Lent Challenge


That’s how much I lost off of my waist and my neck during Lent.  But my bicep remained the same and I lost 4 pounds, so that’s not too bad –  especially since the only resolution I managed to stick to was the fasting and exercise!  Diet was pretty sporadic, I admit.  I was rock solid out at sea, then spent the next two weeks eating ice cream, cake, chips, and drinking a good bit of red wine.  Still, I am down to 189 from 193 despite the fact that I’m still carbed up from nibbling on the remnants of the Easter candy.  I wish I had the dedication of a SoG, but as long as I continue to trend downward, I’m not concerned.

My wife is gearing up to start really shedding her baby weight, so there should be a lot less of the tempting items around the house in the near future.  The last time we got serious together we both lost a ton of weight (and she got a baby, lol).

Sorry it’s been awhile since my last post. I should be a bit more regular once I hit dry land again!  I’ve been tracking my food, so I should have some caloric and macro-nutrient breakdowns when my web access isn’t so restricted.

Just wanted to relate my experience yesterday during my workout.  I have modified the workout from Gym Junkies a little, turning the whole thing into a superset.  Yesterday’s workout for example was Dumbbell squats (30# ea x 8 reps) straight to bench press (#13 on the weight stack, don’t know how much weight, but it’s challenging without blowing any blood vessels) x 8, then lat pulldowns (same weight) x 8 reps.  Rest 1 min in between rounds.  I usually knock out five rounds in just under 15 minutes, which leaves me out of breath and fatigued in a good way.  Yesterday I was hurting on the third round, and on the fourth I could barely hold the dumbbells at my shoulders for the squats.  I struggled through (even had to reduce the weight for bench and lat pulls), and called it quits after that round.

Now there are other factors here, namely the ships rocking makes every movement harder.  Sometimes the weight gets real heavy on the left, sometimes the right… It’s a constant, fatiguing balancing act.  I’ve also been working out every other day, a total of five workouts in nine days.  Despite this I am sure the biggest reason is that I have followed a very strict ketogenic diet out here.  I have only eaten fish, meat, dairy, olives, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Throw in the fasts I did as well and it’s easy to see that I am finally depleted of glycogen.  My muscles don’t feel sore as if I’ve been overtraining, and they shouldn’t since I’ve actually only done a total of an hour and 15 minutes worth of actual weight training!  Now begins the real business of fat burning.  I was tempted to eat a few more carbs after yesterday to support the training, but then I reminded myself that the weight training was the tool, not the goal.  The weights are there to remind my body to hold on to my lean mass as I shift deeper into fat-burning mode.  It is really hard to shake the “get bigger muscles” mentality that had a hold of me for so long.

So I will rest tonight and hit the weights again tomorrow.  I think the combination of cold dry recycled air, a woeful lack of sunlight, and several sick crewmembers, have conspired to give me a sore throat and mild (so far) sinus infection.  So I’m not real hungry and may just stick to green tea with lemon for the night.  Go immune system!

No kiddies, it’s not the latest fitness craze – it’s what happens when you are on a boat that is constantly rocking back and forth.  Just a rock of a few degrees side to side can produce some profound soreness in the stabilizer muscles.  You really notice it in your ankles, calves, knees, sides, and lower back.  Every motion of the boat forces your muscles to contract to keep you in your customary upright position, and all those little contractions really add up after a few days.  Even while you sleep, your body is fighting to keep you from rolling out of bed!  Not a bad way to burn a few extra calories.

So that said, my back was very stiff this evening when I got up.  I remedied it with a quick set of 20 Hindu push-ups and some very short planks.  The added motion of the boat made a 30 second front plank feel like absolute torture, and I limited the sides to only 15 seconds for fear of injuring myself!  As far as food, I am fasting today, drinking only green tea and water.  I set myself up nicely, though, having gorged myself on fat and protein last night.

Here’s the continuation of my foods eaten and activity:

3/10

11:00 pm – 1 can of Beach Cliff Sardines, drained

3/11

1:00 am – 6 oz. canned salmon, spanish olives, 1/3 cup guacamole

5:00 am – 1.5 cups ground beef w/ taco seasoning, 1 oz. shredded cheddar

10:30 pm – Workout A from Gym Junkies.com (I did workout B the other day, but mislabeled it as A)

11:00 pm – 2 cups shredded roasted chicken, drippings poured over it

3/12

2:00 am – 6 oz. canned salmon, 2 cans sardines, about 5 tbsp olive oil, all mashed up ( I wasn’t really hungry, but I wanted to get plenty of protein and fat in me)

7:00 am- 2 boiled eggs, 6 pork sausages (good ones with a skin casing), 4 strips of bacon

As you can see, yesterday was a heavy eating day!  I’m not even remotely hungry this evening.  I plan to go at least until 7 am, but if I’m not starving I may just go to bed.  We’ll see!

Being on this ship is all about avoiding temptation.  There are candy, cakes, cream puffs, ice cream, chips, delicious little bowls of ramen noodles (the good kind most folks will only find at an Asian market)…. you name it, we got it.  Yet amazingly I have so much more willpower than if, say, I was home and my wife had bought me a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.  I think it’s because we only see each other  on this ship every few months, so changes in peoples appearance are very noticeable.  A lot of these guys knew me when I was at 260 pounds (118 kilos) and they always comment on how amazed they are that I not only lost 70 lbs, but have kept it off for so long.  Others I know have lost, but promptly gained it back and more.  That is the magic of a paleo lifestyle.  It is a long term, livable solution to weight troubles.  I don’t ever preach to anyone here, but some have tried to kick the carbs after seeing my results.  And maybe it’s the fact that I’ve always kind of been on the fringes that gives me just a little pleasure in being an individual – the one guy quietly snacking on some olives with balsamic vinegar while everyone else dives into the pastries.  Brushing my teeth next to a guy who looks like I did a couple years back is a powerful reminder of how far I’ve come, and how important it is to stay the course.

I’m working nights, so my meals are kind or reversed – leftover dinner for breakfast, breakfast before bed. Yesterday went like this:

  • Black coffee – 3 cups (at least)
  • 10:30 pm – Workout A from the Gym Junkies blog
  • 11:30 pm – 12 meatballs (no pasta) with 2 slices of provolone melted on top
  • 2:00 am – 6 oz. wild salmon, 6 Spanish olives, 2-3 tbsp olive oil (didn’t measure, just poured)
  • 5:30 am – 1/2 cup scrambled eggs, 3 oz. spiral cut ham, 2 slices bacon with about 2 tbsp ketchup

I only ended up sleeping about seven hours, but I was very rested.  I got up and went to the outside deck to catch a couple hours of sunlight (yay vitamin D!).  After the sun set I headed inside for a quick circuit of 30 pushups, 20 bodyweight squats, 20 pushups, 15 squats, 1 minute front plank, and side planks of 30 seconds each.  Breakfast was a big bowl of fajita chicken with bell peppers smothered in about 1/3 cup of Wholly Guacamole (the only kind I will eat if my wife doesn’t make it fresh) and 2 tbsp salsa.  No coffee this morning, only green tea.

Until next time!

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, things have been busy!

Last week I ended up fasting for 5 straight days!  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I could barely eat as it was – only had a small bowl of chicken soup in the evening.  Thursday I felt a lot better, so it was ribeye steak with cauliflower and carrots for dinner.  Friday was another all-day fast with a nice piece of salmon.  Saturday I spent the afternoon snacking on whatever I could get my hands on, then Outback for an Ahi tuna steak with a baked potato (I know..).  Sunday was eggs for breakfast and tri-tip roast and pork chops for dinner.  I must admit that giving up dairy just isn’t happening.  I can live without the other stuff, but nothing beats a hunk of cheese when I’m hungry.  One day I may be able to purge it from my diet, but today is not that day.

I am currently out at sea for my job.  Given the nature of the comms out here I may be lucky to post once a week.  If I can do more I will.  I’m looking forward to doing some long fasts while I’m out here.  I’ll be lifting weights every other day, eating clean, and (here’s the best part) getting a lot more sleep.  This should give me some good results by the time I get home!

It’s now been a week since i started the Lent Challenge. I must admit that the week did NOT go all that well. I started strong, ate crap on Sunday, and spent Monday and Tuesday in bed sick (coincidence?). I did lose a pound, though. I’m fasting today and will hit the weights as well. This week will be better, dang it!

So yesterday started dark & early for me, as I had to be at work by 4:00 AM.  I can’t even entertain the thought of food at that time, so despite my “hunger of habit” the night before I had no appetite for several hours (save for some much needed coffee).  I am lucky to have some weights at work, so I took a break around 8:00 and squeezed in Workout A from Phase 1 of the Muscle Building Workout at Gym Junkies.  I was done (& done!) in about 15 minutes.  After the workout, I ate 2 cans of tuna with about 10 Spanish olives, salt, and pepper.  I got a little hungry again around 1:00 PM, and had 10 more olives with some EVOO and pepper, and a couple cups of green tea.

After a long 12-hour workday I arrived home to the heavenly aroma of Roast Beast simmering in the Crock-Pot.  I could have wept for joy!  And when it was ready I piled my plate high, savored every bite, and went back for more.  I was so full and satisfied that I didn’t miss the cheese at all later, nor did I eat anything else that evening.

I went to bed before 10:00 PM and woke up this morning already 12 hours into today’s fast.  I had some coffee and hit Workout B this morning, pretty well killing my appetite.  I’m not sure what’s on the menu tonight, but since my wife is allergic to fish it will probably be egg salad again.  That is totally fine by me – in 12 years of marriage I have yet to taste a meal she made that wasn’t delicious!

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