Thursday, July 23, 2009


So in my initial consultation with my personal trainer Mark, his first question to me was "What are your goals?". My obvious answer was "to lose weight", I thought that was an adequate answer, but I wasn't even close. That answer was way to vague. It had no definition. It was like telling the Captain of a ship to go west, with no definite destination, he 's surely going to get lost at sea.

He gave me a list of steps in setting my goals to follow, and Mark and I started plotting on paper some things to accomplish.

1. Set specific goals, know exactly what you want and where you want to be. Down to the very digit. How many pounds do you want to lose? How much fat do you want to lose? What size clothes do you want to wear?

2. Set measurable goals, you have to be able to see and chart your progress or you will never feel like you are getting any closer to your goal.

3. Set big goals, if you want to lose 200 pounds, make that your goal. Do not settle for low expectations, or people telling you to "be realistic". Nothing was ever accomplished being realistic, "realistic" goals aren't motivating. WANTS are motivating.

4. Set realistic deadlines - Don't be afraid to set big goals, but always set realistic time frames for achieving them. There are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines. Be patient: There are
definite limitations to how quickly the human body can safely lose fat.

5. Set long and short term goals - There are six types of short and long-term goals you can include:
1. Your ultimate long-term goal
2. 12 month goal
3. Three month goals
4. Weekly goals (Weekly body composition test and weigh-in)
5. Daily goals (habits to develop, things to do every day repeatedly)
6. The goal of beating your personal best.

These goals now are something that I think about all the time. When I feel like quitting and giving up, there is this thing hanging over my head that I think about. It drives me, and forces me to think about why I'm doing this and what I want to accomplish. I've never set a goal before when trying to lose weight, which could be a big factor in why I never succeeded. I can definitely see why having them is so important. I can't tell you how many times I've been on the treadmill and been only 10 minutes into it and wanted to just stop and be done for the day. But then that goal comes into my head, and reminds me that the only way I'm going to accomplish it, is by pushing through it and working hard, finishing what I started and in the end I'll get what I want....A healthier me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What do you mean cheezburgers aren't nutritious?

My diet log which I thought was pretty good apparently needed some work, and Mark was not all that pleased by it. Sure I was well within the calorie range where I needed to be, but what I was eating was not even what he considered to be food or edible at all. Empty calories, food with absolutely no nutritional value what so ever. I was in amazement. For 36 years I've eaten damn near whatever I wanted in what ever quantity I wanted and now I have to be selective and choose what I eat wisely. It so happens that "food" does not come from a box. It is either born or grown. And should fit those two criteria.

To me, a calorie was a calorie. I knew how to watch those, but I never knew there was a different kinds of calories! Or that there were certain nutrients in food that we should have in a certain ratios. Carbs, fat, protein, fiber, sodium..........My head was starting to spin and we hadn't even even gotten through the first 15 minutes of class! So much to remember, how the hell am I ever going to succeed at this!! We went over my log bit by bit and he pointed out which foods on my list I couldn't eat. I also came home with a list of exactly how many of those previously listed nutrients I needed to eat for each meal and snack that I had. I now had my work cut out for me, I needed to hunt down foods that fit those requirements and fit inside my caloric range while also remembering that it had to be born or grown. It's much harder than it sounds. And I'm still struggling with it every single day. Just ask my poor wife.

So for all of you that don't is what I learned.

1. 3500 Calories = one pound of fat.
2. 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
3. 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
4. 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
5. 1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories (this is where the beer bellies come from. The second highest in calories next to fat!!)

My nutrient ratio is 35% protein, 25% fat, 40% carbs. (forget the no carb atkins thing, your body NEEDS carbs). Meaning that 35% of what I eat in a day has to come from protein, 25% from fat and 40% carbs. All while staying within my caloric range. There is so much more. Complex carbs, simple carbs, glycemic index etc etc etc etc....I mentioned before that this was becoming my obsession, I just never knew how badly this would take over my life!!

At this point I've lost 34 pounds of fat since the start of the year. Lets hope this trend continues.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Three month update!

Wow, it's been three months since I last wrote anything. So much has happened in the last three months I don't even know where to begin.

I decided at the end of May that I wanted to start seeing a personal trainer. I was having some success losing weight by just watching what I ate, but I knew that just that alone wasn't going to produce the results that I wanted. I wanted more. Going from being a rather sedentary couch potato to working out with a personal trainer is like being ripped out of the comfort of your living room and being dropped into the middle of a war zone. I was completely out of my comfort zone. Which was exactly where I wanted to be actually. I had no idea it was going to be so hard. Or what I was getting myself into.

Right from the start I was asked to record everything I ate in a log. This, believe it or not, is very difficult. Every calorie consumed and all the nutritional value for that calorie needed to be accounted for. How much fat, protein, carbs. etc etc. I needed to be able to see what I was eating, in what amounts so that changes could be made easily. After the initial consultation with Mark, I came in for my first workout and handed him what I thought was a fairly decent diet log. It became clear to me that his idea of nutrition was far from what I thought it was. He canceled the workout for that night and decided that we needed a classroom session instead. Uh oh....CLASS? What could I possibly need a class for? Hasn't he read this blog? I knew it all already, what could I possibly learn from a class session???