Picture this: June 2009. Fifty-five years old and at my highest weight ever. Recently laid off and feeling, well, not good! Join the local YMCA to swim because I’m too embarrassed to be seen in a gym.
Your Story! Your Voice! Your Health!
Mat, the Fitness Director at the Northwest CT YMCA, posted his first superfood for the Fitness Commitment Challenge and it's blueberries.
This week isn't much of a challenge for me as I eat blueberries practically everyday. When looking at a list of super foods, it's probably hard to find one that I don't eat.
During the first week of the challenge, things have been going along nicely. My weight is the same, which is what I want, but my body fat percentage is going down! I'm almost in the teens when the trainer used the calipers on my body fat! So I'm slowly getting it down but it's a long process.
I also was able to finally check on my activity during the past week. The FitKik Pebble we use keeps track of all activity, but you can't really monitor the activity live. Once last week's info was uploaded at the YMCA kiosk, I saw that I met my personal goals… I still get 10,000 steps a day! This tells me that I'm more than active enough. I hope my other team mates did well too!
The other day, I wrote about my team in the latest challenge I'm doing for the Northwest CT YMCA. Part of the requirements of the challenge is strength training. Many people do not get adequate protein, but body builders especially need extra protein in order to build lean muscle. Also, if someone doesn't have enough protein, they could lose some of the muscle they already have.
It's difficult to find the right balance of protein that you need. I've seen so many different guidelines but I'm listening to what my trainer advises, which is one gram of protein per pound of weight. Oftentimes, this means having a supplemental protein shake as it would be difficult to get enough protein from food alone.
I thought I was done with wellness challenges. I did two challenges at the Northwest CT YMCA, two walking challenges sponsored by the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and even a triathlon challenge at the Greater Waterbury YMCA, all in about two years.
Now I'm in another challenge at the Northwest CT YMCA, this one being titled the "Fitness Commitment Challenge". The only reason I decided to join this challenge is that it focuses on something the other ones didn't, that being body fat percentage. My trainer wants my body fat to be around 13 so I still have a way to go.
One full day of properly (All day Tuesday) following my jumpstart program and I am starting to see the results I expect. Wednesday morning weigh in was 230.4 lb . My body is starting to adjust to the lack of carbs. I am drinking tons of water so I know the losses are not due to water retention / water loss. (110 oz of water for the day). I am starting to clear out the previous day/days of food that had built up in my system. Sometimes when starting up a low carb strategy you will notice bowel movements happen less frequently at first. As more clears out of my system I expect to see larger weight loss gains over the upcoming days.
I've stopped the cardio for now and I have been walking 2 miles/day. I want to have a few strong days on the jumpstart without the cardio and then I will go back to the gym starting Saturday to see if the cardio affects the weight-loss for the remaining days of the jumpstart period.
When I think back to when I was in my worst shape and at highest weight I was constantly eating unhealthy food. After some self examination I was able to realize that I wasn't eating to fuel my body, rather I was eating to fill an an emotional pain/need that had not been met. So I was eating unhealthy foods (and lots of it!) as an unconscious way to cope with my feelings. Around this time I came across a great book by Cal Banyan called The Secret Language of Feelings. From the great foundation of that book I found great personal success by tweaking his method and forming a protocol that better suited me and I would like to share that with you.
I call this the NCIS Transformational Self-Help Protocol. NCIS is a protocol to transform your feelings from “bad” to satisfaction and fulfillment.
My suspicions were confirmed. My jumpstart weight-loss had stalled. Why? Stupidity on my part. As much as I thought I was following my program I inadvertently introduced elements that were different and it has put a bump in the road.
I am following a low carb food strategy and I started using Truvia sweetener. Truvia carries 3g of carbs per packet. Shame on me for assuming it was carb free as other sweeteners I had used in times past. Truvia IS the healthy way to go... but for now I will hold off on using it until the maintenance phase of the diet. Since I drink Green tea like a fiend, I was consuming about 35-45 grams of carbs per day alone with Truvia. That is what I believe is causing the the jumpstart weight-loss to stall. For the jumpstart program to work, I need to consume next to 55-75 grams of carbs per day for 8 days... (And yes it is not that fun... remember, jumpstarts for any type of diet plan, are to be tolerated... anyone selling "fun" is trying to sell you product, I'd say to save your money.) The rest of the intake is an overload of protein, minimal fats, appropriate amount of salt and a whole lot of water.