Day 15 – Fat loss and muscle gain

so, i am now on Day 15 of the program and i figured it’s time to check my progress.

earlier today, i took pictures of myself in the same clothes as i did on day one so that i can see if there have been changes, if at all. i placed them side by side to make it easier to see. but, alas. no change yet. which for me is still a good thing because at least i’m not gaining any weight despite cheating on this thing. oops. i mean… errr… hehe.

anyway, here ya go.

 

after 15 days

                           after 15 days

 like i said, no difference at all. below are the other pics i took.

image  image  image  

image  image  now this post is not to discredit the Slow Carb Diet or the Four Hour Body. not at all. the lack of change in my body composition is all on me. i am eating better now but obviously, a stricter adherence to the program is required. i think i overdid the exercise a bit. (yes! there is such a thing.) my appetite always increases when i up my physical activity. i expected this from the start. so from now on, i’ll stick to the weights (which require no more than 5 minutes to do. this is probably the reason i add other activities. the Four Hour Body workouts make me think like i haven’t done enough to initiate fat burning) and no cardio.

oh, and some bonus pictures. ;P

 

image  got carried away there during the shoot. and i felt a bit playful.

so there you have it. 15 days into this program and all we got so far are funny poses. imma keep at it till it becomes a habit. the program, not the poses. till it’s no longer a struggle to ignore my cravings. till i don’t have to drag my butt out of bed to do my kettlebell swings. till… well, till i’m 85. (i’ll spare you the pics before then, don’t worry.)

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Going dark and finding light

so i was craving dark chocolate today and i wanted to find out if the sugar content of an 80% dark chocolate was acceptable. (yeah, yeah. it’s still sweet and has sugar. but i think it’s better to indulge and compromise a little than completely sabotage and abandon the program. baby steps!) so i started searching for its nutritional value online and came upon this website: calorie count.

i dunno if you’re familiar with it but i think it’s a brilliant site for those of us wanting to monitor our weight and/or calorie intake/expenditure. it also has a community of kindred spirits who are also on the same journey. and if you ask me, having a community where you can share your struggles and victories with gives one a big advantage in reaching one’s goal and keeping on track. i’m big on accountability and support. since i’m still developing willpower and self-discipline, i find it essential, critical! that i set my environment to help me.

why don’t you check it out, try it, and see if it helps. 😉

oh! and here’s what i found out about the dark chocolate.

80% dark chocolate

 

Day 12 – fat loss and muscle gain

i meant for this blog to contain photo logs of my every meal. that way i’d be forced to eat right since failing to do so means failing publicly.

didn’t work.

i found out i have a high tolerance for embarrassment. probably the result of years and years of failure. heh. i guess having a thick skin has its down side. no matter. i will still post those pics here, healthy and on track or not.

imma brag today since i ate well. 😉

DSC_1140[1] this was breakfast today. i prepared and ate it about fifteen minutes after waking. i haven’t made an omelet i months and i would’ve preferred poached eggs still but right now i am going for convenience and speed. 

oh! over the weekend, i did my groceries and got me ingredients to make some pickled veggies, chilli and fresh salad. my wife said i probably got carried away with it. what do you think?

IMG-1408871375369-V[1] i don’t think i did. i mean, i was buying stuff for the whole week. and besides, the people at home sometimes get some of the food i prepare. 🙂

 

DSC_1141[1]  so this one’s lunch. now before you react, let me explain. first of all, i didn’t eat the whole thing. second of all i didn’t touch the fries. okay, maybe i got two. three. four tops! i swear!

DSC_1142[1] and this, was my snack this afternoon.i remembered to take a picture of it midway through the meal. whew. i had it a little late, around 5pm so now i still feel full. i guess i can have dinner at 8:30pm.

for now, i got to run. literally. 😉

If at first you don’t succeed

so finally, after a few false starts, a handful of tumbles, today i got a handle of my meals. and my cravings, too. fortunately for me, the latter wasn’t too much of a problem today and i think it’s because i ate within 30 minutes of waking which means my blood sugar level hasn’t dipped to feed-me-greasy-rich-sweet-and-savory-crap-or-you-die depths.

the first two weeks were quite tricky but then i expected that since it really takes me a while to build momentum and possess the proper mindset for this program. i told you i dived into this head first. but the key is persistence! in the past i would have just thrown my hands up in the air and give up. but not this time.

so far, i have moved towards and away from my goal. you can see how my body composition has changed since i started in the chart below.

Journey to 25% BF

two things i’m keeping in mind now in order to stay on track. the first one was preparedness. i can’t just wing this if i want to succeed. the second one is persistence. obviously, i won’t be able to reach my goal if i don’t keep at it. though the numbers may look discouraging, i know exactly what caused them which means i know exactly what to do to avoid getting those abysmal numbers again.

Less is more

i’ve started running recently as my chosen exercise to go with the Slow Carb Diet. although i am kinda expecting that this will increase my appetite which will make it a bit more challenging to keep with the SCD program. i like eating rice when i’m ravenous and nothing seems to make me feel satiated but. to be sure i really don’t need the cardio but i figure it’ll be good to pick up a new habit. not only would this be good for my body, but it’s said to be good for the brain too. and i like that side effect.

last week, i ran a few times, doing it every other day. this week, i got me an exercise partner, Jaymee. she is from the same community i belong to. our community recently resolved to start exercising more. you know how they say one is simply compelled to change for two reasons? the first being one has learned enough to do so, and the other, one has been hurt so badly that it has no choice but to change.

i guess my friends from the community, well, myself included, fall under the latter in this particular instance. we’ve likely come to realize that our health should be a priority as we are all experiencing our bodies’ limitations. clothes don’t fit the same, don’t fall the same on our bodies as we discover new bulges that have made a home to parts of it however unwelcome we make it feel, short of breath after every couple of hundred meters of walking (walking!),muscles ache at the slightest exertion, joints creak. the list under pain being the impetus for change goes on.

now i’m not saying that doing cardio will not have any benefits. i already mentioned above that it is highly beneficial both physically and mentally. but for body sculpting, less is more. and adding cardio exercises may actually slow it down if not outright reverse ones progress.

in the same book where Tim Ferris explains the Slow Carb Diet, he also writes about the 4 Hour Body. you read that right. just 4 hours of strategic exercises A MONTH. not a day. not a week. but 4 hours a month. and one of the key exercises he recommends is the kettlebell swing.

remember this bad boy? 😛

DSC_1045

40 swings every other day is all you need. to start! of course we need to level up with every strength gain we make.

the other exercises he recommends are easier to do and pretty convenient too as these don’t need any special equipment to execute.

just repeat these 40-50 times:

-wall press ups ( i do two sets of 20 reps )

-squats (40 reps and a battery of curses from my thighs later, i die )

One bite at a time

so this is what my meals look like. i got me my staples. for breakfast, it’s eggs. for the other three meals of the day, i include, as much as possible, veggies and chicken.

to make it easier to remember what i can eat, i just stay away from any carbs that can be white. no sugars, too. the only sweetener i can consume is stevia.

sometimes, like what i mentioned in a previous post, my cravings get the better of me and what i eat instead are these:

corndog

got me this corndog before watching a movie. actually, my brother bought it. i bought the tickets for the movie and he took care of dinner.

IMG-1408071693221-V

lunch out with my mom at pancake house. i love their burgers there so that was what i ordered. heh.

 

california maki twister

afternoon snack while waiting for my mom finish doing the groceries. this is my favorite. a california maki twister. 😛

wait, now. in my defense. in my defense, i… i…

i got nothin’. i got no excuse but stupidity and laziness. pffff.

i told my accountability partner, aka my wife, that from now on, i won’t leave the house without my prepared meals with me. a bit of an inconvenience, sure, but a small price to pay in exchange for my goal. 😉

Failing publicly

i use this blog as a journal where i record my daily activities. i realize it gets boring posting pics of my meals and pics of my measurements but this platform keeps me honest. it makes me accountable for my actions. plus, if i hit a plateau or i rebound, i could just go back to my previous meal posts and know what happened. no pointing fingers. no excuses.

like lunch today for example.

i found myself guilty of the very thing i just recently confessed which is grabbing some fastfood when i was super hungry. i didn’t prepare my meals for this week and i didn’t bring any food with me while i was out running errands with my brother. so, while waiting for him to get done, i rushed to the nearest mcdonald’s and got me this:

DSC_1059[1]

oh, the shame. and on my fifth day on the program. just one more day and i could indulge in whatever i wanted on my scheduled cheat day! but habits plus cravings plus unpreparedness trump willpower every time.

what’s worse is, it is my sister’s birthday today. and once done with our errands, we headed to her place and had these:

DSC_1071 i had spaghetti and cake just half an hour after i wolfed down some fastfood.

i am sure to see the effect of eating this stuff in a few days. my karada scale will slap me with some gut wrenching numbers but hopefully, i still have time to remedy the potential damage. hhffff.

it will take a lot of hurting though. just goes to show, that lack of preparation is a huge hindrance in pursuing once goal. especially for one who hasn’t the habits, the willpower, the discipline to do so. at least, just not yet. but i will. i am determined and i will persist.

by the way, this post isn’t about exposing my weakness for its own sake but it is about being aware of said weakness and persisting despite. i didn’t write this post to make a habit of making the same mistake. i wrote it to remind me, because i forget quickly and always take for granted, the value of preparation. it is here to help me acknowledge and accept where i am in my journey, where i stubbornly hold on to the belief that winging it will still get me there, stupidly thinking that knowing the consequences of bad habits alone can make me avoid them. armed with knowing that i do not have the tools yet not to succumb to temptations, i must be more deliberate in my actions.

they say what is important is getting back up after the fall. i say, get back up but with the wisdom to find out what caused the fall. and to adjust accordingly to avoid falling again.

having said that, i’m off to the kitchen and prepare for this week’s meals.

Breakfast: Still the most important meal of the day

in the past when i went on the Slow Carb Diet, i always made myself an omelet for breakfast. i’d use three eggs and chop some bacon or ham, add mushrooms and chinese parsley. but since i learned how to make poached eggs, i’ve never had my eggs done any other way. (okay, maybe sometimes i’d have half boiled eggs and even less frequently, soft boiled eggs)

below is the technique i recently discovered on how to make perfect poached eggs. enjoy!

things you need:

1 small pot

two whole eggs

that’s it!

first, prepare your eggs. you have to crack them open, each into a separate bowl. this will make it easier to put the eggs in the middle of the pot and helps keep the yolk intact. next, you gotta fill the pot with water to about three inches high. then heat the water until it starts boiling slightly. you’ll see bubbles gently coming up from the bottom of the pot at this point. wait a couple more minutes until the water is just about to boil a little more violently. we generally don’t like violence so at this point we take our pot off the heat or just turn the stove off, then stir the water till you see the face of your future partner. ;p kidding. take care not to spill any hot water on you.

pour one egg into the middle of the swirling water and wait until the egg white and yolk are cooked. hopefully, your egg remains intact and you didn’t just make egg soup. five minutes would be enough to cook the egg but you can check by scooping up the egg and jiggling it a bit. if it jiggles a lot but like your yolks runny then i guess it’s okay to take it out of the pot and start on the other one. but if not, and you prefer your yolks a bit more cooked, then keep it in the pot for another couple of minutes.

i know this is tedious since you have to get the heat going again for the other egg but so far this is the technique i found most effective. try it. the effort is worth it. i promise.

   DSC_1054 this was breakfast, btw. just 100 more attempts at poaching eggs and i’d get them right and perfect. 😉

Eating my words

i know. i know. just a post ago i said that variety is overrated and that one should opt for repetition. but, hey. if you don’t like monotony, have will power like will.i.am (;p) and got a ton of time in your hands then go right ahead and add options to your meals.

to save you some time though, why don’t you just head on to http://stepheusebi.com and check out her recipes. most of them have fruits as an ingredient so maybe you can make them on your cheat days. they look super easy to do. plus, i’ve tried some of them and they’re actually quite good! if you feel guilty eating junk on cheat day, then you can try these recipes guilt-free. healthy treats, i tell ya!

have fun!