Mike’s Countdown To 195: Week Eight

Welcome to Week 8 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 1, 2016
  • Countdown Week 7 (click here)
  • Did not achieve 195 pounds during the holiday season
  • Decided to continue to pursue and document 195 goal until accomplished

**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 8: January 1 – 7 2016

January 1st Stats
Scale Weight: 217 pounds
Waist: 36.5 inches

Week 8 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 217 to 210 pounds
  • Get waist under 36.3 inches

 

Observations & Challenges

Quick Judgement

As I updated the history of how I got to my current situation, it made me aware of how life can easily distract you from your goals. I have many YEARS of my personal life summarized in that history recap.

All you see are the bullet points. What you don’t see is the hours of me going to the gym and working out. What you don’t see is the menu prepping to make sure that I would be eating the proper foods. All you can see is me not meeting my 2015 goal to get down to 195 pounds.

A whole year’s worth of effort comes down to me being judge by not meeting that one goal. That’s really eye opening for me. Looking back on that makes me realize how important it is to remember your overall goal for the year. All it takes is one distraction, and next thing you know months have flown by and you have not achieved what you had hoped to accomplish!

Eating

I began 2016, just how I had left 2015…..getting my holiday binge eating on! When you look at my food stats below, you’ll see that I had a good two days in a row of still eating foods I normally wouldn’t eat.

Due to the fact that I would be trying to recover from a week and half of unhealthy eating, I didn’t want to go to the extreme route of creating a super restrictive diet ASAP. I wanted to gradually get myself back into eating shape.

If you observed my weeks 1-8, you would see that I averaged around 1,776 calories a day. That was the number I knew I needed to eat to get down to 195 pounds in a timely manner.

Well now that I don’t have the end of the year ticking down, I don’t have to be as strict right away. Due to the bad holiday eating habits, I decided to start this week off by trying to average around 1,926 calories a day. I know from the past YEARS of my life that number is a good number to get me going in the right downward direction.

Once I get back to eating right, my weight should start to stabilize around 205-210 pounds. That’s about when I would increase my activity and/or decrease my calories.

Workout

I changed my workout plan as well. I had been doing a 5 day bodybuilding split for the past two months. This week I started to do a 4 day split. Change of pace and a rotation in exercises are a good way to shock my body into being uncomfortable. To lose my fat, I need to get out of my comfort zone!

Mentality

Starting with next week, I’ll be approaching my plan as if I’m reading my book, Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! for the first time. Look for those posts on Tuesdays throughout January and February.

Food Journal

Here are my food stats for the week:

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

End of Week 8: January 8th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 209 lbs
  • Waist: 35.5
  • 68% Compliant
    • 13 out of 19 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

When I got on the scale this morning I wasn’t sure what number I was going to see. This week’s goal was to get down to 210. Based on how my waist was looking in the mirror, I didn’t think I would make it. To my surprise the scale said 209 pounds.

The next thing I did was measure my waist. This week’s goal was to get down to 36.3 inches. Imagine how surprised I was to see it go down to 35.5 inches. That’s one full inch in less than a week. I would have never guessed that based on what I see in the mirror.

As I always preach, I don’t really care what the scale says. It’s just a number that doesn’t tell you the truth. It has no idea if that weight is muscle or fat. My real test comes from looking at the mirror and measuring my waist with a tape measure.

So that’s eight pounds and a whole inch off my waist in a week. That’s not too bad considering how I slowly started eating clean foods again this week.

Upcoming Week 9 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 209 to 207 pounds.
  • Waist under 35.3 inches
  • Stay 90% compliant with my eating
    • That means that out of ten meals of the week, nine of them had to follow my healthy eating plan.
  • Eat about 1926 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 193 grams Protein
      • 193 grams Carbohydrates
      • 43 grams Fat

Will I never eat a cookie again?……..Will I eat too many buffalo wings while watching the NFL Wildcard games this weekend?…… Think I got what it takes to reach next week’s goals?…….Tune in next week to find out!

Countdown to 195: Week Seven

To stay motivated, Michael has decided to update everyone on his main 2015 goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until the goal is accomplished.

History

Back in January 2015, Michael had a goal to lose at least 15 pounds of fat by the end of the year. If he did not suffer muscle loss, 195 pounds would roughly equate to 15 pounds of fat loss.

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.

If you missed it, go back to view previous weeks:

WEEK 7: December 25th – December 31st

December 25th Stats
Scale Weight: ?? lbs
Waist: ?? ”

Week 7 Main Goals

  • Enjoy The Holiday Season!

Observations & Challenges

On the December 23rd drive down to spend the holidays with my family, I could feel a sore throat starting to develop. Due to the way I eat and take care of my body, it’s very rare for me to become sick. Whenever I do become sick, it normally lasts for 5-7 days. What starts out as a sore throat morphs into a nasty cough, which then morphs back into an even deadlier sore throat. By the time we arrived at our destination, I knew I had a battle ahead of me.

That was the last straw! In addition to last week’s emergency situation I had to put out, my illness was just another stressor! I just wanted to relax. I told myself that I was just going to have as great a birthday and Merry Christmas as I could, while avoiding getting my other family members sick!

So that’s exactly what I did. I totally embraced the holidays! No holds barred! I ate, drank and took cold/flu pills for almost an entire week. I could feel my waist getting bigger.

Normally I wouldn’t record what I eat during the holidays, but this year I made sure I recorded my bad eating habits. I wanted people to see just how easy it is for me to gain weight if I don’t stay in control.

NOTE: If you need to skills to stay in control  check out my book, Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! and gain the confidence you need to live in the real world!!

Food Stats

Here are my food stats for the week:

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

End of Week 7:  January 1st, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 217 lbs
  • Waist: 36.5
  • 16% Compliant
    • 4 out of 25 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

On December 18th I had a scale weight of 201.4 pounds with a 34 inch waist. In less than two weeks, I had gained 16 pounds and 2.5 inches on my waist! The majority of those 16 pounds occurred during this past week.

My 2015 goal was to lose 15 pounds of fat by getting my scale weight down to 195 pounds. Judging by my final numbers, it looks like I didn’t meet my goal!

WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?

Should I just accept that I’ll never lose the weight? As I type this on January 1st, 2016, I am no longer in the year 2015. Should this one week define my whole 2015?

You see that’s where I’m a lot different than most folks. I’m not going to have a pity party for myself. Sure it would have been nice to get down to 195 pounds in 2015, but there’s more to this story than just weight loss.

I attempted to do a fat loss during the HARDEST time of the year for myself. That’s why I’m so proud of myself. From Thanksgiving until New Years, I kept track of EVERYTHING I ate. The good, the bad and the ugly got recorded. I’ve never done that before.

I have been on this earth for 35 years now. There’s no doubt in my mind that the holiday season is the toughest time for me to lose weight. I just look at a cookie and I’ll gain weight. That’s how carb sensitive my body is to sugar/flour. That’s something I’ve come to accept as my reality.

GOT TO KEEP MOVING ON!

I had my holiday fun and I’m now over it. My illness is also starting to leave my body. It’s time to get back towards my goal of losing 15 pounds of fat. As I return to my normal diet routine this week, I guarantee that my numbers will drop back down to “normal”.

Don’t believe me? Check out my January 2015 stats.

Upcoming Week 8 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 217 to 210 pounds.
  • Waist under 36.3 inches

It would have been awesome to have achieved my goal of losing 15 pounds in 2015. There were many months in which I didn’t try as hard. I can’t go back and change what I did. All I can do is control what I put in my mouth one day at a time.

That’s why I’m not giving up with my goal of losing 15 pounds. I’ve said it time and time again, I DO NOT CARE HOW MUCH I WEIGH! I honestly think 195 pounds is too thin for my current body frame. I could use some more muscle.

BUT before I go on a massive muscle mass building diet routine, I want to drop as much fat as possible. That’s why I still see value in getting down to 195 pounds, and finishing what I started in 2015!

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Six

To stay motivated, Michael has decided to update everyone on his main 2015 goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until the goal is accomplished.

History

Back in January 2015, Michael had a goal to lose at least 15 pounds of fat by the end of the year. If he did not suffer muscle loss, 195 pounds would roughly equate to 15 pounds of fat loss.

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.

If you missed it, go back view previous weeks:

WEEK 5: December 11th – December 17th

December 18th Stats
Scale Weight: 201.4 lbs
Waist: 34.0″

Week 6 Main Goals

  • 80% compliant with my eating .
    • That means that out of ten meals of the week, eight of them had to follow my healthy eating plan.
  • Get more than 7 hours of sleep a night.
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Two years worth of data shows that this is where my calories need to be to lose weight
    • That breaks down to:
      • 178 grams Protein
      • 178 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
  • Weight Training 3 Days a week
    • Sunday: Chest, Back, Shoulders
    • Monday: Legs, Abs
    • Tuesday: Biceps & Triceps
  • Conditioning
    • 10-30 minutes of steady state exercises three times this week

Observations & Challenges

Going into Christmas I had a pretty solid plan. It looked good on paper but reality hit. I had a very unexpected situation raise it’s ugly head. It totally knocked me off my game. This situation needed to be taken care of before Christmas.

My normal daily rituals got put on hold as I handled the emergency. I ended up only physically working out for one day this week. My plan was to lift weights for three days and do some light cardio in the mornings for the remainder of the week.

Once I settled the emergency, I decided to just go into holiday mode. The situation was so stressful; I needed to just enjoy the holiday season. It was a good reminder that we all just need to enjoy our lives.

NOTE: If you need to build some skills to handle real life situations check out my book, Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! and gain the confidence you need to live in the real world!!

Food Stats

Here are my food stats for the week. :

Mike's Daily food journal for December 18 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 19 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 20 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 20 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 21 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 22 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 23 2015Mike's Daily food journal for December 24 2015

End of Week 6: December 25th, 2015

  • Scale Weight: ?? lbs
  • Waist: ??
  • 42% Compliant
    • 8 out of 19 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

I was so distracted by the emergency situation, that I forgot to bring my tape measure and scale with me. It’s no big deal. If you take a look at what I was eating throughout the week, I can pretty much guarantee that I’m not 195 pounds!

Even though I’m a week away from the end of 2015, it doesn’t mean I need to panic over my goal of reaching 195 pounds. The real goal was to maintain a waist less than 34.5 inches. I believe I will have achieved that goal.

When it comes to what the scale says, remember that I can only control what I put in my mouth, NOT the numbers on the scale. Those numbers don’t accurately reflect muscle and fat. It’s just a total mass number.

To get a better understanding of my diet numbers I actually performed a caliper body fat analysis on Saturday, December 19th. Here were my stats:

Mike's Body Fat Calculations

That analysis shows that I only have to lose 5 more pounds of fat to meet my goal. With the holidays here, I don’t realistic see me losing that much fat before 2016.

THAT’S OK!!!

I’m blessed enough that I’m already at a place where I’m comfortable with my body. I personally (along with my family and friends who see me) think that I’m too thin right now. The only reason I will continue to pursue getting down to 195 is to show the MicVinny Fan Club what it truly takes to meet a long term fat loss goal.

Getting towards your dream body takes time and dedication. There will be lots of roadblocks! But if you are able to deal with the losses and enjoy the successes, you will be rewarded at the end!

My goal for this upcoming week is to have a Merry Christmas and spread some holiday cheer! I hope that’s a goal for you as well.

7 Reasons Why I Believe Your Life Begins After 30

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a big fan of NFL football. This past weekend I was watching a game and heard the announcers mention how running backs hit the wall after the age of 30. They also mentioned the age of the oldest running back in the NFL. I was expecting them to state that he was over 35 years old. NOPE, he was just simply 32 years old! Seriously 32 years old!

Why were the announcers trying to make me feel so old? My 35th birthday is approaching this week. It amazes me that I’m 35 because I don’t feel “old”. I stopped tracking my age every since I turned 24. The last ten years of my life has been nothing but a blur. I wonder if other people feel that way?

I’m only 34 going on 35. I can only imagine how it feels for people over the age of 40. What about the people over age of 50? With this age issue on my mind, I decided that I should create a blog post about why I feel that your life truly begins after 30!

Here are my top reasons for why I believe your life begins after 30:

You Have Money

Well, this might not be true for everyone but the majority of people have more money after the age of 30. While in our twenties, most of us do not have steady jobs. We were still trying to figure out how to create a career for ourselves.

I remember being fresh out of college and scrapping to get my first engineering job. I had to take several low paying jobs to make a living before getting a job with my degree. Lot’s of former college students can relate.

All those low paying jobs eventually lead to some decent paying jobs. Those jobs have allowed me to have a 401k plan and a savings account. Heck, I even get to have the “pleasure” of having a mortgage because I now have money.

Better Sense Of Purpose

We are always trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up. That doesn’t stop the moment you turn 18. Heck I’m 34 going on 35 and I’m just now realizing that I prefer being an online fitness coach/author than just an engineer.purpose-1-6

Does that mean I wasted my life by going to college and getting an electrical engineering degree? NO!!! That was all part of my life experience. We go through phases of our lives that develop us as people. If I had not gotten that degree I would have never gotten the opportunities to see the world. By seeing the world I was able to grow as a human being and expand my mind beyond America.

As you get older you start figuring out WHO YOU ARE. Life experiences have led you down paths of successes and failures. That is what helps us figure out our purpose in this life.

You Become Stronger

I didn’t get my weightlifting career started off properly. I originally lifted weights only to lose weight, not to get strong. Even though I was using weights ,I was not really trying to create muscles. I just used it as a form of exercise.

As I go back and look over the last couple years of my life, I have gotten significantly stronger after the age of 30 then I had before 30. It makes me wonder what I would look like if I had been lifting weights correctly from the age of 18.

All those years of me consistently working out correctly would have resulted in me being stronger at my current age. When we are at the gym, we need to remember that we are investing in our future selves. So this body I have now is due to all that work I put in my body before the age of 30. With the strength and dedication I have now, I’m excited for what I’ll look like when I hit my forties!

Better Appreciation For Food

Square bowl of kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberriesWhen you’re young you’re dumb. Your metabolism allows you to eat anything and look great. What tends to happen is that we don’t try as hard to be disciplined in our diets.

We read and follow whatever the experts are telling us. Want to grow muscle cheaply? Drink milk! Want to live longer? Ditch the meat and become a vegan!

As the years go by, you will be exposed to various types of foods. Having that exposure helps you have a better understanding of how your body reacts to certain foods.

Remember those ads telling you to drink milk? Well now you’ve come to realize that you’re lactose intolerant, so it’s best you stay clear of dairy. Felt weak being a vegan? Well maybe it’s because you didn’t properly get enough protein in your diet to support your lifestyle.

As a young man I was just trying to eat cheaply while gaining (or losing) as much weight as possible. If an article said to consume protein every two-three hours, I tried my best to get in as many meals as I could during the day.

Now that I’m older I understand that that the end game is what really matters. Protein powder is just one of several ways to get protein in my body. I’m more about eating my calories. As you aged, you got a better idea of foods relationship with your own body. That’s something that doesn’t happen early on in life.

You’ve Seen Some Highs

I peaked around the year 2010. I was on a serious diet and training exercise routine from 2009 until 2010. That routine was geared towards me losing weight, so by the end of it I had become a very lean. I never had my body fat that low in my life. The pictures I took towards the end of the training were inspiring.

That work that I put in during that year lasted a good two years after I finished the training. My discipline allowed me to maintain that body for a while. That was the best my physique has ever appeared. It had happen at the age of 30.

You’ve Seen Some Lows

There were a lot of growing pains before the age of 30. I became the fattest version of my self before the age of 30. In my twenties I battled bouts of being really skinny and then surprisingly chubby.

One of the biggest low’s occurred while gazing upon a mirror after a business trip (I talk about it during this video). Not recognizing the reflection almost brought tears to my eyes.

I know what it’s like to be ashamed. I know what is like to be this guy who talks about fitness and have people look at you like you’re crazy because of the way you physically look like. I was that guy for a lot of years.

Desire To Be Great

Mohamed Ali fist coming at you!

All the years of my life have gotten me to the point I’m at now. I refuse to settle for being average. I want to become a better human being. I no longer just want to let my life go by without doing something about it.

I’ve done enough reading over the years where I’m starting to see the big picture now. I understand my purpose. When reading this blog, most folks come here only seeking fitness guidance. That’s not my only intent. The other message I’m trying to get across is that you need to be happy with yourself. If you’re not happy with that reflection you see in the mirror, no amount of treadmill walks, squats, presses, yoga sessions, etc. will solve that!

I want to inspire others to achieve their own perfect dream body. In this blog, I mention my own trials and tribulations of attempting my own dream body. I like inspiring hope for folks. That’s one of the reasons I wrote the book, Release The Beast. I wanted to inject positivity in other people’s lives.

Why? Because I have a new desire to be achieve greatness. I don’t desire for anyone that I come in contact with to settle for anything less. The fact that I have the ability to change lives is remarkable. The lives I change can then go on to help other people change their lives.

If everyone could help just one person a day and pay it forward…man this world would be astounding!

I just love this new person I’m becoming. I refuse to let anyone tell me that just because I’m over the age of 30 that my life is over.

HECK NO!!!!

My life is really truly beginning. I don’t care how old you are when you read this blog post; just start living your life TODAY! You still control what you can do. You can choose to be happy or miserable in this world. I just know that as I’m approaching 35, I’m choosing to live each day like it’s my last!

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week Five

To stay motivated, Michael has decided to update everyone on his main 2015 goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until the goal is accomplished.

History

Back in January 2015, Michael had a goal to lose at least 15 pounds of fat by the end of the year. If he did not suffer muscle loss, 195 pounds would roughly equate to 15 pounds of fat loss.

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.

If you missed it, go back view previous weeks:

WEEK 4: December 4th – December 10th

December 11th Stats
Scale Weight: 204 lbs
Waist: 34.4″

Week 5 Main Goals

  • Get back to being 90% compliant with my eating .
    • That means that out of ten meals of the week, nine of them had to follow my healthy eating plan.
    • I went overboard the days after Thanksgiving. I wanted to get back on track.
  • Get more than 7 hours of sleep a night.
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Two years worth of data shows that this is where my calories need to be to lose weight
    • During the previous week I ate too many calories consistently so this was my main focus of this week.
    • That breaks down to:
      • 178 grams Protein
      • 178 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
  • Weight Training 5 Days a week
    • Sunday: Chest & Calves
    • Monday: Back & Abs
    • Wednesday: Shoulders & Hamstrings
    • Thursday: Quads & Abs
    • Friday: Biceps & Triceps
  • Conditioning
    • 10 minutes of random exercises four times a week after weight lifting

Observations & Challenges

During this past week I was faced with a dilemma that everyone who attempts a diet will be faced with sooner or later. This week I went out to a restaurant for dinner with some friends. So what’s the big deal about going to dinner? I wasn’t going to cheat.

Normally when faced with the prospect of going out to eat, it becomes easier to make that your cheat meal for the week. I didn’t want to use the fact that I was out in a restaurant an excuse to eat poorly. I had already done that (see Week 1). I use to eat out at restaurants all the time when I traveled for my job. It was time for me to get back into restaurant eating shape.

Prior to going to the restaurant, I viewed its menu online. The website didn’t have nutritional facts but it did provide some good details about what each dish contained. Once I got to the restaurant I ordered a roasted chicken salad with the salad dressing on the side.

As my friends and I waited for the food to come out, of course we were presented with breads. This particular restaurant is infamous for their delicious variety of breads. I was so tempted to have one bite, but I reminded myself that today was a day to stay strong. Christmas is next week, and I already have three days marked off as possible cheat days. To meet my goal of getting down to 195, I would need to eat my 1776 calories on this day. I did not need to go over that amount.

Once I told myself that the bread was not in my plan, I got over it. After some good conversation, our food came to the table. As soon as I got my salad, I realized I had just made one tiny mistake. I forgot to order extra chicken for the salad. I needed that extra protein to meet my macro-nutrients for this day. Instead of dwelling on it, I just reminded myself that it was OK and enjoyed my salad. Out of the full cup of salad dressing that was presented to me, I used barely a teaspoon of it. The salad had avocados in it, so that was more than enough flavor.

As I drove home, I felt good about my efforts. I had set out to do what I wanted to accomplish. Sure in the past, I use to eat at restaurants with ease. I’m humble enough to realize I’m not that same guy at this present time. I’m slowly trying to build that skill back up to get back towards that level of leanness. It’s just like riding a stick shift. Once you learn it, it stays with you but that first drive is probably going to be a somewhat shaky.

NOTE: If you need to build some skills to handle real life situations check out my book, Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! and gain the confidence you need to live in the real world!!

Food Stats

Here are my food stats for the week.  Can you guess which day was a cheat day?:

Mike's Daily food journal for December 11 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 12 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 13 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 14 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 15 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 15 2015 Mike's Daily food journal for December 17 2015

End of Week 5: December 18th, 2015

  • Scale Weight: 201.4 lbs
  • Waist: 34.0″
  • 94% Compliant
    • 16 out of 17 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

So that’s two weeks in a row in which I’ve been back in the zone. Nothing complicated, just consistency. Like I said last week, all I can control is what goes in my mouth. I can’t control the scale and/or tape measure. I know that if I hit my target numbers, the desired result will come.

As I get closer to 200 pounds, I also know that I am strictly in a fat loss mode. There’s very little chance of me gaining new muscle when going this low. I have to be very careful that I don’t start to lose muscle. In the previous weeks, I was making sure that my overall calorie intake was about 1776 per day. Now that I’m closer to my 2015 goal of losing 15 pounds of fat, I need to make sure it is only fat I’m losing.

What that means is that I will need to make sure that I’m getting enough protein. It doesn’t have to be perfect every day, but I do need to make sure I’m getting closer to 178 grams than 100 grams a day. Remember, that my goal is to look muscular when I lose my fat. I don’t want to appear like a stick figure. That’s why I came up with the macro-nutrient ratios.

My food plan is designed to aid my weightlifting sessions. A couple times during this past week, I didn’t feel like I had my A game at the gym. I got fatigue very easily and I know that’s a combo of my total calories and peri-workout nutrition. For these final weeks, I’ll be drinking Branch Chain Amino Acids before and after I work out. Think of it as extra muscle insurance due to my calories being so low and activity slowly increasing.

I’m confident I can still get down to 200 pounds just by following the same routine for another week. There’s no need to reduce calories even more and/or add too much activity to my workouts.

This upcoming week will be somewhat of another curve ball like Thanksgiving. This is the week of my birthday and Christmas. Two days I definitely plan on eating what I want! I expect my stats to increase slightly before I weigh in just like they did for Thanksgiving.

My goals for this upcoming week is to have 80% compliance (going slightly down from 90% due to 3 planned cheat days) or better eating habits, try to get closer to 8 hours of sleep (I’ve been averaging 7), and do four 10-minute cardio sessions after I lift weights.

With the weeks dwindling down in December, do you still think I got what it takes to be 195 lbs by December 31st? Or will this countdown have to cross over into 2016? Stay tuned for Week Six!