Another weird week of results, but first, my apologies for missing the posting schedule.  I actually have a great excuse – snowboarding at Vail, so I don’t feel that bad.  This could happen a couple more times if I decide to take a Monday off of work to go snowboarding.  Seriously, snowboarding is a viable excuse for missing your posting schedule, right? 🙂

My results this week were a plus and a minus.  I gained 1.2 pounds but lost 2.6% body fat (199.6 & 22.5%).  Again, this hardly makes sense.  Even the closest I’ve been to that bodyfat % was 24.4, a full 1.9% away.  If this number holds up of course it’s great news.  It will mean that I’ve finally started to burn some real fat, even if I haven’t quite lost weight yet.  Some have even suggested that this means I lost fat and gained muscle, but I’m inclined to think that I’m not making that much muscle to offset that much bodyfat, that fast.  The 199.6 figure is a little disappointing, but not yet cause for worry.  I’ve still lost almost 4 pounds in 4 weeks, which is really just as fast as I need to go.  I’d much rather see a consistant downward trend for the weight loss, and maybe I will over time, but it hasn’t shown yet.

Diet:

Most of this week went well, but it took a bit of a dive on the weekend.  I was able to hit the grocery store Sunday night, and stocked up with all sorts of healthy things.  My lunch 4 days of the week was a spinach salad with various other additions (tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, carrots) each time, a chicken and provolone sandwich with pesto (on wheat bread, duh), and some fruit after.  For dinner this week, I actually ate like a Frenchman – brie, crackers, jam, and one night I even had wine.  My cheat day was Friday – Swanson & Bratschun Firm Holiday Party.  I took lunch at Las Delicias and decided to really up the ante on the “delicias” part and got the carnitas.  Then we had beer, beer, wine, wine, dinner, wine, rum, wine, wine, beer at the Holiday Party, which I think might have exceeded my daily calorie needs.

But one cheat day a diet does not break.  I only had 2 things to eat Saturday, but still probably exceeded my calorie needs – a Chipotle burrito and a DP Dough calzone.  I also managed to have some more beers.  But two cheat days only bends the diet’s back, right? Sunday I went to the mountains for snowboarding on Monday.  Jeff and Chris came by – we made goulash.  If you’re not familiar with goulash, there are 1,000 different recipes, but basically it is some meat, tomatoes and sauce, macaroni noodles, and whatever else you want.  Again, delicious, but maybe not the best diet choice (especially not the bowl I had, and the garlic bread with it) Since I’m writing this on Tuesday, I should let you know that I didn’t do too bad on Monday snowboarding, because you burn a lot of energy snowboarding and you need to refuel.  We had 2 hot dogs each for lunch (mango jalapeno? Yes please), and finished off a much smaller portion of the goulash before heading down the hill.  So really, I only had 3 cheat days in a row. Only 3.

It was a bit of a yin/yang week for my diet, with such a great start and a crash and burn ending.  Things might get tricky the next couple of weeks over the holidays.

Exercise:

This side of the equation is doing even better than the diet, but also suffers from the weekend blues.  I had some excellent workouts this week, and I am finally integrating more strength training into my program.  I hit the gym Monday morning, and Tuesday and Wednesday nights.  I planned on just taking Thursday & Friday off, but like I said, I got the weekend blues and didn’t go again.  Still, 3 solid days are better than nothing, so I’m not to disappointed.

Monday & Tuesday were identical, other than their timing.  Monday morning I did the bike for 15 minutes at 7, and then the elliptical for 30 at 8 (increasing the level as discussed last week).  Tuesday night – I did the same thing.  Both times I got a good stretch before, during, and after, and stayed plenty hydrated and felt great.  I definitely had to work harder than the previous week, but it still isn’t quite a killer.  Next week will have me stepping up the time (while keeping the level up), from 30 minutes to 36 on the elliptical.  I’ll probably go for a little longer even, but never more than an hour.  If I can do an hour at a certain level, then lets see if I can do 45 minutes 2 levels up – ya know?

Wednesday I decided to just do strength training, aka “lifting, brah”.  I did a short warmup on the bike (10 mins, level 6) just to get my heart going and my muscles a little more limber, and then stretched.  Qi has the Kinesis system, but it also has 10 stations of different strength training apparati.  Although I feel/think that the Kinesis system would provide me a more complete workout, I have to admit I’m a little intimidated by it and don’t want to do it until I receive some instruction – either through classes or personal training, depending on the size of my wallet.  I opted for the stations, all of which (like almost all of Qi’s equipment) was made by Technogym.  I had previously got a good idea of where I needed to start by testing each station the weekend before.  Unfortunately, I will say that I took it too easy on myself.  Some stations, such as the shoulder press and leg curl, were tough for me and I gauged those about right, but most of the stations I think I took it too easy.  This was simple to identify – I didn’t hurt much at all the next day.  I will keep adjusting for this as I move on.  It’s good to be getting back to strength training, and I anticipate that I will increase the frequency of it as the challenge goes on.

Looking Forward:

It’s pretty simple now: consistent effort and gradual increases in length or resistance.  Move from 30 minutes on the elliptical to 36 minutes – and if that seems too easy, then move on to level 9.  I don’t think I’ll mess with the bike warm up before hand.  It seems to be just enough to get me ready to hit the elliptical with determination.  The strength training should increase very gradually once I find my true upper limits, and consistently.  This next week I already get to count Monday’s snowboarding as a quasi-workout.  More than anything though, I need to avoid the weekend blues.  I don’t have a crazy party or holiday to attend this weekend, so hopefully I can buck that trend.

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