Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Fifteen

Welcome to Week 15 of me publicly broadcasting my goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until that goal is accomplished.

History Of How I Got Here

2010 – Early 2015
  • Used weight training to lose 80 pounds of fat and than maintained a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle.
  • 2015 goal to lose 15 pounds of fat which that would equate to about 195 pounds (if no muscle loss)
 November 20, 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016

**SPECIAL NOTE**:
Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals is to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary measurement.

WEEK 15: February 19 – February 25 2016

February 19th Stats
Scale Weight: 207.6 pounds
Waist: 35.0 inches

Week 15 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 207.6 to 207 pounds.
  • Waist under 35 inches
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

I have to admit…..I saw a VERY shiny object Wednesday night! It was so shiny that it kept me up thinking about it until 2AM in the morning! This shiny object was a completely different workout routine.

That’s just how distracted I was, I sacrifice my normal bed time to stay up and research this workout routine. I even created a workout template trying to figure out how I could stop my current workout routine and immediately start it Thursday morning!

As I woke up on Thursday morning, I was tempted to just totally skip my AM workout due to lack of sleep. I had been on my current workout routine for 4 solid weeks. I can honestly say it definitely challenges me and the gym results are awesome!

Why would I want to change it? Well, like anything that you haven’t tried before, the exotic nature of something is always more appealing than what you currently have. There’s no question in my mind that my diet and workout are working in perfect harmony right now!

I would be an idiot for changing my workout too soon right! Well, the other factor that made me look at other workouts is that normally around the four week mark is when people change up their routine. Given that my weights have changed consistently there’s really no need to change the workout, but when you are use to change every 4 weeks, that habit sticks with you.

Sleeping

I’ve noticed that my sleeping has been off again. I am able to get up around 5:20 AM with no problem. My problem is going to bed around 9:15 PM to ensure that I get around 7 ½ hours of sleep.

My sleeping these past few days have been 7 hours or less for a few nights in a row. I also started watching too many TV programs past 9 PM. I need to stop myself from slipping back into bad habits. In order to avoid stressing my body too much, I need to make sure I’m getting 7 ½ or more hours of sleep a night.

Eating

I’m pretty much in the zone right now. Last Saturday, my wife and I went to see a movie. While there, we shared a medium sized popcorn. If I was going to go into super cheat mode, I would have normally eaten about ¾ of that popcorn by myself.

Given I was in the zone, I barely had ¼ of the popcorn. Due to the taste of cornels on my tongue, I did have some more popcorn later that night at home. But I still didn’t go crazy! I ended up making that day an official cheat day but I really just ended up eating more fruit than I normally do for dinner.

I felt really good being in control this week. I could feel myself becoming lighter this week due my current targeted daily calorie number.

Mentality

On Thursday morning, I decided that I would still go through my workout despite my lack of sleep. I owed it to myself to be great. So I drank my water and did my normal morning ritual. Due to this being a heavy day, I had a pre-workout drink of BCAAs. That along with some motivational music on the way to the gym lit a fire in me!

I bounced up and down in my car and felt the rhythm of the classic hip hop songs blasting on my Pandora playlist. I glanced at the rear view mirror, and repeated my Release The Beast chants…..”Release The Beast!!!…..Release…The….Beast!!”

If you have no idea what I’m talking about you need to check out my book, Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside!

That mentality got me through a grueling workout. I felt so energized that all the heavy weights I used felt light during my lifts. It’s awesome what the right motivation will do to your progress!

Food Journal

Here are my honest food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 19 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 20 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 21 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 22 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 23 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 24 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 25 2016

End of Week 15: February 26th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 206 lbs (1.6 lbs lost from previous week)
  • Waist: 35.0 inches (0 inches lost from previous week)
  • 95% Compliant
    • 21 out of 22 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

This was a week in which the mirror told a different story than what the measurement tape and scale said. I can see my body changing in the mirror. I see how my waist is started to shrink, while certain muscles have started to become more defined. My measurement numbers could have been influenced by what I had for dinner last night, so I can’t take them seriously

This was a good week for myself. A pound of weight loss a week is a good thing at this stage in the game. It means I’m not losing weight too fast and losing muscle. I need to just keep riding this wave of confidence.

Upcoming Week 16 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 206 to 205.5 pounds.
  • Waist under 34.9 inches
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

15 Weeks Down……11 Pounds to Go……Just 0.5 inches left to lose from my waist!

I hope you are enjoying my journey! Let’s see what happens during Week 16!

What 100 Days Of Calorie Counting Taught Me

The day started out like any other day. I naturally awoke out of my bed without the need for an alarm. As my eyes glanced at the alarm clock, I was quickly reminded that I had slept past my desired 5:30 AM wakeup time. The time reflected in my eyes flashed 7:30AM in bright red digital numbers.

“Oh well, there’s always tomorrow to get back on track”

With that thought I instantly hopped out my bed and began my morning routine.

I threw on my workout clothes, got a good dose of H20, and did 30 minutes of an abbreviated miracle morning. I then proceeded to the gym. My posterior chain muscles were on the menu that day. This was not a heavy weight day but more of a high rep day so I embraced my intensity and completed the workout.

Once home, I had my lunch as my actual post-workout meal. From there, I drove to my office and posted last weeks blog . In addition to the blog, I met with some new clients and put together a solid training plan.

I dragged myself home around 6 PM and ate my dinner with my lovely wife. Following dinner, we watched a couple of TV shows. As I was watching the TV shows, I entered my food for the day into my online calorie counter.

Somewhere between 9 PM and 11 PM I feel asleep on the couch. I woke myself up and went into the bedroom. That folks is how my February 16, 2016 ended.

02/16/2016

It wasn’t until four days later that I realized the significance of Tuesday, February 16, 2016. That date is the day I logged into Myfitnesspal for 100 days straight! When I logged into my Myfitnesspal account I was amazed that it stated I was on day 104. I had to do a double take.

“Wait, I’ve done this for 104 days? When was 100 days?”

I looked back and realized that it was 02/16/2016. A day that was just like any other day on this planet…. but it wasn’t.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 was 100 days of me actually taking the time to document my actual calorie intake, day after day. I’ve logged in online food diaries before but NEVER for 100 plus days straight! This had to be celebrated and talked about. Thus I’ve put together a summary of what 100 Days of calorie counting taught me.

DISCIPLINE

monkkids
The only way to go that long was through discipline. I got a routine of documenting my food into my journal immediately after finishing a meal. It’s just like any habit; it takes more than 21 days for it to become a part of your life.

That’s what happened with me. The first couple of days, I kept forgetting and almost missed my daily documentation. But over the weeks that followed it became second nature.

DON’T TRUST FOOD LABELS

lays-chipsIf you ever look at a food database whether it’s from Myfitnesspal, Nutritiondata or myfooddiary, you will always see several entries for the same exact item. Which one is correct? If your database is good enough, you would be able to find the exact product in it (which is why I’m a big fan of Myfitnesspal. It actually allows your mobile phone to scan barcodes to find exact product labels).

Most of the time you’re eating just a simple single item. Let’s say you’re eating a apple. A search in the databases will give you at least 20 different choices. Chances are every single one of them has a different calorie amount. Which do you choose?

After doing this for so long, my best advice to you is to not take it so seriously. There are so many factors that go into how many calories you burn in a day and exactly how many calories are in a food. You should only use the database as an estimator. Don’t expect it to 100% accurate.

I always treat each day as if my calories may be off by plus or minus 200. That’s why I use more than one tool for figuring out if I’m gaining or losing weight. This is where waist measurements, pictures, the mirror and even the dreaded scale can help you figure the real truth.  Never rely on just one source of information.

EATING OUT IS HARD TO TRACK

familydinner

Without a doubt, the hardest time to track calories is when you eat foods you did not prepare yourself. Especially when you go out to restaurants or eat at friends/family gatherings. You find yourself constantly second-guessing what’s in the food.

“Hmmm did they use one teaspoon or one tablespoon of butter in these vegetables?”

“Shoot, that’s a homemade cake. How much flour? How much sugar? Is it too rude to ask?”

“The menu says it’s sautéed not fried…Is that really true? ”

When documenting the food in your calorie counter, you struggle between either logging every single food item, or just a generic search of the dish you had just eaten. When going to a local restaurant, chances are you won’t even find the menu items in the food database.

With all of this going on, a simple dinner out became a major annoyance!

HOW TO FACE MY REALITY

Guilty dog looking sad while pile of trash behind
The days I hated counting calories the most were the days I strayed from my normal eating plan. Boy were those the hardest days! Here I am, a fitness coach giving guidance to several folks on their own journeys, yet I had just finished a bag of potato chips, two PB&J sandwiches, 6 cookies and a homemade whiskey cocktail. How dare I give them advice!

From Christmas into most of January…………..that was rough! I knew what my past was and here I was repeating the bad habits. Seeing myself constantly inputting that information eventually allowed my old rational side to rise up!

Having daily totals of over 3,500 calories felt like a child screaming in my ears for attention! I had to do something about it. I couldn’t hide from it anymore. I had to face my reality and stop the bad habits!

CAN LEAD TO ISSUES

If a person had an eating disorder in the past, documenting for this long would only lead to more issues. I would only recommend documenting for about a week  to get a grasp of how many macronutrients/calories you are approximately eating.  When first starting a new eating plan and you want to make sure you are getting your marcros right, it makes sense.  Or if you’ve reach a point where you’re trying to problem solve your lack of progress.

Those instances make sense.  Just always remember that it’s more important for you to eat the healthy food than it is to check to see if you are eating exactly 50 grams of fat every single day.  That can lead to a compulsive behavior.

As a fitness coach I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER recommend a person go 100 days with documenting their journey. It can become very motivational at first because you have actual evidence of your eating habits. That motivation starts to wane down when it becomes your normal routine.

All of a sudden you might start to stray from your perfect diet. Then the real truth kicks in; are you going to actually document your embarrassments? Most people would not, and only start logging their good behavior.

I know from my experience that there were days I didn’t want to document what I truly ate because I knew someone would be watching (shout out to the MicVinny Fan Club!). I fear that a dieter would do the same thing if asked to document for so many days straight.  It just becomes easier to lie and falsely represent how you are truly eating.

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Fourteen

Welcome to Week 14 of me publicly broadcasting my goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until that goal is accomplished.

History Of How I Got Here

2010 – Early 2015
  • Used weight training to lose 80 pounds of fat and than maintained a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle.
  • 2015 goal to lose 15 pounds of fat which that would equate to about 195 pounds (if no muscle loss)
November 20, 2015

 

December 2015
January 2016

February 2016

**SPECIAL NOTE**:
Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals is to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary measurement.

WEEK 14: February 12 – February 18 2016

February 11th Stats
Scale Weight: 210 pounds
Waist: 35.6 inches

Week 14 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 210 to 209 pounds.
  • Waist under 35.5 inches
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

I’m currently doing about 5 weightlifting workouts a week.  Two days involve heavy lifting, while the other two days involve lighter weights.  I feel really good doing the simple routine.  I can feel my gripping strength get better as each week passes.  That gripping strength plays a big part in my ability to do pull-ups, deadlifts and stiff-leg deadlifts.

The injury I suffered last week has been a non-factor.  The area is still sore but has not caused any pain while working out.  I’ve been sure to stretch out this entire week.

Mentality

This past Valentine’s Day was a planned cheat day.    I talked more in detailed about that day in What Cheating On Valentine’s Day Taught Me…..and NO, I did not cheat on my wife!!   It was just a innocently planned cheat day.  I had a plan to get down and dirty with some form of baked goods!

For the past two weeks, whenever I had been watching tv on Hulu, I saw a Dunkin Donuts commercial for Valentine’s heart shaped donuts.  At first I resisted.  But by the time I saw the commercial for the hundredth time, my mouth started to drool for the donuts.  I could feel my name changing to Homer!

Homer Simpson eating a doughnut

So on Valentine’s Day when I approached the Dunkin Donuts, I could see just how powerful my willpower has become again.  I had no plans to get a dozen.  I subconsciously knew what my past was like when getting a dozen so I instantly only wanted three.

After ordering my donuts, I instantly had buyers remorse.  They didn’t really have the types I really like.  The donuts that were in the commercial were on display, but I remember being disgusted by the actual taste of those donuts a year ago.  Despite that constant advertising, I wasn’t going to fall for that trap again!

Prior to going to the Donuts, I had been at a restaurant in which they served coconut creme cake.  My wife’s not a fan of coconut, so I don’t eat coconut treats that often.  The fact that I didn’t’ get that cake at the restaurant made me want to have some sort of coconut treat.  I think that strong urge for coconut kicked in at Dunkin Donuts because I searched for a coconut donut and did not see one while ordering.  As I left the store, that’s when I noticed the coconut donuts but I had already paid and moved on.

Once I got home, that coconut craving kicked in again.  The donuts I bought just became a ugly duckling compared to this new coconut craving.  My wife and I proceeded to the grocery store.  Once at the grocery store I purchased a small coconut creme pie.

The fact that I purchased the smaller coconut creme pie instead of a normal size pie is a big change in mentality for myself.  Whenever I’m in my sugar binge mood, I always go for the value which normally means the bigger sizes.  On this day, my rational side kicked in.  I knew that a large pie would have meant that I selfishly got an excess supply of sweets just to become addicted again!

I’m happy to say that after I ate my donuts and pie on Valentine’s Day, I had absolutely no cravings for anything else.  Just like I mention in Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! , you should pay attention to advertising.  It’s amazing how what you see in commercials causes you to desire items you really don’t want!

Food Journal

Here are my honest food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 12 2016

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 13 2016  Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 14 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 15 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 16 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 17 2016Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 18 2016

End of Week 13: February 19th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 207.6 lbs  (2.6 lbs lost from previous week)
  • Waist: 35.0 inches  (0.5 inches lost from previous week)
  • 95% Compliant
    • 18 out of 19 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

My results are exactly what I expected to see once I lowered my daily calories to 1776.  There’s no need to do another adjustment.  For my own curiosity, I might track how many hours of activity I do this next week.  That will help me determine how much conditioning or extra curricular activity I will need to do when the weight loss comes to a halt.  I suspect that if I didn’t change my workout routine, my weight loss will stabilize around 204 pounds.

 

Upcoming Week 14 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 207.6 to 207 pounds.
  • Waist under 35.0 inches
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

14 Weeks Down……It still amazes me that my lowest weight during this countdown happened on Week 6.  Right smack in the middle of the Holidays!  I would have never thought I would still be doing this….but here I am.

I hope you are enjoying my journey!   Let’s see what happens during Week 15!

What Cheating On Valentine’s Day Taught Me

Here I was…..About to walk into the lion’s den! This is the place where weeks of abuse started. This was the place where countless dollar bills were wasted for simple cheap delights! This was the place I once considered my favorite place on Earth. This place provided childhood memories of me glancing at the naughty pictures. This place provided memories of my college years where I realized I had what it takes to become a man.

This place is the sexy…..curvy………tantalizing……. Grocery Store!

Recent Infidelity

Every since the holiday seasons, any encounter I had with a grocery store involved me getting some type of dessert or snack related food. It was always a spur of the moment type of deal. I would be driving to a fast food joint and stop at a store for some sort of cake to pair with the food like a wine connoisseur.tumblr_lqkqd95r2c1qf5zj9o1_500

I could be reading a book and see the word cheesecake in a paragraph. Two hours later, I’m at the grocery store with a variety pack of cheesecake that’s only meant to be a one night stand. I can not think of one single moment that I had went to the grocery store for real shopping these past few months. For those that have been keeping up with my Countdown to 195, you see that there are healthy meals being eaten by me. How are those healthy foods being bought?

Well, my wife does our grocery shopping. We have a mutual agreement that she does the grocery shopping. That habit developed in our five-year marriage due to my work schedule. My work schedule usually involved me traveling or being gone for 10-12 hours of the day. My wife’s work schedule revolved around later evening hours, so she had easier access to the non-crowded hours of the grocery store.

The Tipping Point

As I recently reached a boiling point while rereading Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside , I got tired of my unnecessary binging. It’s a cycle that happens almost ever season. The cold winter months are the worst offenders for me.

So for the past week, I got my cravings back under control. In Week 13’s Countdown to 195 check-in, my measurements did not drastically change when compared to Week 12. What did change was my mentality. I know that I’m back to my normal sane self. I know that because of what happened on Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Cheater!

woman investigator taking photos in a car

As my wife and I prepared our meal planning for February, we both agreed to do a brunch for Valentine’s Day. In my mind, that meant I was going to have a cheat day. Based on my current realistic goal, I’m trying my best to aim for a 80% or better monthly compliancy when it comes towards eating. That just means 80 out of 100 meals for the month need to follow my normal eating plan. If I do that, I’ll be on the way towards my current goal of getting down to 195 pounds.

The days prior to Valentine’s Day, I did not stray from my diet. I even reduce my calories two days before Valentine’s Day and felt completely ok. Despite the reduced calories I still attacked my workouts like a monster! The sessions made me feel like Godzilla roaring!

 

When Valentine’s Day came, I sat down at the restaurant and knew exactly what I wanted! It was Eggspectation’s California Dreaming eggs benedict.

California Dreaming Eggs Benedict from Eggspectation
Look At That Sexy Plate of Goodness!

 

As I glanced at the menu, I also wanted to add another item to the dish. Eggs and grits sounded like a good addition!

As soon as I thought about adding them, I thought to myself …
Do I really need it?

It was like a light bulb went off. Somehow I was very rational and just told myself to go ahead and just get the dish as it was.

I planned on getting something sweet once I finished my main meal. I had seen the restaurant had coconut cream cake and today was a cheat meal so why not! As the waiter placed the check on our table before I could ask him for a slice of cake, the light bulb went off again….
Did I really need it?”.

I left the restaurant with no cake and proceeded to a nearby Dunkin Donuts. I had seen them advertising for the past week and subconsciously wanted a doughnut. When my wife and I walked in, a light bulb went off again…
Did I really need it?

If this had been a month ago, I would have went crazy with a dozen donuts. Today, I only picked out just 3 for myself.

Trip To The Store

Once we got back home, we determined that we should just go ahead and go grocery shopping today due to a expected snow storm on President’s Day. I told my wife that I would come to the grocery store….and then a light bulb went off again!

As we approached the grocery store’s entrance, I realized that this was the first time I had been grocery shopping in months! What I had been doing these past few months was basically use the grocery store like I was a drug addict going to my local dealer. On this day, I was back to using the grocery store like it should be used!

Grocery shopping basket full

Guess Who’s Back

When I walked down the aisles, I was amazed at how focused my vision was. Anything sugary and non-diet compliant was off my radar. I was so tuned that I parked my shopping cart next to some chocolate Easter bunnies on display! I’m talking over 200 big sized Easter bunnies! This past Easter I went to this grocery store looking for a chocolate bunny and could not find a single one! Yet, today here was over 200 of the delicious bunnies and I could care less.

Anybody that’s reading that’s new to my world probably doesn’t realize that I love grocery shopping. Judging by the tone of this post so far, it comes across that I only go grocery shopping when I need to. That’s the furthest from the truth! The truth is that I love grocery shopping! It’s one of the things I look forward to the most. I’m a huge fan of cooking. One of these days I hope to start posting recipes on this blog site, that’s how much I love it.

So as I walked out of that grocery store I felt like my old self. I felt like the guy who’s completely in control of his life again. No more constant temptations! I feel my winter blues have ended. A hurdle has been jumped over, and that I’m back on track to finish my race!

finish-line

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Thirteen

Welcome to Week 13 of me publicly broadcasting my goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until that goal is accomplished.

History Of How I Got Here

June 2010
  • End of massive weight loss transformation.
  • Lost around 80 pounds of fat in two years
  • Got weight down to 184 pounds

 

September 2010 – December 2014
  • Yearly fitness goals to lift weights for maintenance and strength.
  • 95% of workouts are based on lifting weights
  • Comfortable with maintaining a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle

 

January 2015
  • Wanted to lose as much fat as possible before pursuing a massive muscle building program
  • Created a year long goal to lose at least 15 pounds of fat by end of the year
  • If I suffered no muscle loss, 195 pounds would equate to 15 pounds of fat loss.

 

January – November 2015
  • Weight bounced between 199 – 215 pounds

 

November 20, 2015

 

December 2015
January 2016

February 2016

**SPECIAL NOTE**:
Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals for 2015 was to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary measurement.

WEEK 13: February 5 – February 11 2016

February 5th Stats
Scale Weight: 211 pounds
Waist: 35.5 inches

Week 13 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 211 to 210.5 pounds.
  • Waist under 35.3 inches
  • Eat about 1926 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 193 grams Protein
      • 193 grams Carbohydrates
      • 43 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

I’m currently doing a Push-Pull workout routine. The workout cycle is:

  • Day 1: Pull
  • Day 2: Push
  • Day 3: Rest
  • Repeat.

If interested, you can find the exact workout here.

Well on one of my pull days I was performing deadlifts. In my haste, I rushed my warm-up and didn’t properly stretch out my lower back. What happened was almost deju vu of what happened a few months ago! As I was working on my second to last set, I heard a loud POP!!

It was the popping noise you normally hear when getting your back adjusted by a chiropractor.  I thought I was in trouble. I twisted my back around to pinpoint the soreness. I was at a crucial point where I was either going to stop working out for the entire day, or just continue.

I decided to do my last set but made sure that my abs were super tight. As I did that last set, I felt no pain whatsoever which surprised me. I decided to move on to my stiff-leg deadlifts. Given the pain was in my lower back, I knew that the stiff-leg deadlift would definitely agitate the possible injury.

For my first set, I went light and just squeezed my abs as I bent down. To my surprise, NO PAIN!!! This was just odd. Once I was done, I tilted my pelvis and realized that the soreness only occurred when I tilted my pelvis forward. By tightening my abs, I was doing a good job of preventing my pelvis from tilting.

I finished the workout with no problem. I actually added more weight to my workout. I was just totally shocked at my strength. That shock continued the next day when I performed front squats. I go to parallel (and lower) when I do front squats so I expected my pelvis to possibly tilt at the bottom of my squat. By bracing my abs I was able to avoid the tilt again.

I’m fortunate enough to have been able to workout this entire week despite this lower back soreness. Like I talk about in Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside!, you need to make sure you know the difference between good and bad pain. The pain I was experiencing was definitely bad, but I didn’t let my ego get in the way of just ignoring it. I smartly tested the area out, and continued with my plan.

Mentality

I was very hard on myself during Week 12’s countdown. It was eye-opening to hear the truth. What was also cool was hearing Episode 88 of The Octane Athletic Performance podcast that featured yours truly!

Listen to it here!

I went into deep detail about gateway/trigger foods. It’s an awesome reminder of who I am. I feel that I have my mindset back. Sure, I expect to eat junk foods, but I don’t see it dominated my mind like it had for the past couple of weeks.

In 3 Inner Conversations You Need To Have To Help Release The Beast, I got a big mental boost by completing the “Who Am I “, “Who’s Your Enemy” & “Reality” chapters from Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! They were the butt-kicking I needed to see how I’ve truly been doing during this Countdown to 195!

Trigger Food Discovery

The Super Bowl happened last Sunday, and I expected to enjoy myself during the big game. I thought of a couple food ideas. Ultimately, I decided just to make myself some homemade baked buffalo wings with celery, carrots, dip and chips as snacks.

I decided to go with Doritos chips because I hadn’t eaten them in awhile.  I was also curious if I would be addicted to them as much as I had been in the past. Well it didn’t take long for me to find out. As you see in the food journal below, I splurged on the chips the day BEFORE the Super Bowl which led to a unplanned cheat meal of chips, mangos & ice cream.

What’s ironic is that the ice cream had been in my home for over two weeks without me touching it! For me that’s shocking because I know ice cream is a red trigger food. In this week’s observation, it’s clear that chips are even deadlier for me.

No worries though because all chips are on my Red Trigger food list proudly displayed on my refrigerator door!

Mike's Red Trigger Food List

Food Journal

Here are my honest food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 5 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 6 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 7 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 8 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 9 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 10 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 11 2016

End of Week 13: February 12th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 210 lbs
  • Waist: 35.6 inches
  • 88% Compliant
    • 22 out of 25 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

Despite the numbers, I felt good about my progress this week! I can my muscles popping out when I look in the mirror. Even though they are popping out, I could see that my waist did not significantly shrink. It appears that this was a week in which my body just stayed at a standstill. If I evaluate my current plan compared to my past, it’s no wonder why.

Due to the change in my workout routine two weeks ago, I decided to start off with 1926 calories. I wanted to see how my body would respond with that amount of calories due to the heavy weightlifting I am doing on my current routine. I’m glad I did that because two weeks later, I can see that it’s too many calories to create a significant fat loss for my activity level.

How do I know this? Well, when I went back to my Week 1 stats, I see that my activity level was much higher back than then these past two weeks. That’s enough proof for me to know what adjustments need to be made.

So I will be decreasing my calories from 1926 to 1776. That should create the deficit I need to get towards 205 pounds. I suspect that once I get to 200-205 pounds, I will have to increase my conditioning to get my body to shed that final fat to get to 195 pounds.

Upcoming Week 14 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 210.2 to 209 pounds.
  • Waist under 35.5 inches
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

It’s Cold outside……Do I really want to lose my Winter Fat? Tune in, Next week to find out about Week 14!