Let’s get physical

Posted on Monday, Jul 12, 2010
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Given that I’ve haven’t blogged in quite some time, it might come as news to you that I’m back to pretending to get into shape. In early June, I started improving my diet and a few weeks later, began physical exercise with a vengeance.

What I’m doing


On June 5, I started following the South Beach diet very strictly. Unfortunately, I neglected to weigh myself before beginning, so the first weight measurement I have is from two days into the diet…which was 235 pounds (for comparison, I was 239 pounds on March 6). I stuck with Phase 1 of the diet for about three weeks, and then started “Phase 1.5”, where I mostly stayed on Phase 1, but moved in a couple Phase 2 foods into it. I’m still pretty scared of carbs, so I consume them very lightly. I did “slip up” a bit last weekend when we were Up North, but even with that, I didn’t gain any additional weight over the weekend…which is a plus.


About a week into my diet, I added some workouts. I had good success last summer with the Couch to 5K program (although I never completed it), so I resumed that, with runs on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday. On Monday/Wednesday/Friday I began a combination of 100 Pushups and 200 Crunches.

I’ve kept up with the Couch to 5K (tomorrow will be Day one of Week 5), but I have fallen behind on the pushups/crunches. But that’s okay, since I’ve replaced them with gym weight workouts. I’ll resume the pushups and crunches next week, I think. But I’ve been going to the gym fairly consistently on MWF and doing some weight machine workouts…and I can definitely tell a difference in my upper body’s definition.

Tools I’m using

It should come as no surprise that I’m a total geek while working out. I haven’t been doing calorie tracking, so I don’t have any measurements/apps for my food intake. But for my running, I am using the awesome iPhone app RunKeeper. It’s a GPS-based app that tracks all of my runs, and uploads them to my RunKeeper profile. For the 100 Pushups and 200 Crunches, I am using the 100 Pushups and CrunchFu iPhone apps, respectively. For my gym workouts, I’ve been trying to find a great iPhone app for that tracking, but coming up short. So I actually just use the Notes app on my iPhone to list out the exercises I’m going to do. I measure my heart rate with my old Polar M32 HRM, and pretty much just keep track of my average heart rate in RunKeeper.

Results so far

As of today, I weigh 224 pounds. If we assume a starting weight of 235 pounds on June 7, that means I have lost 11 pounds in 35 days. Not too shabby…plus I figure a portion of this is muscle gain. I am down two notches on my belt, and wearing jeans that I haven’t been able to wear for over a year. And even better, I am now able to tuck in my polo shirts when going to work…which makes me look even trimmer.

Going forward

Obviously, I have a ways to go. I have a few plans in place, but I also have some follow-up questions to you, my readers, to get your input and advice (since I’m sure everyone has a lot of opinions!)

New workouts

Starting this week (yesterday), I am switching to an every-day gym regimen. I will maintain my three times a week morning runs, but will go to the gym every evening (after the boys go to bed). On non-run days I will start my workout with 30 minutes of cardio (elliptical machine), and on every day, I will do a rotating training workout. I have three main workouts – Back & Abs, Legs, and Chest & Arms. This means I won’t do the exact same thing on each day of the week…it will rotate though all three. For example, this week:

Sunday – Cardio + Back & Abs
Monday – Cardio + Legs
Tuesday – C25K run in morning, Chest & Arms in evening
Wednesday – Cardio + Back & Abs
Thursday – C25K run in morning, Legs in evening
Friday – Cardio + Chest & Arms
Saturday – C25K run in morning, Back & Abs in evening

I know this sounds like a lot, but I’m only intending to hit it this way for three weeks. After three weeks, I will be switching things up a bit and taking advantage of a gift certificate that Carrie got for me for Fitness Together (a private trainer place in Wheaton). That will go for three weeks (during which I will continue Couch to 5K), and then I will re-evaluate.

Need some input

With all this additional exercise, going super low carb doesn’t seem to be the right choice. I know I need to consume some more carbs in order to have energy for my workouts. My biggest challenge right now is no longer WHAT to eat (while I’m a little scared of carbs, I know the “good carbs” to eat, so I am not worried about pigging out on white bread), but WHEN to eat. What do  you guys think? From your experience, when is the best time to eat (especially knowing what you know about my workouts and the timing of them). Any other advice you might have would be totally appreciated.

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