhere in the 130’s or up in the 160’s. Following her Diet Diaries where she takes you through what she eats, what she struggles with and what she does in the gym has made me realize that this is a woman I could get along with and her way of thinking about diet and exercise is something I would like to learn to emulate in my own life.

In order to be as compliant as possible I paid for a one year membership to MyFitnessPal so that I could track right down to the gram. It makes it a lot smoother in terms of tracking my macronutrients and setting goals. Right now I am aiming for 155g Carbs, 50g Fat and 160g protein. Coming down from Keto and seeing how rapidly I gain fat from eating carbs, Chelsea kept my calories and carbohydrates moderate. She underestimated what I would need for the first week to see how my body responds to the uptake in protein and carbs and the reduction in fat. I am basically eating completely different than I have been for a long time so I am interested to see how my weight fluctuates.

In the meantime my workouts have been going well though my consistency is not where it needs to be. That is to say I should be doing Bench, Squat and Deadlift 3x a week but the exercises have been staggered due to time restraints, working overtime and the gym being extremely busy so no bars were available. I will say despite this my lifts continue to improve. I have noticed if I do not hit all my reps one day if I try again a couple days later I am able to do substantially more. The program that I am on wants me to increase the weight every time I get sets of 3 at minimum but I am finding that I want to work on my form and increase my baseline of strength before progressing to the next weight. So far so good! Hopefully I have some good training to share by the end of the week and I am looking forward to seeing what my progress in terms of weight and physique is.

One meal at a time, one rep at a time I am going to get there.



Execution Is Better Than Excuses

I went to the gym yesterday during my lunch break. I am so fortunate that through my job I have a gym available to me that has all the basic equipment required to complete my workout. It’s not really the place to complete my accessory work but in terms of having squat racks, benches, bars and plates it’s pretty great. What I love about going there is that I am the only one who ever shows up. I’m pretty sure most people go after work but I like to go in the middle of the day and simply get it over and done with.

Having a desk job where I have to stay at my desk almost all the time is really tough and is not helping with my fitness goals. I have to make a concerted effort to walk more outside of my working hours (I haven’t succeeded… yet). I have to make sure I am not always slouching (oops) and I have to make sure that I am stretching and moving around so that I don’t fuse with my chair and convert into a redheaded lump. This is part of the reason why having an accessible gym is so important to me. I can’t believe how easy it is to not notice the hours slipping away and not realizing that hours have passed since I’ve even stood up. My next step is to set an alarm on my phone and march on the spot for 1000 steps on my fitbit. Considering I have only been getting around 5000 steps when my goal is 15000 I think this is definitely something to employ. I honestly just feel myself expanding even though I am exercising 3-4x a week.

It sounds absurd but sitting at a desk all day not moving is actually draining. Sometimes I just want to find an excuse not to go to the gym in the evening or tell myself that since I only have to really go 3x a week to hit my lifts that I can just do it the next day … or the day after that… or maybe even the day after that if I feel so inclined (I usually don’t!). Going on my lunch break at least once a week makes it a hell of a lot easier to show up in the evenings – especially when I am in the middle of a move. The move is something else I could use as an excuse but I know that I will regret not going to the gym a lot more than I would regret it if I show up. I’ve never once shown up and regretted completing my work out.

That said, I have some DOMS in my legs from Monday. I noticed that my squat was kind of slow around the 5th rep and my bench was absolutely weak and I couldn’t hit all my reps.  I had to take a mini break during my deadlift set, too. It felt like a pretty weak workout. Here’s what it looked like:

Dec 14 Workout

Because my reps were slow for every set I am only increasing the weight by 5lbs on each lift. I am hoping my fractional plates come in so I can inch my bench up by 2lbs or so. I think if I had a spot I would have at least turned out 6/5/5 for reps but c’est la vie. I’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

In the meantime, I think I may have finally perfected my protein powder peanut butter cookie recipe. The last time I made these bite sized treats I ended up using a plain protein powder which was NOT delicious and I found that the cookies were much too dry. What I did this time was:

3 Cups Natural Peanut Butter (dumped out the oil on top)

3 Large Eggs

3 Scoops Vanilla Whey Protein Powder

1 Package 50% Cacao Chocolate Chips

I rolled these babies into bite sized balls, threw them on some parchment paper and stuffed them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 450 Degrees. They turned out delicious! I don’t have the macros and such for them but after my move is done I will make them again and share the details.

That’s just a brief little update. I am feeling pretty bloated and sausage-like so I’m going to be spending some time during this week to decide what approach I want to take on my diet and figure out how not to feel too bad about my puffy state. I’ll let you know if I figure it out.



Glass of Red Wine Equals 1 Hour at Gym, New Study Says

The Huffington Post on Friday reported on a new study out of The University of Alberta that shows that drinking a glass of red wine may have the same affect on the body as an hour at the gym.

Source: Glass of Red Wine Equals 1 Hour at Gym, New Study Says

Well if that’s the case I should be getting drunk every night and will be in top physical condition in half the time!

I don’t mind a glass of wine once in a while but I do think articles like this will trick people into believing they don’t have to change one single lifestyle habit outside of drinking a glass of wine and somehow it will magically equate to them exercising.

I don’t believe that you can out-exercise your diet and you likely can’t out-drink it either.

Get With The Program

I’ve read and heard from many sources that the key to success in lifting and fat loss is to just stick to the program. In my last post I said I was doing Stronglifts 5×5 but today decided to make a change. Not that I have a problem with squatting 3 times a week or that I mind alternating on my deadlifts and and bench press but I did get the feeling that something was missing in it – especially considering I want to get as strong as possible over the next six months.

I switched to the Powerlifting To Win Novice Program today.  There’s a free e-book and if you like listening to someone talk about the program and what to expect there’s a convenient YouTube video that outlines it for you. A handy dandy spreadsheet is also available for making all of your calculations easy breezy so you can lift hard without thinking hard.

I have a spreadsheet that Chris made for me which calculates all of my totals also. This is what today’s workout looked like:

Untitled (2)

I found that all of my sets were easy. Because I am lifting very low weight at the moment I am essentially warming up with body weight movements and the bar. As time goes on and my sets become heavier warming up incrementally will become much more essential. In the mean time, I am able to go in and get my work outs done in a surprisingly small amount of time – especially if I am able to superset my squat and bench on days I exercise at work (hooray for an empty workplace gym!).Because today was easy and I did not break form on any of my reps I can increase the weight by 10lbs on each lift. I believe this could be much more difficult to do on the bench but I’ve ordered fractional plates that come in small weight increments to make sure that I can at least increase my bench by a little bit every time I hit that movement.

Diet wise I am not really changing a lot. At the moment I am eating around 1800-2000 calories a day. I have been fluctuating so much with my diet and what ratio to follow in terms of Fat, Protein and Carbs and at one point hired a nutrition coach to try out If It Fits Your Macros. To say that the weight packed on fast when I re-introduced carbs would be an understatement. I quickly gained 15lbs and while I also gained strength I am back up to my highest weight in a very long time which also means I’ve reached a point where my clothes from last year are uncomfortable if not completely unwearable. Despite weighing and measuring and tracking down to the last gram I realized that this lifestyle was too strict while also too flexible for me.

Lately I’ve been dabbling with another nutrition plan called AltShift which alternates between high fat + high calories and low fat + low calories. As long as I make healthy carb choices (no more bread and certainly no sugar) I should be OK. Before I fully dive back into that I am eating a Ketogenic diet to try and drop off some of the extra water weight that happily accumulated along with all my cultivated fat. Emotionally I do very well on a high fat diet and even feel pretty good if I have one or two days a week where food choices are a bit more “anything goes.” I enjoyed Carb Nite for this reason and found that the logic behind it made sense to me. It also allowed for me to indulge in things I otherwise would avoid at all cost and reintroduced a lot of freedom in food to me without having it “allowed” every single day. I think in a future blog post when I get my diet dialed and I see the weight come off I’ll tackle the different ways of eating I’ve tried since coming out of very strict Paleo because I feel very different physically and mentally depending on what it is that I am consuming.

Right now I can say that I feel pretty strong and motivated. I am only 2 weeks into this training but am confident that I am going to be able to put up the numbers I want when I hit that platform in May. The fact that Chris and I are following the exact same program and are showing up to the gym together helps me a lot. Can’t be looking weak in front of my man!

Tomorrow’s goal is to walk for an hour on my lunch break, stick to being under 50g of carbs and clean my goddamn house.


I Won’t Regret It

In 23 weeks I will be competing in my very first powerlifting competition. This is about as much of a surprise to me as it is to anyone that I know. Having been sedentary and overweight most of my life this is the first time I’ve made a true commitment to my physical strength and fitness.

Having lost 65lbs in the past and regaining 40 of it over 3 years I have been struggling to balance the desire to get strong with the desire to look lean. I was skinny fat at my lowest weight and found that trying to actively put on muscle for the first time in my life also meant that I was eating a lot more and also putting on fat. I had a DEXA scan at the Bone Wellness Center that was disappointing to say the least and since that time I’ve been fluctuating both in my nutrition and my workouts.

Last year I went with my boyfriend to his first meet in Niagara Falls Ontario. There were so many different kinds of bodies at different ages and weights and genders and I felt inspired by the sense of community and how every successful lift was an achievement for each person – even if someone else in their weight class was lifting more. My boyfriend and I had made friends with another couple who were competing and I told them that entering the competition is something that I might consider in 2016.

To say that my training has been staggered and sloppy since that time would be an understatement. My physique has not improved and my strength has only gone up in less than mediocre increments. Any inspiration I had felt this past May had vanished and I started to walk down the path of physical insecurity and even felt like avoiding the gym most days (and so I did).

Last week I was tagged by the couple I met last year on instagram. As it turned out registration had officially opened for the 2016 meet. I hummed and hawed about it and when I opened my email saw the link to the registration from my boyfriend. It seemed that I had conveniently forgot that I ever said that I would enter but everyone else remembered for me. I signed up that day with 24 weeks to go, 20lbs to lose and lifting only with an empty bar.

I am writing in this blog to share my journey leading up to the 2016 meet. For the time being I am following Strong Lifts 5×5, am eating at a very slight deficit and am trying to get 10000 steps a day with my FitBit.  My goal is to get over 200lbs on my squat, 275lbs on my deadlift and if I can even bench 100lbs I will celebrate. I’ve entered the 84kgm weight class but am hoping to weigh in at about 77kgm so that I can avoid any kind of weight loss stress leading up to the competition that might interfere with my focus on staying strong and doing my best. Oh, and I also want to rock my AC Slater Onesie.


AltShift Challenge

I recently purchashed Jason Seib’s new book AltShift and have decided to enter his contest which ends December 5th. I haven’t written in this blog very much since its inception but what I can tell you is that over the last 2 years I have gained back 30lbs of the original 65 that I have lost, which I will get into more detail about below. In the mean time I have decided to enter this contest as an additional motivator to get down to 28% body fat and hopefully be much stronger than I am currently.

Originally I had lost 65lbs when I transitioned into a Paleo diet back in 2012.  I was able to change my life dramatically which I went over in my blog post about eliminating anxiety with food. I noticed that even though I was at my all time overall goal weight (150lbs) that I only looked like a smaller scale version of my 215lb self. That is to say that I had very little muscle mass and entirely too much fat. I was skinny fat.

In November of 2014 I had become lax in my Paleo diet and started to transition into a low carb/keto diet. I made an appointment at a bone wellness center to have a Dexa scan done so I could really see how much muscle and fat that I had. While I went into the appointment understanding that my body fat percentage would read fairly high in comparison to other fat measurement tools I’d used (scales, Bod Pod, Calipers, etc) I was not prepared to see how little muscle I had. At 47% body fat and only 90lbs of muscle I knew that I had a lot of work to do to correct that ratio. I have to say that even though the body fat read 15% higher than other methods used to measure I was more disappointed by the lack of muscle mass I had.

I dedicated myself to lifting more consistently when I learned that I had 25lbs less muscle than I had been told. Due to a life long sedentary lifestyle I had poor mobility and not a lot of strength. I was able to get my deadlift to 175lbs but my squat was dismal to non-existent and my bench was 70lbs for only a few reps. I felt stronger, I could feel that my muscles were becoming more dense, but my weight wasn’t going down. In fact, over the last year or so it has traveled back into the 190’s despite being relatively good with diet and consistent exercise. Surprisingly my measurements haven’t changed dramatically though I do admit my clothing is not fitting as well as it should.

This brings me to AltShift. After trying a higher carb IIFYM approach I knew that counting, weighing and measuring was not for me. I also knew that eating over 150g of carbs every day only served to make me gain weight rapidly and make me bloated and uncomfortable. AltShift rotates between prioritizing fat and carbohydrates and requires only that one be sensible in portion sizes and stick to Paleo food sources. I am hoping to follow their template over the next few months and document my progress week by week. If you are interested in reading more, visit the link to AltShift above. The book is currently selling for $25.00 and is a steal!

My hope is to lose 1lb of fat per week into the first week of December. I will be weighing myself weekly however I will be using my body measurements to track my progress along with the numbers I move in the gym. The first time I lost weight was rapid and more due to under eating than anything else. I am looking forward to the physique I can build for myself through solid nutrition and weight training.