Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week 22

Welcome to Week 22 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 maintained a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle.
  • 2015 goal to lose 15 pounds of fat that would equate to about 195 pounds (if no muscle loss)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)

 

November – December 2015
January 2016 – March 2016
April 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 health/fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals 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 (but way more accurate) measurement.

WEEK 22: April 8 – 14 2016

April 8th Stats
Scale Weight: 199.8 pounds
Waist: 33.5 inches

Week 22 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 199.8 to 199 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34.5 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Maintain a new weightlifting routine emphasizing strength while losing fat
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2756 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 240 grams Protein
        • 310 grams Carbohydrates
        • 61 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

This was the second week of my new strength workout routine. I could feel the difference between this week and last. My lower body was screaming at me last week whereas this week their was no intial soreness. That soreness was just due to being inactive for a week and doing something completed different.

For those that have been following me, I was primarly doing a bodybuilding style routine with high reps and low rest periods. This current strength routine is less reps but more rest in between exercise sets. My current routine is more about seeing how strong I am while losing weight.

Sleeping

I was able to get 7.5 hours of sleep every day this week. The key was forcing myself to be in my quiet bedroom before 9:30 PM. The only entertainment I allowed myself was reading.  I did get caught up on my iPhone one night but put it away when I saw the time on the clock get close to 10PM!

Depending on the time I turned the lights out in my bedroom, I set my alarm to wake me up between 5:15 and 6:15 AM. That insured me 7.5 hours of peaceful sleep. I’ll try to keep it up this next week.

Eating

For the majority of this countdown I was keeping track of my eating compliance. Basically I was allowing myself 1-2 cheat meals a week. When following this new strength protocol I decided to switch things around and not have classic cheat meals anymore.

My strength training routine involves me eating enough calories to support working out so on my weight-lifting days I eat more. I save my calorie deficit days for my non weight-lifting. This insures that I have enough nutrition to support my stressful workout days.

Looking over the history of this journey, I saw that my biggest faults were on the weekends. I decided to put a fix on that by not working out on the weekends. That would force me to eat cleaner.

To keep myself sane, I decided to allow myself to eat any food it takes to meet my macros. I’m disciplined enough to know how to get in all my protein, veggies and clean carbohydrate sources before moving on to the sweets.

Food Journal

Here is the Real World food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 8 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 9 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 10 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 11 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 12 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 13 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 14 2016

End of Week 22 Stats: April 15th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 199.8 lbs (0 lbs lost from previous week)
  • Waist: 33.4 inches (0.1 inches lost from previous week)

The number on the scale didn’t go down but my waist sure did. During the previous two weeks, I had massive weight losses on the scale. It was only a matter of time before I slowed down. This was one of those weeks.

Additionally, I don’t believe the scale. Due to the way I’m eating, my daily weight fluctuates. That’s why I don’t rely only on the scale to justify my progress. The visual and waist measurement tests are proof that I’m making progress.

I will not change my diet. I will stick with what I’m doing. If my weight doesn’t change but my waist shrinks, I’m making progress. If my weight doesn’t change and my waist gets bigger, then I would bump my workout calories down.

 

Upcoming Week 23 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 199.8 to 199 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34 inches
  • Start taking 30-60 minute walks 2-4x a week
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2756 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 240 grams Protein
        • 310 grams Carbohydrates
        • 61 grams Fat

22 Weeks Down……5 Pounds to Go ….Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

After two hot weeks, I reached a temporary stopping point. Will I still be at 199 pounds next week? Could I possibly be gaining muscle due to my weightlifting routine? Is a ice cream sundae on the agenda for next week?

Tune in next Friday for Week 23!

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week 21

Welcome to Week 21 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 maintained a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle.
  • 2015 goal to lose 15 pounds of fat that would equate to about 195 pounds (if no muscle loss)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)

 

November – December 2015
January 2016 – March 2016
April 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 health/fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals 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 (but way more accurate) measurement.

WEEK 21: April 1 – 7 2016

April 1st Stats
Scale Weight: 202.0 pounds
Waist: 34.0 inches

Week 21 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 202 to 201.8 pounds
  • Keep waist from going over 34.5 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Start a new weightlifting routine emphasizing strength while losing fat
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

This was the first week of my new strength workout routine. Due to me following bodybuilding style routines for so long, I thought it was time to change the pace and focus on my strength. Due to the amount of calories I’m eating, I know that I will not be building any new muscle. It’s more about maintaining my muscle. If I’m maintaining, why not see just how strong I currently am?

I will be working out only for three days a week (Monday, Wednesday & Friday). These are heavy intense weightlifting days.

Sleeping

Staying up to watch Wrestlemania on Sunday, put me behind the curve for the majority of this week. I average around 6 hours this week. Mainly due to waking up in the middle of the night due to odd dreams & a sore body.

Sleep needs to get closer to 7.5-8 hours so my body can recover from the heavy weight lifting sessions.

Fast Weight Loss

In last week’s post, I mentioned how I went on a four day Easter weekend food binge. Despite that binge, I ended up dropping weight without even exercising last week. Seriously, I barely did twenty minutes of bodyweight exercises.

That weight loss continued all the way into this week. During the weekend, I stepped on the scale and saw my weight go all the way down to 198. Most people would be excited with that type of weight decline. Well not this guy!

I decided to let my wife do some caliper measurements so I could estimate how much lean mass & fat I had on my body. The numbers caught me by surprise. They revealed that had approximately 175 lbs of lean mass with 24 lbs of fat.

When I created my “lose 15 pounds of fat” challenge, I underestimated the amount of fat I had gained prior to the countdown and also DURING the countdown. Those holiday months set me back more than I anticipated.

The Countdown to 195 will still go on, but my stats tell me that I have 9 lbs of fat to meet my goal of having only 15 lbs of fat.

New Eating Style

Knowing that I’m basically right where I was in Week 6, I decided to change my eating slightly. With the scale dropping fast despite me not doing anything, I decided to increase my calories slightly for a few weeks.

I want to insure that last week’s massive weight loss wasn’t due to me losing muscle. My goal is to lose fat NOT muscle! Just because the scale number decreased doesn’t mean it’s 100% fat lost!

Due to me performing heavy strength training, I decided to do carb cycling throughout the week. Carb cycling simply means that on my weightlifting days, I will eat enough calories to support the heavy lifting. On my off days I will just eat less calories. If you look at the total week, I should still be in a calorie deficit that will lead to fat loss.

I will no longer be tracking compliance. I will be more focused on hitting my targeted macronutrient/calorie numbers for their respected days. I’m going to keep doing this for the next two weeks to see how my body responds.

Food Journal

Here is the Real World food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 1 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 2 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 3 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 4 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 5 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 6 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 7 2016

End of Week 21 Stats: April 8th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 199.8 lbs (2.2 lbs lost from previous week)
  • Waist: 33.5 inches (0.5 inches lost from previous week)

Due to the carb cycling, I don’t really trust what the scale says anymore. I weighed myself throughout the week and my weight was between 197-205 pounds. That tells me that on my lower carb days, I don’t have as much water in me thus the scale goes down.

People who follow low-carb, hardcore Paleo style diets normally see a drastic scale weight loss and think it’s all fat. It’s not!

The majority of that “fast” weight loss is just your body dropping water weight. When you don’t eat carbohydrates, your body doesn’t store as much glycogen. Glycogen is what carbohydrates turn into when in your body.  Glycogen is made up of mostly water.  So if you eat less carbohydrates, you than have less glycogen in your body which equals less water in your body.

I’m trying to lose fat not water, that’s why I never take the scale seriously.  I 100% believe that my waist measurements and mirror analysis are the best indicators of progress.  Both look good, so I know I made progress this past week.

 

Upcoming Week 22 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 199.8 to 199 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34.5 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Start a new weightlifting routine emphasizing strength while losing fat
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2756 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 240 grams Protein
        • 310 grams Carbohydrates
        • 61 grams Fat

21 Weeks Down……5 Pounds Until 195….But 9 Pounds of Fat to Meet Old Goal……Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

For the first time since doing this Countdown I’ve reach the under 200 lbs mark! Will I be able to ride the two week momentum? Is there a dirty filthy shameful eating binge awaiting me next week?

Tune in next Friday for Week 22!

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Twenty

Welcome to Week 20 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 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)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)
November – December 2015
January 2016 – March 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 health/fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals 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 (but way more accurate) measurement.

WEEK 20: March 25 – April 1 2016

March 25th Stats
Scale Weight: 205.0 pounds
Waist: 34.3 inches

Week 20 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 204.2 to 204 pounds
  • Keep waist from going over 34.6 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Take a Deload Week and recuperate from the past 19 weeks of constant weight lifting
  • Average around 1776 calories per day
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

This was a deload week so it was all about recovering. I did no major gym exercise. I did 5 minutes worth of basic body movements and some stair walking. When I say stair walking, I’m talking about using the actual stairs in my home not a stairmaster!

Sleeping

I went two (Friday and Saturday) nights in a row getting only 3 hours of sleep. That will help explain what happened to me on Easter…..

4 Day Easter Holiday Binge

Last week I felt I was finally back “The Zone” with my eating. I had been going so long with my healthy eating that natural instincts were kicking in. As Easter approached, I expected to have one cheat meal of Jello poke cake, deviled eggs & a chocolate bunny!

That Friday before Easter, I ate my normal planned healthy meal. My wife had gone out to dinner and brought back a Chicken Caesar’s salad. She didn’t want to finish it, and thought I might want it.

At first glance, I was going to ignore the salad because I was pretty full from my dinner. As I looked in the container, I saw that the salad was drenched in Caesar dressing by the restaurant. Due to the wetness, my wife and I didn’t think the salad would last over night. Since I was good all week, I figure eating the salad wouldn’t do me any harm.

As soon as I bit into that salad, I should have stopped! You see the salad was completely drenched in dressing! Not only that, but the salad was no longer crunchy but just soggy! It was pretty nasty but I kept going. Once I was done, my stomach started to churn.

OH OH

I thought to myself as I continued to watch the Sweet 16 college basketball games. The stomach pain started to wane, and I told myself..

“I already cheated, I might as well snack on some more goodies.”

That led to me eating some chips and popcorn that I hadn’t touched all week. In Week Nineteen’s post I mentioned how I devoured a whole potato chip bag. This bag was a brand new bag that I had bought last week as well. The difference was I didn’t touch these two snack bags at all until this moment.

After snacking on the chips and popcorn, I saw Mr. Dark Chocolate Easter Bunny peeping at me.

“Oh where do you think you’re going Mr. Cottontail?”

I bite the head off that bunny and escaped into chocolate bliss. As I lay on the couch past 1 o’clock in the morning, I could feel the salad, snacks and chocolate churn my stomach. Oh I was in so much pain.

That bingeful eating kept going throughout Saturday. Due to the lack of sleep, I was in complete zombie mode. At the grocery store, I purchased a brand new white chocolate bunny. I felt like I was someone not in control at all.

Once Easter came, I was on Cheat Day #3. This was the only day in which I really did plan to have a cheat meal. Unfortunately, I made it a cheat day. Due to the lack of sleep, cheating crept it’s way all the way into Monday. So that was four days in a row of my overeating.

What I Learned From The Binge

This shameful ordeal has totally opened my eyes to what a lack of sleep will do to my willpower. I always knew that I functioned best with 7+ hours of sleep. I always associated the sleep with recovering from my gym workouts.

Now I see it goes much deeper than that. When my body and mind are tired, I make horrible food choices. If I look back at all the past two months cheat days, the majority happen because of lack of sleep.

Throughout this ordeal, I made sure I kept track of how I truly felt. During this entire time, I was having major stomach issues. Lentils mixed with popcorn, chocolate, pizza bites, Cool Whip and cake don’t play nice together when inside this guy right here!

Remember, I was originally in “The Zone”, so my body instantly rejected those foods. While my mouth wanted more, my stomach kept kicking it out of my body! My body knew what was good for me, it was just that my brain was too tired to listen to it. My stomach didn’t feel normal again until Wednesday morning.

To prevent this from happening in April, I created a new Release The Beast response card. This card will help make sure I do not give into junk food when I have less than 7 hours of sleep. This simple stupid jester will put me right back on track.

Note: If you would like to know how to create your own response card, check out Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside!

Food Journal

Here is the “truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth so help me god” food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 25 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 25 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 26 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 27 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 28 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 29 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 30 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 31 2016

End of Week 20 Stats: April 1st, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 202 lbs (2.2 lbs lost from previous week)
  • Waist: 34 inches (0.3 inches lost from previous week)
  • 55% Compliant
    • 11 out of 20 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

How could I be mad with the results considering I did no real workouts, had sleep issues and went on an eating binge! Fat loss is a rollercoaster and last week was definitely one of the low points on my current ride.

When looking at my food stats you see I ate a lower amount of calories for 3 days due to the over eating. I wanted to make sure that my total calories for the week was closer to my overall goals (1776 x 6 days + 4000 x 1 cheat day ~= 16,432 calories per week).

My total weekly calories were 18,362 calories which is still above my “perfect” week of 16,432 calories.

Upcoming Week 21 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 202 to 201.8 pounds
  • Keep waist from going over 34.5 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Start a new weightlifting routine emphasizing strength while losing fat
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

20 Weeks Down……7 Pounds (of Fat?) to Go……Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

There’s no denying that I am the true fool on this April 1st! One bad week does not define a whole month! One bad month does not define a bad year! The goal will still be achieved. Will you be around to see me through it?

Tune in next Friday for Week 21!

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Nineteen

Welcome to Week 19 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 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)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)

 

November – December 2015
January 2016 – March 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 health/fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals 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 (but way more accurate) measurement.

WEEK 19: March 18 – March 24 2016

March 18th Stats
Scale Weight: 205.0 pounds
Waist: 34.3 inches

Week 19 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 205. to 204.8 pounds.
  • Keep waist from going over 34.6 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

This was the third and final week of me performing Vince Gironda’s 8×8 routine. I am soooo glad that it’s over after today! This is one of the simplest and efficient workouts on paper. You only spend 20-25 mins at the gym so it’s excellent for those with time constraints.

BUT DON’T LET IT FOOL YOU!! You better be ready to work your butt off because your muscles will be screaming at you! My entire body is aching from exhaustion. I did not do a single “normal” leg exercise yet my legs are extremely defined right now! Vince Gironda was a genius when he came up with his simple workout routines.

Now that the 8×8 workout is over I will be doing a deload week for my Week 20 workout plan. A deload week is a week where you let your body recuperate by performing exercises at a reduced weight/pace. You’re giving your body a rest but not completely sitting on your behind all day.

Socializing & Cheating

Social Gathering # 1

This week I had two planned social outings. Unlike last week, these were going to happen on two separate days. The first was a dinner banquet for an award ceremony on Saturday.

Thankfully, the event had a good diverse selection of healthy food that I was able to almost not call this a cheat meal. The only part of the meal that would be considered “cheating” was the chocolate mousse cake I had. Right after my first two bites I realized that my taste buds had changed. The cake tasted too sweet.

For my dinner that night, I decided to get some more sweet & salty goodies. I settled for the same two coconut crème pies that I had for Valentines Day (see What Cheating On Valentine’s Day Taught Me), pizza bites, and some potato chips. I hadn’t had pizza bites since I was in elementary school and was curious to how they taste. A couple bites in, I wasn’t impressed. They definitely weren’t as good as my childhood taste buds remembered.

The potato chips were an interesting choice because they are a known red trigger food for myself. These particular chips were Cheddar & Sour Cream. As soon as the first handful went in my mouth, I instantly knew why I put these on my trigger food list.

Within the hour I had polished off the entire bag. At one point I told myself I was done, but just couldn’t let the rest of those chips in that bag know they had won! They had to be mine on that night!

I’m joking but it’s that’s the type of thinking that lets me know I can’t control myself around certain foods. That is why potato chips are on my red trigger food list.

After polishing off the chips, I ate the coconut crème pies. Just like the chocolate mousse cake, they were too sweet. It’s amazing because about a month ago I didn’t think so.

I’m proud to say that I am in “The Zone”. Some call it Da Grind. Others may call it “in control”. Whatever you call it, it’s just the point where you’ve been constantly eating healthy for such a long time that the foods you shouldn’t be eating just do not appeal to you. That seems to be my case with store bought baked goods.

Social Gathering # 2

During my second planned social gathering of the week, I went out with some friends for a long overdue gathering. Due to my “two cheat meals in one” day, I wasn’t sure if I was going to cheat or not for this gathering. I originally was going to be strict since my friends know I watch what I eat.

Once I got to the restaurant, I decided to let my guard down and just enjoyed myself. I didn’t gorge myself. I just made sure I stayed in control. I even ordered an apple pecan pie.

When I got home, I got a strong desire for some more sweets. I knew I had some microwavable sweet kettle popcorn in the pantry. My mind became obsessed with thoughts of eating that popcorn.

As I thought about it, the voice of wisdom whispered in my ear….

Michael, remember what you told yourself last week what you would do!

So with that thought, I pulled out my iPhone and looked at my Release The Beast advantage card. I instantly remembered why I didn’t need the popcorn. This simple stupid jester put me right back on track.

Note: If you’re wondering: What’s an advantage card? What’s a trigger food list? What the heck is this guy talking about? You need to check out Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside!

Food Journal

Here are my painfully honest food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 18 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 19 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 20 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 21 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 22 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 23 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 24 2016

End of Week 19 Stats: March 25th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 204.2 lbs (0.8 lbs loss from previous week)
  • Waist: 34.3 inches (0 inches lost from previous week)
  • 86% Compliant
    • 18 out of 21 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

I’m pleased with this week’s results. I mentioned last week that a great fat loss program for someone who’s already in shape would have you average .25-1 pounds of fat loss a week. That’s what I was able to do this past week.

Upcoming Week 20 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 204.2 to 204 pounds
  • Keep waist from going over 34.6 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Take a Deload Week and recuperate from the past 19 weeks of constant weight lifting
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

19 Weeks Down……9 Pounds (of Fat?) to Go……Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

Easter Weekend is here and our hero has his heart set on devouring a big chocolate bunny! How will it taste? Will Mike finish the whole bunny? Will the bunny find a way to escape from Mike’s evil clutches?

Tune in next Friday for Week 20’s Results! Happy Easter!

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Eighteen

Welcome to Week 18 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)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)
November – December 2015
January 2016 – March 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 18: March 11 – March 17 2016

March 11th Stats
Scale Weight: 206.2 pounds
Waist: 34.5 inches

Week 18 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 206.2 to 205.5 pounds.
  • Maintain waist under 34.7 inches
  • Average eating about 1776 calories a day
    • To support my activities and achieve the desire physique look I’m going for that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

My legs were extremely sore last week. This week it appears that my body has slowly adapted to the 6 day training schedule. The Vince Gironda 8×8 routine only takes about 20-25 minutes to finish. It’s a very short and efficient workout that isolates your muscle groups.

I usual promote doing the big compound movements and then maybe some isolation movements if necessary. Vince’s 8×8 plan is so effective at getting your muscles to pop up, I can’t hate with his plan! If he were living, I would shake his hand!

The only problem I’m having is that it appears that my body is trying to grow muscle instead of losing fat. I haven’t been doing any conditioning while doing 8×8 due to its short rest time. I feel that I may need to start doing some simple cardio like walking to supplement this workout routine.

Sleeping

My wife and I had a big curveball throw our way. It all started with a planned outing with some friends at a bar. We got home around 2 am and didn’t fall asleep until after 3 am.

The next day we had to take a short road trip to visit my wife’s parents. We wanted to start driving by noon, so I had planned to get a good 6-8 hours of sleep. Of course that didn’t happen, because I forgot to close the bedroom curtains!

As soon as the sun started to shine around 7am in the morning, I woke up. AGH!! I knew from that moment it was going to be one of those zombie sluggish days. So that entire day I was in a daze.

To top it off, another obstacle was thrown our way that Saturday night. The clocks went forward! So that was another hour of sleep I lost.

Once home, my wife started to suffer from allegories and caught a cold. That totally changed both of our sleeping patterns due to all the sneezing and coughing.

Sleep this past week has not been a given. I stopped waking up as early as I normally do so I could try to catch up on my sleep. I know there’s no true way to catch up on missed sleep, but my body does feel better now. Next week, I’m sure our sleep will return to 7+ hours.

Socializing & Cheating

As I mentioned early, we had two back-to-back events planned. The first was an outing with some friends. The next day was my father in laws birthday. Looking at these two events I wasn’t sure if I would totally have a cheat meal for both or only on one day.

Hanging out at the bar with my friends, I was going to try to only go slightly over my calories. I pre-gamed by drinking some protein shakes before the event.

As we arrived and the conversation got going, I decided I would try one alcoholic drink since everyone else was drinking. I regret the decision. Not because that I think drinking alcohol is bad. The cocktail drink I bought tasted like super sweetened cough syrup! It was way too sweet and disappointing for $12.

For my dinner I settled on a burger that didn’t turn out well either. It was grilled way too long and tasted more like char than burger. I ended up eating more fries than I normally would have. That unsatisfying meal left me hungry for more. On the way home I stopped by Wendy’s for another burger fries and a shake.

The next day on the drive down, I skipped lunch at our house. I thought I had enough to eat from the previous day to hold me over until dinner. For the first hour I was right, but the fact that I ate mostly junk turned my body against me quickly!

We stopped at a Wawa and I got a sandwich, chips and honey bun. I think I will write about that food combo in my next Junk Food Diaries post. When you look at my food journal below, take a look at how much fat is in a honey bun. I use to eat those daily when I was in high school. No wonder I was skinny fat, those food stats are crazy!

After eating those foods, my stomach was full. A couple hours later, we ended up going out to dinner for the birthday celebration. I had a nice dinner but the junk food in my system made me overindulge in some sweets that night.

I got back on track that next day but I know I could have done a better job with those two days. One bad alcoholic drink led me down a 5,000 plus calorie journey.

I would not have gone deep down this path if I had just used my Release The Beast advantage cards. I now have a daily reminder in my phone.

Food Journal

Here are my “You can’t judge me!” food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 11 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 12 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 13 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 14 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 15 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 16 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for March 17 2016

 

End of Week 18 Stats: March 18th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 205. lbs (1.2 lbs loss from previous week)
  • Waist: 34.3 inches (0.2 inches lost from previous week)
  • 75% Compliant
    • 18 out of 24 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

The day before I weighed myself, I thought I wasn’t going to experience any weight loss due to the way I looked in the mirror. I spent three hours contemplating what additional changes I needed to make to get me over a imaginary hump.

When I woke up this morning to weigh myself I took a quick glance in the mirror. Amazingly my body looked slimmer than it had these previous days. I knew that once I stepped on that scale and took my waist measurements, I would be pleased with the numbers.

I am definitely in that slow fat burning zone. I’ve been in a deficit for so long, I can no longer expect big weekly drops. It hurts the ego but that’s my reality!

Like everyone I want quick results. That’s why depending on your own willpower and guidance is so hard. This is where coaches and personal trainers can help you get out your own way. When you are so focused on the short term, they are there to keep track of your real overall goal.

In my case, I wanted to lose 15 pounds of fat. Yes this is called “Countdown to 195” but I don’t care about being exactly 195. That’s just a hypothetical set point that 15 pounds of fat loss would equate to. Fat loss is my priority while keeping (or maybe gaining) as much muscle as possible.

A great fat loss program for someone who’s already in shape will have you average .25-1 pounds of fat loss a week. Losing 5+ pounds of fat a week is unrealistic when you’re already close to your target weight.

Now if I were out of shape and overweight, then YES, 5+ pounds of fat would fly off my body with my current workouts/nutrition plan!  Heck, if I went completely on a no carb diet I would lose weight quickly as well….BUT that would NOT be fat loss!!  It would be water/glycogen loss which gives you a false sense of accomplishment.

I accept that I have to do a little bit more than the average person to lose weight. So that means in the upcoming weeks I will be introducing simple cardio like walking into my routine.

Upcoming Week 19 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 205. to 204.8 pounds.
  • Keep waist from going over 34.6 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat

 

18 Weeks Down……10ish Pounds of Fat to Go……Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

Fat loss is starting to come to a crawl. Is our hero going to freak out? Is a cake binge on the horizon? Just who does this guy think he is? Tune in next Friday for Week 19’s Results!