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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 8 weeks, 24 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:33 am 
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Gorilla
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Location: Bloomington, IN
Laid off the bike the last few days because parts of my neck, shoulders, and upper back were getting sore. I ran instead, about 4 miles on both Thursday and Friday. Thursday I ran one lap around the park (distance of .82 miles, according to my bike odometer) as fast as I could without setting off my asthma, and did it in 5:58, which works out to a 7:16 per mile pace. I felt like I could keep up that pace, so I guess then that I can run a mile in about 7:20. After I lose a few more pounds hopefully I can get under 7 minutes (and keep up with my 13-year-old son!).

A few exercises here and there as far as weight training (shoulder presses, shoulder shrugs, back machine, pecs, lat pulldowns), but haven't done legs or arms since early in the week.

Weight this morning: 158.2, down almost 25 from July 1. Body fat percentage according to the scale is 23.0, and according to the Navy method (height, waist, and neck) it's 19.7.


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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 8 weeks, 24 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Gorilla
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Weight has been back up to around 160 the last couple of mornings. I'm not sure whether it's because I ate relatively late the evenings before or because I ate a Thai curry the other night. I don't think I really overate even though it was delicious, but I did have both coconut milk and tofu in it, so it was fairly high-fat.

Yesterday I had a pretty good workout, with 4 sets of squats using, I believe, 140 lb., 3 sets of calf raises (12 reps at 205, 220, and 235 lb.), as well as rows, back machine, ab machine, 4 sets of shoulder shrugs, and a couple of other upper-body exercises, I think. I didn't write it all down, obviously, but in any case it was a pretty complete and heavy workout.

Today my forearms are really sore for some reason, but I think it's more because of using a screwdriver a lot to put in some closet hardware than because of the workout. Because of that, I didn't ride my bike today. Walked a few miles, and ran 3.2 (4 laps) at Bryan Park.

Decided to finally prove to myself that I could beat my 5k (3.1 miles) time from last fall's race pretty handily, so I ran pretty hard. Did 3.2 miles in 28 minutes flat (an 8:45 per mile pace), whereas last year I did the 5k in 28:56, so my 5k time has improved by about 2 minutes. I actually felt like I could have run it significantly faster, but it was really hot and humid and I got kind of dehydrated the last lap and a half, since I didn't want to stop for water until I was done. Average heart rate was 146 with a peak of 168. And, happily, I didn't have any Achilles or other leg soreness at all during the run, just a slight tightness in my left hip during the last lap. Now, if I can just get those damn forearms to stop killing me, I can hopefully go for a bike ride tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 8 weeks, 24 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:49 pm 
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Gorilla
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Forearm pain is almost gone, but I still have muscle soreness in my shoulder blade area and elsewhere around my upper back, for going on two weeks now. I'II assume some combination of long bike rides with the handlebars too low (they're higher now, but too late!) and upper back workouts have done it. It feels as though there are some pinched nerves somewhere. Although I did a pretty heavy workout about 4 days ago, I haven't really lifted any since because I'm worried about hurting something worse. Maybe I need to go to a chiropractor?

As a result of my various aches and pains, I haven't gone on a long bike ride in more than a week. I've been running about 4 miles a day as well as walking another couple of miles on average, but that's not quite the same energy expenditure as biking 30, and as noted above I haven't been lifting as much lately.

Weight this morning is 159.4, about the same as I was more than a week ago, so I'm stuck on a plateau at the moment even though I feel like I've been pretty good about my diet (around 10% of calories from fat and seldom much over 2000 calories) and am continuing to get some form of exercise burning up at least 500 calories every single day. And I know I'm not stuck at this weight because I'm packing on muscle while shedding fat or anything; both my appearance (and waist measurement) and my scales suggest that nothing's really changing at the moment in either muscle mass or fat mass. It's getting very frustrating! I don't really have a good explanation other than that when I was losing weight rapidly, I was burning perhaps twice as many calories through exercise as I am at the moment. Still, that ought to have resulted in my just losing less weight per week, not maintaining exactly the same weight!

As I've said before, one thing about my diet that could be a lot better is sugar consumption. Although I've completely cut out sugary desserts and any other food items with significant sugar content, I've still been consuming beverages such as sweetened tea, lemonade, and the occasional glass or two of wine. I hate just drinking water all the time! I'd estimate that I've been averaging about 200 to 250 calories a day consumed in liquid form (other than smoothies, which have all the fiber still in them and aren't just simple carbs anyway). So, next step is to cut out the sugar almost completely. I've been sweetening my tea with Stevia the last couple of days, and it has a tolerable taste, so I'll keep doing that as well as perhaps making some lemonade with it. I've already been avoiding alcohol on most days, so I need to just do that a little more. But avoiding sugar is definitely not easy for someone with as big a sweet tooth as I have.

Before I get carried away with my frustrations about lack of recent progress, I should note that I'm still in a lot better shape than I was even just a month ago, when I weighed about 10 pounds more and I was definitely not in as good cardiovascular condition. Just for fun, I measured my resting pulse a couple of mornings ago, and it was 45, as low as it's ever been. And my heart works less hard by around 10 beats per minute at every level of exercise other than all-out than it did a few months ago. Okay, enough words, it's time for some progress pics since it's been over a month and around 14 pounds since the last ones. One of these days, I'll figure out how to post several pictures in one message so that I can do side-by-side progress comparisons.
It doesn't look like I've gained much if any muscle mass in my upper body, but the fat loss is very noticeable, and I like it!


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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 8 weeks, 24 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:45 am 
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I saw your first pics and then those new ones and that is truly some awesome progress, you look like you lost a ton of fat ! You're definitely more lean now. I agree, the fat loss is more spectacular than the muscle gain, but you have some good muscles on the back and shoulders. Great workouts, and your long bike rides are really great for fat loss.

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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 8 weeks, 24 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:55 pm 
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Gorilla
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Weight this morning: 158.0 lb., which is the lowest weight I've been at in, I don't know, maybe 10 years! Time will tell, but the early indication is that cutting out sugar as I've managed to do the last three days is helping. Eighteen more pounds to go, and then I'm going to start eating more calories (current consumption is between 2000 and 2500 a day, I think) and try for some bulking.


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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 8 weeks, 24 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 1:28 pm 
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Yeah dude, brilliant progress!

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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 8 weeks, 24 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:20 pm 
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Gorilla
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Weight this morning: 155.4, over 27 pounds below what it was on July 1. This is a pretty sudden drop from about 158-159 the last few mornings. Body fat is down to 22.5 according to my scales, and still just under 20% according to the Navy method. Hope this sort of rapid progress happens more!

I'm not 100% sure what accounts for the sudden weight loss, after over a week of basically no progress. I imagine a chunk of it is water weight since I did do a pretty intense half hour of cardio only a couple of hours before bed last night. But I think a lot of it is real fat loss that occurred over the past couple of days. My waist is down 1/2 inch (to 33.5) since I weighed 160-ish.

My theory as to the pattern: Keys to my rapid fat loss over the last couple of months were the sheer amount of exercise I was getting as well as really keeping the fat low in my diet. However, I was not paying close attention to the amount of simple carbohydrates I was consuming, and it tended to be at least a couple hundred calories a day (mostly from sweetened tea). So, when time constraints cut my workout time from well over 2 hours a day on average to more like an hour to an hour and a half a day, weight loss stopped even though my diet was relatively good. So, I took the logical next step with my diet and cut out almost all the sugar (replacing most of it with either Stevia which has zero calories or agave nectar which has a lot fewer than sugar as well as containing fiber).

But there's another thing I learned from Dr. John McDougall's web site that I think will also prove very helpful: The same exact food can vary greatly in how quickly it is absorbed by the digestive system and thus how it affects fluctuations in blood sugar. Wheat flour or rice flour are processed much faster than rice--even white rice--or, for example, bulgur (cracked wheat). So eating whole foods, even white rice, is much better for weight loss than eating foods that have been processed by, for example, grinding them into flour. So this week I've drastically cut back on the amount of bread and other things containing flour I'm consuming and replacing those calories with lots of rice, potatoes, corn tortillas, etc. It's too early to tell, but I think it (along with cutting out the sugar) may be helping considerably by smoothing out my blood sugar levels more and keeping my appetite satisfied a bit longer.

Those of you trying to lose fat who are for the moment stuck might want to give the "no processed carbs" route a try, if you aren't already. So far, it seems to be helping me.


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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 10 weeks, 28 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:56 am 
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Gorilla
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Location: Bloomington, IN
Weight this morning: 154.4. Body fat according to the scale: 22.3%.


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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 10 weeks, 28 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:53 am 
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Gorilla
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Location: Bloomington, IN
Ran a 5k race this morning, in approximately 23:49. That's over 5 minutes faster than I did it last fall. Woo hoo! Gettin' in shape! I even felt good enough to run another 3 miles in the evening.

Average heart rate during the race was 160, with a peak of 170, so I feel like I gave it a good, hard effort.

Weight in the mornings is at a new plateau of 155-156 the last two days. I haven't been doing much cardio this week, just a couple of slow practice 5ks and a couple of half-hour sessions on the elliptical machines. I'm hoping to step it up a little next week; we'll see what happens.


Last edited by veginator on Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 10 weeks, 28 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:23 am
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Location: Madison, WI
Lookin good, though I gotta say your workin awful hard to get there- I lost 40 pounds this past winter in 4 months with NO CARDIO just by switching to a raw lowfat diet. If you wanna have some fun, try eating nothing but raw fruit for a week. You'll probably loose close to ten pounds as your body sheds excess water no longer needed to dilute toxins like salt and spices. You just might find you love a super clean, ultra high energy diet composed of mostly fruit and greens and a small amount of nuts and seeds. Loosing weight, down to your ideal point and leveling off, without breaking a sweat, is a very empowering feeling and very sustainable over the long run; it also allows your body ample recovery since exercise is done strictly for strength, endurance, and flexability and not weight control. Your on the right path; keep on climbin!


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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 8 weeks, 24 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:42 pm 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:54 pm
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Location: Anchorage, AK (Alaska)
veginator wrote:
My theory as to the pattern: Keys to my rapid fat loss over the last couple of months were the sheer amount of exercise I was getting as well as really keeping the fat low in my diet. However, I was not paying close attention to the amount of simple carbohydrates I was consuming, and it tended to be at least a couple hundred calories a day (mostly from sweetened tea). So, when time constraints cut my workout time from well over 2 hours a day on average to more like an hour to an hour and a half a day, weight loss stopped even though my diet was relatively good. So, I took the logical next step with my diet and cut out almost all the sugar (replacing most of it with either Stevia which has zero calories or agave nectar which has a lot fewer than sugar as well as containing fiber).

But there's another thing I learned from Dr. John McDougall's web site that I think will also prove very helpful: The same exact food can vary greatly in how quickly it is absorbed by the digestive system and thus how it affects fluctuations in blood sugar. Wheat flour or rice flour are processed much faster than rice--even white rice--or, for example, bulgur (cracked wheat). So eating whole foods, even white rice, is much better for weight loss than eating foods that have been processed by, for example, grinding them into flour. So this week I've drastically cut back on the amount of bread and other things containing flour I'm consuming and replacing those calories with lots of rice, potatoes, corn tortillas, etc. It's too early to tell, but I think it (along with cutting out the sugar) may be helping considerably by smoothing out my blood sugar levels more and keeping my appetite satisfied a bit longer.

Those of you trying to lose fat who are for the moment stuck might want to give the "no processed carbs" route a try, if you aren't already. So far, it seems to be helping me.


Hmm, that sounds interesting...PM me this website, when you get the chance.


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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 10 weeks, 28 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:48 am 
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Gorilla
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Location: Bloomington, IN
Weight this morning: 154.2, which is roughly the same as I've weighed the last few mornings (anywhere from 154 to 155), in spite of doing a lot of cardio yesterday. I seem to have hit another plateau for some reason, even though I'm doing almost everything right in terms of diet.

Yesterday I did a slow 7 laps (5.6 miles) around Bryan Park, jogged there (about 1 mile), walked back, and did half an hour averaging a heart rate of about 135 on the elliptical machine yesterday evening. I did a light (i.e., not very many sets or exercises) weight workout, which is all I had time left to do, but I'm still mainly focused on trying to burn fat these days. I'm puzzled as to why my progress has stalled so often lately, and especially yesterday, because my diet is very low fat and sugar these days and I did about 2 hours of moderate to high intensity cardio yesterday. My body seems to be holding on for dear life to that last 20 pounds or so of excess body fat (I think I'm somewhere between 20 and 22% body fat). Kind of frustrating!


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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 10 weeks, 28 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:01 pm 
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Gorilla
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I can see what you mean by empowering in the sense that it's empowering to know it's possible to lose weight through a good diet (as well as a little lifting) alone. But I think people probably have pretty different metabolisms and that wouldn't work for everyone. It doesn't seem to work for me--I've been eating a lowfat diet (with a "vacation" from it maybe one meal every week or two) for three months now, and if I'm not doing much cardio, I don't lose much weight no matter how good my diet is.

The times when I've lost the most weight by far have been when I was doing a LOT of cardio as well as watching my diet. Of the approximately 33 pounds I've lost over those three months (note: a slightly faster rate of weight loss than what you had over 4 months), almost 20 of them were between about July 15 and August 30, when I was biking around 150 miles a week as well as doing other things such as playing sports with my son and lifting weights about 3 times a week. I was exercising maybe 3 hours a day, which was more time than I really have now, but I really got results--more than 3 pounds lost per week. Since August 30, when I've had to cut back a lot on cardio due to a busier schedule and some shoulder soreness from the heavy bike riding, I've only lost 3 pounds in a little over 2 weeks.

I'm not sure what eating raw fruit for a week would do any differently than eating a low-fat diet composed of a mixture of raw and cooked fruits and vegetables, like I've been eating, would do, other than be really expensive. I actually ate a mostly raw fruit diet (aside from some beans and a couple of corn tortillas for dinner) for about a day and a half earlier this week when our electricity was out and I didn't want to go in the fridge. I went through more than $20 of food
during that time, and I didn't lose an ounce. And I'm not sure how consuming salt and spices is toxic or would result in water retention. I've rarely experienced any water retention from eating salt, etc., and if I drink too much liquid, I just pee it out, so it's not a problem. Aside from studies associating salt and sodium with high blood pressure, I'm not aware of any scientific evidence that would suggest any common spices have any toxic effects. And in fact the research seems to find that almost all of the correlation between sodium intake and blood pressure is because most of the food people eat with lots of sodium is unhealthy animal crap! Eating rice and tofu with soy sauce isn't going to significantly affect your blood pressure. I don't consume a lot of salt or sodium, just some once in a while. My blood pressure is just fine: 111/65 when it was recently checked about a week ago.

For me, losing weight--pretty rapidly most of the time--through heavy cardio and a good diet is very, very empowering. Not only have I lost 28 pounds since July 1, but in the process I've gotten in much better shape. I've gone from being able to run a 5k in 28:56 last fall to being able to run the same distance race in 23:49 last weekend, more than 5 minutes faster, placing 47th in a field of about 200 people who were mostly in their 20s. (I'm 47.) It's empowering as hell to be able to outrun the majority of people half your age, and despite still carrying about 20 pounds more than I'd like to, I still look like I'm in better shape than a lot of them, too.

It's also empowering to know that combining regular, intense exercise with a low-fat vegan diet is the best way to get my body as healthy as it can be. I mentioned the blood pressure figure. Resting heart rate is 45, which indicates my heart is in very good condition. A couple of years ago when I was off-and-on sedentary, and vegan but not lowfat, my cholesterol was 160 with an HDL of about 55. I'm sure that it's well under 150 with an HDL level a few points higher now. Vegans are healthy, usually, but vegans who eat low-fat and work out hard every day are even healthier, plus they get that endorphin rush every single day! I'll take that over being vegan and sedentary any day, even with equal amounts of weight loss.


RawVgn wrote:
Lookin good, though I gotta say your workin awful hard to get there- I lost 40 pounds this past winter in 4 months with NO CARDIO just by switching to a raw lowfat diet. If you wanna have some fun, try eating nothing but raw fruit for a week. You'll probably loose close to ten pounds as your body sheds excess water no longer needed to dilute toxins like salt and spices. You just might find you love a super clean, ultra high energy diet composed of mostly fruit and greens and a small amount of nuts and seeds. Loosing weight, down to your ideal point and leveling off, without breaking a sweat, is a very empowering feeling and very sustainable over the long run; it also allows your body ample recovery since exercise is done strictly for strength, endurance, and flexability and not weight control. Your on the right path; keep on climbin!


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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 10 weeks, 28 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:20 pm 
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Gorilla
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Location: Bloomington, IN
Weight this morning: 153.8. There was a brief blip a few days ago where my morning weight was 152.4, but I think my stomach happened to be really, really empty at that time and most mornings lately it's been between 154 and 155. I first reached 155 a couple of weeks ago, and it's been slow going since then, but that's not surprising given that I haven't been running that many miles and have hardly either biked or lifted any lately.

I'm still having recurring muscle tension, I guess, and some pain in my shoulder and upper back area, most noticeably around my right shoulder blade, and I'm totally stumped as to why it's been going on for almost a month now with only a little improvement. I went to the chiropractor once, which didn't help and set me back 95 bucks. I've had two brief (free 10-minute) sessions and one long session with a massage therapist, and that helped some. I've done stretching, I've laid off of lifting and biking (one or both of which I think set it off in the first place), I've done just about everything I can think of, and still things aren't even close to back to normal yet. I'm not in a lot of pain, but it's just not getting better. Anyone got any ideas?


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 Post subject: Re: Jeff's training blog: 10 weeks, 28 pounds lost!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:44 am 
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Gorilla
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Location: Bloomington, IN
Weight this morning: 151.4. I think part of the sudden drop is because I went for a run around 9 yesterday evening, which is later than usual, so I expect the "real" morning weight should have been around a pound more than that. Still, although progress this month has been much slower than August, it's happening a little bit at a time. 140s soon!

Ran about 3 miles in the morning and 3 in the evening yesterday. Hamstrings have been a little tight lately, but no trouble from that pesky Achilles that was bothering me a few weeks ago.


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