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    Let's Do This (No, Really, This Time for Real ...)

    Preamble

    Well, he's at it again, attempting to lose weight and get fit. Or, what I'm now trying to tell myself, I'm trying "To create a new lifestyle for myself with respect to diet and exercise, and a side-effect of that is going to be I will lose fat, increase my endurance, get healthier overall, and gain muscle" (that order). Because, as soon as I have set myself up for a specific "I'm going to lose weight!!" goal with a "And now let's gain muscle in 30 weeks when I've lost fat!!" goal, I crash and burn.


    Overview

    If it wasn't obvious, I've tried this before. Ever since I entered grad school in 2005. I had some minor success and major failures. My all-time best bodyfat percentage was on July 13, 2008, and November 20, 2011, at about 15.8%. My weight the second time was about 165 lbs. Now, this morning, I just tipped the scale at 220.3 lbs - an all-time high. I am guesstimating my bf% at about 30%, but I will measure it on Wednesday.

    Of course, there are excuses. All of them seem legitimate: (a) When I was losing weight, I had significantly less work than I do now (I tend to work ~60 hrs a week instead of ~30-40 hours (there was a 2-year period when I lost weight when I was about 60% employed)). (b) I travel a lot for work. In 2017, I was gone 99 days, in 2018, I was gone 101 days, for example. So keeping any sort of steady plan was impossible -- just as soon as I got something going, I'd have a trip and mess it all up. (c) I already have an extremely low BMR. For the very longest streak when I was keeping records, back in my attempt in 2011, my BMR with a 1.2x multiplier was about 2000-2100 cal/day. If I consumed more than about 1500 cal/day, I gained weight.

    Now, of course, those excuses are excuses. If something is important enough, in a first world country, middle or upper class, you should be able to find time to do it. If you're traveling, you should be able to find some time to exercise, you should be able to bring some of your own food so you don't have to eat out, or if you eat out due to the social nature of the meeting, get a friggin' salad without the big-calorie items (nuts, dressing, cheese, fried chicken). And if you have a low metabolism so you can't eat as much to maintain your weight (or lose weight), then don't eat as much, or work out more. It's all solvable.

    Right?


    What Seems to Work for Me

    Tracking. Some might call me "mildly OCD," so I have a bunch of spreadsheets with practically every conceivable metric. I have a food spreadsheet, one per week, where every item is counted and I have all macro and micro nutrients listed, along with fruit, vegetable, and liquid intake. I have a summary spreadsheet on food so I can see trends in if I hit or miss my percentages (am I consistently way under on Vitamin E? maybe I should be eating some almonds every day). I have another spreadsheet with an overview tab with weight, calories from exercising and food, and bf%, plus goals, with one row per week. Another tab for tracking weight, another for measuring various bodyparts to get bodyfat, another for tracking cardio, and another for tracking weight lifting (all feeding summary data into the main Overview tab).

    But, tracking is a double-edges sword. It helps because I can see progress, but it hurts because I can see no progress.


    Equipment and Limitations

    I live 45 minutes from civilization. I tried going to a gym a few times and despised it. Now that I live so far from one, it would be a significant deterrent. So, in my basement, I have an elliptical, rowing machine, and free weights. Everything one needs to accomplish this.

    I also have an Apple Watch (v4), so I can get running tallies on exercise metrics, sleep, reminders to stand and move around every hour, etc.


    Why Am I Doing This?

    I guess in this first post, I should return to this question to ensure that I'm really doing this for the "right" reasons, and have a "healthy" outlook on this.
    • I should not be out of breath climbing one flight of stairs.
    • I should not look at myself every day and be unhappy about my physical appearance (that's a separate, but related issue).
    • I should be able to participate in outdoor activities enjoyed by my friends, which in Colorado is mostly hiking.
    • I should be more cardiovascularly fit at my age, based on various metrics including VO2_max.
    • I would like to be able to fit into my clothes from high school again (which I still have, and could fit into most of them back in 2010).


    Outlook and Expectations (Revised after Measuring BF%)

    As noted in the Preamble, I think my outlook needs to be that this is a lifestyle change with respect to how I spend my time, how I eat, and how I exercise. This is not a specific "weight loss thing." With that in mind ...

    Given my current stats, at 220 lbs and probably about 28% bodyfat, what is reasonable for a goal? Based on how this has worked for me before, and on reading various forums, losing 2 lbs a week is ambitious for me and likely to fail, which will lead to frustration and quitting. So I think a goal of -1.5 lbs/week is more realistic, and if I lose more, then great. What percentage of that is going to be fat? Based on previous work over the years, I am hoping that at least for the first few weeks, up to 90% of weight loss will be fat. After that, based on what other people have lost, it's more likely to be around 75%. Looking way ahead, when people have bulked, it's tended to be about 25% fat gain.

    So of course planning everything out for the next two years (ha!) I have a target of September 1, 2019, so +8 months from now, of getting down to 170 lbs at about 14% bodyfat. That is a steady loss of 1.5 lbs per week. In those 33 weeks, I have 10 one-week-long trips. But, the first one is in 8 weeks. So I have 8 solid weeks to establish a routine and stick with it and see results. After that next trip, I have another four solid weeks at home, so I have a first intermediate goal of +13 weeks to be about 200 lbs, though that's still 23% bodyfat. But it will be an improvement.

    Thereafter, the outlook / plan is basically to slowly cycle around ±10 lbs with roughly 10-week periods of bulking and cutting, getting down to the 12% bodyfat area in the 170s lbs in February 2020. I suspect I could be way more aggressive with that, but I also fully expect all of this to change depending on what happens over the next 3 months.
    Last edited by astrostu; 01-23-2019 at 09:41 AM.
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    Cut, Initial, Part 1 (14 weeks)

    Starting Stats

    Date: 20 Jan 2019
    Weight: 220 lbs
    Bodyfat: 28%
    Resting BMR*: 2200 cal
    VO2_max: ~36 mL/(kg*min)

    *I'm going to try to use the Apple Watch for this, rather than the normal math. Though the normal equation with a 1.2x multiplier gives the same - or slightly higher by 50 cal - number than the Apple Watch. But my watch is tracking my heart rate 24/7, so I trust it a bit more.


    Goal

    Date: 18 Apr 2019 (just before a trip)
    Weight: 200 lbs
    Bodyfat: 23%


    Food

    My goal 1750 cal/day, or roughly a 500 calorie deficit. Under the assumption that 1 lb of fat is 3500 calories, then that's enough to lose 1 lb of fat per week.


    Exercise

    If I jump in and do everything at once, going from zero to infinity on Day 1, nothing will happen. So my goals represent a ramp up:
    • Week 1:
      • Rowing machine: ≥3x, 20 min each
      • Elliptical: ≥3x, 30 min each
      • Bodyweight exercises: ≥2x, 15 min each
    • Week 2:
      • Rowing machine: ≥4x, 20 min each
      • Elliptical: ≥4x, 30 min each
      • Bodyweight exercises: 3x, 15 min each
    • Week 3:
      • Rowing machine: ≥5x, 20 min each
      • Elliptical: ≥5x, 30 min each
      • Bodyweight exercises: 3x, 15 min each
      • Weights: ≥1x, ~1 hour each
    • Weeks 4-14:
      • Rowing machine: 6x, 20 min each
      • Elliptical: 6x, 30 min each
      • Bodyweight exercises: 3x, 15 min each
      • Weights: 3x, ~1 hour each

    Based on my watch, so I trust it reasonably well since it's monitoring my heart rate during exercise, I burn around 10 calories every 10 minutes on the rowing machine or elliptical, so I need to do about 3 hours of these per week in order to burn 1/2 lb of fat.

    Some reading this might wonder why, then, so much exercise. A couple reasons. (a) Elliptical for cardio fitness and fat loss. It's the closest thing to a hike that I can do indoors, so is the best thing for getting me up-to-speed with that goal. (b) Rower for cardio fitness, fat loss, and toning. It's more intense, working more muscles than the elliptical, but it's still in the "cardio" class, so it's something to do other than the elliptical and work the core and arms. (c) Bodyweight exercises for core fitness and toning, and it's something I can do anywhere. (d) Weights for muscle maintaining during this cut -- use it or lose it.


    During Travel

    Only one trip is in this period, for 6 days, and it's a doozy where I am usually at the conference from 8am until 9pm, and I'm exhausted thereafter. I'm staying at a hotel without any fitness equipment, and I'm not in walking distance to the conference center (and it's Texas, so there are no sidewalks). So my goal for that trip is to pack most of my food and eat out no more than once a day. That means if I have lunch plans with people, I will eat packed food for dinner at the hotel (like jerky, protein bar, nuts). I will also keep up the bodyweight exercises, and potentially do them every night instead of just 3x.
    Last edited by astrostu; 01-23-2019 at 09:38 AM.
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    Day 1, 20 Jan 2019

    Posting for yesterday, I've decided I want to post using emoji. Pictures help over text for me and lets me see more quickly what I did. For exercise, each icon is 5 minutes, and in lieu of an elliptical emoji (which does not exist), I'm using "run." Each drop in "Drink" is cups, and there are some subs in food for better or wo

    Exercise: 🚣‍♂️🚣‍♂️🚣‍♂️🚣‍♂ 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍ ️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️

    Drink: 💧💧💧💧💧💧💧

    Food:
    • 🍓🥛 (no yogurt emoji, so this'll be what I use for a fruit yogurt*)
    • 🍚 (some left-over)
    • 🍕 (some left-over dough, was "only" 500 cal so not horrible)
    • 🌰 (2 oz almonds)
    • 🥩(2 oz beef jerky)
    • 🥟 (250 cal dumplings)
    • 🍫 (280 cal chocolate in various forms)

    *Skyr (Icelandic yogurt) which is about 130 cal/serving, 2g fat, 14g carbs, and 15g protein.
    Last edited by astrostu; 01-21-2019 at 05:45 PM.
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    Day 2, 21 Jan 2019

    Exercise: 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂ 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍ ️

    Drink: 💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧 (I was dehydrated and had a headache all day, so I tried to drink a lot)

    Food:
    • 🍓🥛 (my sub for a fruit yogurt emoji)
    • 🐟 (7 oz tilapia)
    • 🐓🍲 (chicken soup)
    • 🌰 (2 oz almonds)
    • 🥩 (2 oz beef jerky)
    • 🌾 (1/2 oz cereal for the micronutrients I don't get)
    • 🥤 (protein shake --I'll use this "To-Go Cup" emoji)
    • 🍫 (280 cal chocolate in various forms)

    🍮: 106% fats
    🥖: 102% carb
    🐓: 107% prot
    🧂: 260% salt (5200mg, mostly due to the soup)
    Last edited by astrostu; 01-21-2019 at 11:16 PM.
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    Day 3, 22 Jan 2019

    Exercise: 🚫

    Drink: 💧💧💧💧💧💧💧

    Food:
    • 🍓🥛 (my sub for a fruit yogurt emoji)
    • 🐓🍚 (chicken biryani)
    • 🌰 (2 oz almonds)
    • 🥩 (2 oz beef jerky)
    • 🌾 (1/2 oz cereal for the micronutrients I don't get)
    • 🥤 (protein shake --I'll use this "To-Go Cup" emoji)
    • 🍫+🥨+🥟 (some snacks)

    🍮: 101% fats
    🥖: 126% carb
    🐓: 98% prot
    🧂: 134% salt
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    Day 4, 23 Jan 2019

    Exercise: 🚫

    Drink: 💧💧💧💧💧

    Food:
    • 🐓🍚 (chicken biryani)
    • 🐓+🥦 (roasted chicken with brussels sprouts)
    • 🌰 (2 oz almonds)
    • 🥩 (2 oz beef jerky)
    • 🌾 (1/2 oz cereal)
    • 🍫+🥨+🥟+🥝+🍿 (some snacks)

    🍮: 197% fats
    🥖: 289% carb
    🐓: 235% prot
    🧂: 231% salt

    Notes: Went way over on food today. However, I should still be close to goals for the week, based on current plans.


    Day 5, 24 Jan 2019

    Exercise: 🚣‍♂️🚣‍♂️🚣‍♂️🚣‍♂ 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍ ️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️

    Drink: 💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧

    Food:
    • 🍓🥛 (fruit yogurt)
    • 🥗+🐓 (salad with chicken)
    • 🐓🍚 (chicken biryani)
    • 🥤 (protein shake)
    • 🌰 (2 oz almonds)
    • 🥩 (2 oz beef jerky)
    • 🍫 (misc. snacks)

    🍮: 80% fats
    🥖: 90% carb
    🐓: 127% prot
    🧂: 154% salt
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    Week 1 Summary

    I got distracted doing nothing for the last two days, so no Day 6/7 log on here. It is logged on my computer in my spreadsheets, and I also downloaded MyFitnessPal to be able to do quick backup logging on my phone. I refuse to pay for it, so I don't get the added features, but the ability to record things while I'm out, the ability to scan a barcode and have it record the food, all for later recording at home, is incredibly useful. At least at this stage. Also the calorie counter at the top of total - used = remaining is a big wakeup call on what I'm "allowed" to still eat during the day.

    Food: I went over, by 50%, twice this past week. Looking at the reasons why, it was primarily social eating and eating because I wanted that flavor/taste (such as a beef dumpling). There was also an 880-calorie issue where the other guy who lives here "got me a present" of a pint of ice cream. I know it should be easy to say "no." But it's not for me. There are a few foods for which I really have no filter (Doritos is one of them).

    All-told, the calories for this week were 126% of my goal, or an average of 2211 per day. Based on my estimated resting BRM, that should have maintained my weight, it is not enough to lose weight. Fat / carbs / protein splits were good, 31 / 36 / 33, from my goal of 30/35/35.

    Weight: Weight started out January 20 depressingly high at 220.3 lbs, but every day this week, except one, it went down. I actually ended on Saturday the 26th at "only" 215.6 lbs. When I measured by bf% on Wednesday, it was a median of 28% (based on four different forumlœ). I'll measure again in the next few days, I don't want to do a Wednesday to Sunday metric because I don't expect it to vary that much.

    That said, I am not naïve enough to think that I lost 5 lbs of fat in a week. I expect the majority of it is water, but we will find out within 2-3 days. So, I'm also trying to keep my fluid intake somewhat high, but it's hard for me to drink more than 6-7 cups of water a day (including 2 in the protein shake).

    Exercise: Ah, my old nemesis. I'll say going in that I injured my knee a few weeks ago to the point that I could barely put any weight on it. Taking an anti-inflammatory a few times a day for about 10 days helped, but I was quite wary of actually doing exercise this week -- cardio, which requires leg movement. So, I did take it somewhat slowly. But I managed to hit 2 of my 3 goals: I used the elliptical 4 times, not 3, for 135 minutes total, and I used the rowing machine 3 times, at least 20 minutes, for a total of 69 minutes. I also noticed that the rowing machine is definitely working arm muscles because I had baby-DOMS in them yesterday. What I didn't do was the core exercises at night, ≥2x, 15 min each. Instead of making excuses, I'm going to say that I'm just going to try to do better this week, and that going from nothing to something is better than staying at nothing.

    Total calories expended during the exercise was 2390, enough to account for maybe 2/3 lb of fat loss.
    Last edited by astrostu; 01-27-2019 at 11:43 AM.
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    Mid-Week 2 Update

    I haven't posted in a bit; no, I haven't stopped this already, I'm still going. But I've been working on behind-the-scenes stuff to make my own tracking more "me" and better suited for 2019 instead of 2006 when I first started my spreadsheet library and 2009 when I did my last major upgrade. I've somehow spent >7 hours so far updating how I track things, what I track, etc. And this has nothing to do with procrastinating on stuff for work.

    For example, instead of having breakfast, lunch, snack 1, dinner, snack 2 logged for every day, which I wasn't actually eating in order after planning it a week in advance, I have: Meals, Drinks, Fats, Carbs, Proteins, Dairy, Fruits, Veggies, and Seeds. That way there's no specified order, and things aren't jumbled, such that it's easier at a glance to see what kind of food I ate in any given day. The last four categories are ones that are generally encouraged, like yogurt in dairy, fruits & vegetables self-explanatory, and almonds in seeds. These are mainly for filling in micronutrients and to get my housemate off my back about not eating enough "green" things. The Fats and Carbs are where the "bad" snacking goes, like chocolate or chips. Protein is for filling in my protein for the day just for the sake of protein, like jerky, a protein bar, or protein shake.

    I've also spent some time researching on the CDC's website and wherever health.gov goes to in order to upgrade my dietary goals for micronutrients, saturated fat, and fiber. Since last time I updated them I was 25, and recommendations change as you age, and new research has been done over the last decade. Apparently also, there is no longer a specific recommendation for dietary intake of cholesterol since it seems to have a negligible impact on your blood-level cholesterol. It's much more important to keep saturated fats low, recommended at <10% of your daily calories. See— all this is new info from the last time I made up my goal sheets to eat within!

    All of this updating is not just to my tracker, but I then have to go back and update all of my meal spreadsheets and other things because I'm updating stuff like also tracking manganese and a few other micronutrients I left off back in '09 but never added due to inertia. But if I'm doing a major update now, I might as well incorporate that.

    Weight-wise, I have gone very slightly up, or kept about the same as my minimum last week. That's expected, since I really did not believe -5 lbs in 1 week was real. I have also confirmed yet again that my weight tends to go down a bit the day after I exercise, versus not. Likely water weight, but it's positive reinforcement to exercise, so I'll go with the fantasy.

    Bodyfat% went down this week over last. Not quite as much as I had hoped, but it went down using all four formulœ I use, and by 0.3% -- I had hoped for 0.4%. Though I fiddled with the numbers a bit and apparently I can't go down 0.4% given the 1/8" resolution of the measurements I'm making. So, it's fine. And I have been at this long enough to know the trend is what's important.

    I'm on track to meet my cardio goal for the week, but not core exercises. I think that's still "okay," if not great, since I'm still ramping up and it's better to do a slow ramp that's successful rather than fall off. But if I still haven't done it next week, that's a problem.
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    One modification to my tracking is the correct application of BMR, calories in, calories out, and the real goal I should be aiming for for net calories in a week. And it's somewhat depressing.

    So, before I was doing the BMR calculation and using some multiplier for activity level. But now what I'm doing is the BMR for basically no activity (or whatever the watch says for BMR, they're within 2% of each other), and then subtracting off the proper number for goal calories for –1, –1.5, and –2 lbs/week. When I say "proper number," that means it's not 3500 calories. That rule of thumb is based on the idea that 1 gm fat is 9 calories, adipose tissue is 87% lipid by weight, so you get about 3550 calories for 1 lb of fat, or rounded it's 500 calories per day as a deficit. But the actual number is that 1 gram of fat can be anywhere from 8.7 to 9.5 calories, depending on the type of fat. And an adipose cell is 72–87% fat by weight. I'm using the larger number of 9.5 cal/gm but assuming the larger proportion of 87% in my calculation. But I'm glad because I now know where the number comes from and that there is at least a ±1000 calorie around the mean for 1 lb of fat.

    Anyway, so I have a column for BMR, and 1 column for 1, 1.5, and 2 lb fat loss per week. Then, I have my intake, coming from my nutrition log spreadsheet. Then I have a column for the exercise calories expended. And then net. Seems simple.

    But I've also color-coded by goals. So for calories expended in exercise, it's red if it's <1166 calories per week (1/3 of 3500 calories), yellow if 1166-3500 calories, and green if >3500 calories. My goal currently is to expend 1/2 lb of calories in exercise per week, so it's true that I could go green if it's >1750 calories, but another point of this is to get more fit, so I want to have a goal of doing more exercise each week, regardless of calories ... the calories are just a decent indicator.

    But for net, it's red if the net calories are >BMR, orange if it's BMR to –1 lb/week, lime yellow-green for –1lb to –1.5 lb per week calorie goal, and green if less then the –1.5 lb goal.

    What's the point? It's really amazing just how much work I have to do to hit my net calories for –1.5 lbs/week! This week I've done a lot better with not snacking on little bits of stuff around the house (I'll be about 200 cal/day lower than last week), but with the exercise so far, I'm still just at 1750 cal/day net -- only enough for –1 lb/week. I have to exercise 2100 calories (3–4 hours of hard cardio) in the next two days to get to 1450 net, or just not eat, or something.

    I know this is a process, but it's definitely a hard one, with difficult changes to make.
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    Week 2 Summary

    Summary: This week got somewhat weird with work, with some late nights involved, so I did not exercise as much as my goal. Food was good, weight steady and slightly down.

    Food: I did much better on food this week, perhaps because I spent well over 12 hours re-doing my nutritional tracking sheets and logs and recipes instead of eating. While in Week 1 I had an average of 2221 calories per day, this week I was at 1997, over 10% lower. It is still 10% above the goal of 1750 cal/day, but it is fewer calories on average for the week than pretty much any week in the last 7 months. So it's an improvement, and this is a marathon, not a sprint. The split was also closer to my goal, 31/35/34 for fat / carbs / protein.

    Additionally, once I really started using my new templates and logging system, which includes a running tally of everything per day in graphical form that also includes a moving average, I really tried harder to hit some of my key goals. For example, half-way through the week, calories, total fat, saturated fat, and carbs dropped by 20-50% and have generally been closer to what I want them to be.

    Sodium is still very high (typically 3500-4000 mg), I think mostly because of the stir fry I do and because of hidden (and obvious) salt in some of the foods I regularly have. For instance, I put canned chicken breast on my salad since it's much easier than making blackened chicken ahead of time, but the can has 1000 mg of sodium in it. One of the ways I supplement protein is 2 oz beef jerky, 800 mg sodium. I don't get enough Vitamin E, so I eat almonds -- sodium because they're salted. The first thing I'm going to try to do is cut back on some of the salty sauces in the stir fry.

    Weight: As noted in the update earlier in the week, weight hasn't been quite as happy this week as last, but last week's –5 lbs was not realistic. Weight started going up mid-week to a high of 217, but it ended the week at a new two-week low of 214.7 lbs. Bodyfat, as noted earlier, also went down a bit, almost in line with my goals.

    Exercise: Exercise was worse and better this week. Worse in that I did the elliptical once less than last week, worse in that I had planned to increase what I was doing. But better in that I could almost do what I set out to do, and better in that I steadily increased the duration of the exercise. For instance, from 25, to 30, to 35 minutes on the rower. I also could increase the intensity slightly for the elliptical, and I had to pause less on the rowing machine (instead of pausing, I just did a back + arms motion instead of legs + back + arms, and the number of times I went to that was less today than it was on Tuesday).

    A problem with exercise (besides not wanting to do it) is also that I tend to put it off during the day. But, if it gets too late, I just, simply, don't do it. For instance, I was going to do it on Wednesday, but by the time 11:30 rolled around, I just had no impetus to go downstairs and do it. The same thing happened last night. So I need to do it earlier in the day. But, the problem with that, is that I get tired afterwards. So I did it around 1:45pm today, and then I napped for two hours afterwards. I'm hoping that'll get better, and it's probably better to exercise and nap than to not exercise.

    Total calories expended was less than last week, 2185, but because I ate less, the net calories, per average day, were 1685 this week, versus 1880 last week. So I'm in the "yellow" area of my daily net calories where that's enough to lose 1 lb in a week but not enough for 1.5 lb. Which jives roughly with what I lost, 1.6 lbs but that's the average Week 1 weight versus Week 2 average ... if I take out the first really high weight on Day 1 Week 1, then it's a –1.1 lb week-to-week, which is what the net calories would predict.

    I'm 95% sure I'm over-thinking this, but regardless, it is nice even if just a placebo to say/see that the numbers actually are making sense.
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    Well, it's happened. It took two weeks, but it's happened: My stomach shrank. Or hormones have rebalanced, or something. But I'm no longer as hungry as I was, on fewer calories, and I'm quite full after a ~500 calorie meal.

    What's good about that is, of course, helping to not over-eat. What's bad about it is that if I give in and snack on something, it's something small, like a piece of chocolate, as opposed to a larger meal like a salad with chicken on top. Or even jerky -- chocolate's calories are denser so I can have just as many calories in a small piece of chocolate than I can in a handful of jerky.

    So ... a positive and negative development, likely more positive than negative, but frustrating at times.
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    Whoa! You're a calculator machine and you incorporate with your training! That's great! I see that each person is different from the way they train! I'm glad we're all different! Keep pushing and listen to your body like you did with the fact that you're no longer hungry like before. Burn those little devils chocolate! Literally! Do not attach those pieces +*^%#} that makes you drool!! RoooOOOaaaaAAr!
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    Day 15, 03 Feb 2019

    Exercise: 🚣‍♂️🚣‍♂️🚣‍♂️🚣‍♂ 🚣‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍ ️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍ ♂️

    Drink: 💧💧💧💧💧💧💧💧

    Food:
    • 🍓🥛 (fruit Skyr)
    • 🦃🍜🥦🌶 (turkey teriyaki stir fry)
    • 🥤 (protein shake)
    • 🌰 (2 oz almonds)
    • 🥩 (2 oz beef jerky)
    • 🍫+🍪+🥟 (misc. snacks)

    🍮: 96% fats
    🥖: 104% carb
    🐓: 92% prot
    🧂: 143% salt

    Notes: I don't think I'll be setting a goal to post exercise / drink / food / breakdown every day, but today, at the start of Week 3, I'm feeling better than I think I did at the beginning of Week 1. If for no other reason than I actually have lasted 15 days. I stayed under my calories for the day, and while I was a tiny bit low on protein, it was commensurate with the % of total calories I ate. Carbs were a bit high, but I'll be eating for primary meals later on this week food with significantly less carbohydrates, so it will even out. For instance, salad with chicken breast for lunch and salmon for dinner on Saturday, which with other things will put me in at around 60% of my carbs for that day (though I'm sure random snacking will raise it a bit). Exercise is also getting a bit better in the sense of stamina, being able to do the elliptical longer at a slightly higher setting, and not needing to pause on the rowing machine. I did more time on both yesterday than today, but I was tired and sore -- that rowing machine is giving me a minor case of DOMS in my arms, which I think is slightly pathetic but emphasizes that I really am out of shape and this is a path towards fixing that.
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    You go astrostu!
    I may need to bootstrap my life, from the ground on up, one day at a time but I need to always be moving onward and upward.

    "You can't change who you are if you don't do what you've never done before" - Coenie Oosthuysen
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    Day 16, 04 Feb 2019

    In lieu of a list, I'll just do a narrative today. I'm spending too much time in my spreadsheets, but I suspect the novelty will wear off relatively soon. Regardless, weight was up slightly today, and I consumed my largest planned calorie intake of the week, but I also exercised and did more today than in the last 16 days: 35 minutes on the rower with fewer pauses, and 45 minutes on the elliptical at a higher intensity than before. Even if I do no more exercise this week, but I do stick to food plans, I will have a net of fewer calories per day this week than the last two ... almost at the 1450 cal goal for –1.5 lbs/wk. My two biggest issues right now are getting the weights in and drinking enough.

    And not snacking! It's so, so easy to just take those few M&Ms from the pantry and think, "Oh, it's few enough that the calories don't matter and will all even out!" The problem with that thinking, of course, is that while it might be true for THAT little snack, it won't be true for that, plus another, plus another, plus another, plus another ... . In my food log, I have a sheet per week, and I have food per day, but I also have a "General" category for the week. That's where I effectively keep a tick mark tracking of all these little bits, and at the end of each day, I update the calories. The food in the "General" group gets divided evenly among the days of the week, so everything is tracked in the aggregate. I strongly suspect that it's all this little bitty snacking that contributed significantly to my current weight problem. For instance, while the last two days have been a bit higher than usual, the little bit of chocolate here-or-there has summed to 550 calories, which is how many I went through on the elliptical tonight.
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    Day 17, 05 Feb 2019

    Despite a lot of work today, I did manage to get myself downstairs for 35 minutes on the elliptical. I had such momentum early in the day because ... I did my bf% measurement and it was lower again, and in fact it was right where I wanted it to be this week. I use 4 different formulœ to measure bf% based on various body measurements, and while they all disagree by about 2.5% right now (I'm guessing because everyone carries fat somewhat differently), they are all going down. Now, granted, it's three measurements so far, taken 1 week apart each, but a trend is a trend and it has helped my motivation, so whatever works with that.

    I also spent a bit of time going through my historic records and noting it on my bf% graph for various milestones. These are when I was last at a certain bf%:
    • December 2015, 25% @200lbs
    • April 2015, 22.6% @190.5lbs
    • June 2014, 21.5% @182lbs
    • September 2013, 19.7% @179lbs
    • November 2011, 15.8% @165lbs

    I'm surprised but not, and definitely disappointed that I haven't been under 20% bf in basically 5 years. Now, that also happens to coincide with when I finally got full-time employment two years after grad school, but excuses excuses. That November 2011 number is the best I have been since I started to keep track in 2007, though it ties with where I was in July 2008 (though that 15.8% was at 160 lbs). This round, assuming I stick with it, I will hit 15.8% bf some time in late summer, at around 176-182 lbs. I am cautiously optimistic.

    Meanwhile, weight today was holding steady, which means to hit this week's goal weight I need to keep it right at 215 or start losing weight again (I'm running an average of 215 right now, the goal this week is 215, too, but next week it's 213.5). Food was good, though I failed slightly. I made one of my favorite dishes and instead of properly dividing it into 5 as I had intended with this new food stuff, I did 4. That said, I used less chicken and broc**** and a bit less oil than last time, but instead of 5x 520 calorie servings, it was 4x 610 calorie servings. But I still topped off the day at 99% of my calories, so whatever works.
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    Originally Posted by astrostu View Post
    ...chicken and broc**** and ...
    Um ... does anyone know why I can't write b-r-o-c-c-o-l-i on this site, that it's star'd out like profanity?
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    Day 18, 06 February 2018

    Weight was down, exercised 45 minutes, but over-ate a bit on a kiwi and some green beans. Not horrible.

    Interestingly, I took a look back at my historic records on the last few times I tried to lose weight, paying attention to really the only three times where I was consistent for several months. While each time I managed to lose up to 4-6% bodyfat, actual weight loss was limited to 10 lbs. For example, in 2010 I went from 23% bodyfat to 18%, but weight change was only 10 lbs (178 to 168). Same kinda thing in 2007-08, and 2011. Which means that, for me, at least when I did this before, the weight that was lost was close to 100% fat, which seems odd compared with what others have reported. It's possible that it was so little muscle loss because I did do weights at the time and because it was rather slow: Rather than an average of 1.5 lbs loss per week, it was closer to an average of 0.3 lbs per week -- something only really noticeable over the long-term, but also could be why muscle loss was negligible. It would be nice if muscle loss were similarly almost nothing this time, as I could potentially end this cut in September at 170 lbs and only 10-11% bodyfat -- basically my end-end goal -- instead of about 14% bodyfat. Clearly way too early to really be speculating or planning like this, but it's helping me to stay optimistic, and motivation is key.
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    Day 19, 07 February 2019

    I'm now mildly concerned I'm falling into a trap into which I fell in 2013-2014: Either work or fitness. I think it gets into my mildly (*cough*) OCD tendencies. Or that I don't want to do my work right now. I spent a few hours today putzing around the house and looking at fitness things on Instagram (got some great memes, though!). Made further tweaks to my tracking.

    And based on some past efforts and reads, I tweaked my goals somewhat since I was meeting them. Instead of a steady -1.5 lbs/week, I have modified it to lose 0.765% of my mass from one week to the next. This might seem insanely precise, and it is, because that's what it needed to be to meet the first two weeks of what I've done. It's also very close to -1.5 lbs/week at the beginning, but it's closer to -1.6 lbs. But, towards the end, in September, it's down to -1.4 lbs. It all averages out to -1.5 lbs, but I suspect "beginners' gains" will make it easier to lose more weight now than later, and it's basically the same timescale anyway. What I did accelerate is fraction of that loss that's fat. Instead of 90% for the first 8 weeks and then 75%, I have it 95% at the beginning and steadily going down by 0.5%, which - oddly enough! - gets me down to just about 79% (instead of 75%) by the end of this first major goal, in September.

    This is accelerated because it means I could get down to my goal weight for this cut of 170 lbs at the same time, but at 12% bodyfat instead of the original plan of about 14.5% bodyfat. I have over 30 weeks to work with, so I'm hopeful that I can do that. If I can, it will get me at my true goal about 5 months earlier, of around 180 lbs and 10% bodyfat. But we'll see.

    Meanwhile ... food. A problem is I like to eat. Lots of things that I should eat lots less of. And I have a housemate who I can't always say "no" to when he wants me to make something. Last week, chocolate chip cookies. And today, banana bread. I can fit it in, it just required some rearranging. Because, let's face it, if I'm making banana bread, I'm eating some!

    Another aspect of the food, and I think a contributor to why I've given up so many times, is the artificiality of week-to-week tracking. Such that if I did reasonably well earlier in the week, then I had that slice of pizza, I had that doughnut in the middle of the week, or whatever, by the end of the week I basically can't eat anything but 5 protein shakes to make my calories / macros split correctly for the week. One of the sayings I found today that is so true, that I need to follow, is about rigid versus flexible dieting, where strict and rigid restraint will only lead to problems, as opposed to flexible dieting. Another was, "If your diet is so restrictive that you need a 'Cheat Meal,' then you're doing it wrong."

    This is why I re-wrote my tracking spreadsheets last week. While it still fundamentally breaks things down by week, it has a "Daily" tab that pulls the information from all the other sheets and displays a graphical running average. So I can see that if I go over on carbs for a few days, I don't have to starve myself of them during the last 2 days of the week to make my macros -- it all averages out over the long run, it's not just a day-to-day, nor compartmentalized week-to-week issue.

    Oh yeah, and my weight was down this morning again which again helped motivation.
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    Day 19, 08 February 2019

    Today has been a mixed bag. Well, yesterday the exercise was less intense and I felt more tired. I've also been tired all day. I'm wondering if my body is p---ed at me for both expending more calories and consuming fewer. Hopefully (or not?) that's the issue.

    Anyway, today was more progress on the scale, I have lost 7 lbs in 19 days. That's a lot. But based on the three bf% measurements, 95% of that has been fat. I'm not entirely sure I trust it yet, since there's such a spread in the measurements due to how exactly I have my weight distributed, but I'll take whatever motivation I can get.

    I did another deep dive through my records and discovered that, not only have I never lost more than about 10 lbs in years of attempting this, I have also NEVER lost more than 1 lb two weeks in a row, except once, during a camping trip last September. So already it's something to say that Week 1 to 2 I lost 1.6 lbs, and so far Week 2 to 3 I've lost 1.4 lbs -- that's the difference in the average for each week, as opposed to max-min for the 7 lbs I quoted earlier.

    Thinking more about the end-of-the-week-starve I mentioned yesterday, I re-did the warnings in my spreadsheets. Now, instead of turning bright red (as opposed to staying green) if I go even a tiny percent over 100 for carbs or calories or fat, it goes yellow, until it's >5% over. After all, we're talking about 7.5 grams of carbs at 5% over. That's in the noise. It helps me feel slightly more relaxed and not panic and give up as much.

    That said, today I was really craving some things. So despite doing well initially, I gave in a bit and went 15% over my calories and 42% over my fat (which is fine because I was way under on fat for the week). It's not a huge binge, but I was so close ... but I should still end the week within a few% of my goals, which is significantly better than the first two weeks. Also, total calorie-wise, due to both lower calories in and more calories out, I am beyond my goal of net 1450 cal/day on average for the week: I'm at 1380, and that's without exercising yet today or tomorrow. An intense cardio session for a little over an hour today and tomorrow could put me in the -2 lb/wk territory of about 1175 cal/day average, net. I was going to take today off for exercising, but Apple started one of their special challenges and I get a little virtual award if I exercise at least 30 minutes every day between today and Valentine's Day.

    I know I'm still over-thinking and over-planning this, but for me, (a) early successes help the motivation to keep going, (b) having a hypothesis validated by an experiment's outcome helps because it shows I can reasonably predict results, and (c) earlier improvements potentially mean I can meet my goals sooner.
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    Week 3 Summary

    Weight: Down. It has been a steady decrease this week and I met my goal - both old of –1.5 lbs, and new of –1.6ish lbs. My Day 1 to Day 21 weight loss is –7.4 lbs, and it's not muscle (or lean mass, anyway), and it's not water (based on urine color and reasonably steady liquid intake).

    Bodyfat: Down. While weight is clearly above the noise, I'm not so confident in body fat going down, just because of the different metrics I use all disagreeing with each other ... however, all of them are down by about 1% bf from Week 1 to Week 3. The three formulœ I use are one that uses (1) weight and waist measurements, (2) weight, waist, and neck, (3) and weight, waist, hips, and forearms. The first is giving me a number between the others, and the second is higher by 2%. To get them to agree, I'd need to have a neck at least 1" more in circumference (I'm measuring around the voice box). The third is lower than the first one by a whopping 3.5%, giving me a bf% of 24.3% right now. To bring it up to meet the first, I'd have to have hips that are about 3" wider around, and forearms 1" smaller around (I measure in the middle of the forearm, half-way between my wrist and elbow). So with such a large, 5% spread, a decrease in the average of 0.9% is not above the spread.

    Food: Down. But not quite as far down as it was looking a few days ago. I managed to do 110% - or about 1930 - of my calories per day for the week, which is down from 113% the week before. The macro split was also pretty close to what I want (30/35/35) of 31/36/33. What hurt me this week was the snacking at the beginning of the week, where Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday I went 40% over on carbs. And then making up for it at the end of the week didn't happen for three reasons: (1) Cravings, (2) the fact I was still meeting my weight loss goal, and (3) I think I will have more success if I don't have the mindset of making up for a "binge," but rather of just getting back on the wagon and trying not to binge again for awhile. I don't think my relationship with food is unhealthy per se, but I am trying to alter how I think about macros and % of goals on a weekly timescale vs daily timescale vs long-term timescale, as evidenced somewhat by the last few log entries here. I think I will have more success if I admit that there will be days where I go over, and that's okay, just do a bit more cardio or eat a bit less the next day or two or three. But the idea of needing to eat only half my normal calories on a Saturday in order to meet my goal for the week ... that has to go.

    Exercise: Mixed. It's hard to fault myself with cardio-related exercise, when I expended nearly 4,000 calories in the elliptical and rowing machine this week. That exceeds my goal for the elliptical and meets it for the rowing machine for Week 3. However, I have done no bodyweight exercises, nor have I done any weights. While the bf% measurements indicate about 85% of the mass loss has been fat, that's below my current goal (which of course can be adjusted if needed), and at –7.5 lbs in 3 weeks, that's starting to get into the territory where I think I should be worried about losing muscle. So for Week 4, this is a major goal.

    General Feeling: Tired and mildly obsessed. When I was a child, my mom had me graph my temperature when I was sick because she knew I would be too interested in that to complain about being sick. I'm "starting" to get into that territory with this, and it's negatively impacting work. I have a huge amount of vacation saved up so I ended up taking Thursday and Friday off to regroup and just not do much, but that's not really feasible going forward. It is also entirely possible there's just stuff I need to do now for work that I really don't want to and that it is coincident with the exercise and food monitoring and other stuff is just, well, coincidence. Correlation ≠ causation, but we'll have to see what happens when I add in even more time for stuff -- weights. But, the general fatigue I do think is correlated with the exercise and less food. This week, especially, I basically have forced my body to work net on about 1000 calories less, per day, than it got just a few weeks ago. I wouldn't expect it to be happy. That said, I still have motivation to go because I am seeing results on the scale and results in my body measurements that lead to the bf% measurement. I'm seeing mild improvements in stamina on the rowing machine and elliptical, but only mild. It's also only been 3 weeks.
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    😁 Aaaaaaaaaaaaawwwsooooooome! ✌️Imagine if you keep going like that! But I wonder, if you don't see results, will you be discouraged?? You gotta keep * doing like rabbit-battery* going.....keep going and going.....going....going!
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    Originally Posted by SoulofPhoenix View Post
    Aaaaaaaaaaaaawwwsooooooome! ✌️Imagine if you keep going like that! But I wonder, if you don't see results, will you be discouraged?? You gotta keep * doing like rabbit-battery* going.....keep going and going.....going....going!
    Thanks. And correct, if results stop, discouragement starts. It's been my problem in the past: No results = no motivation.
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    Originally Posted by astrostu View Post
    Thanks. And correct, if results stop, discouragement starts. It's been my problem in the past: No results = no motivation.
    Just like that?? Hummm. As for me, I'm not allowed to be discouraged or to have no motivation. If I am, I'll die...hahaha. I'm starting to understand your way. Perhaps our body is a type of a machine but we're more like a bamboo than a tree.... ..... ..... ... :-D

    Am I wise or what!!

    Continue what you're best to do! Keep digging! Find the problem! Find the solution! (Better than being discouraged). And fix it!

    See ya!
    Last edited by SoulofPhoenix; 02-10-2019 at 05:23 PM.
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    Day 22, 10 February 2019

    Weight was down, again. Did cardio for about 75 minutes, again (though it was late and crossed over midnight). Ate almost within my limits, and it was nice to eat closer to what I wanted to. I really need to have better discipline to NOT binge on one day, and/or to not feel like I have to pay for it the next several days. But typing and doing/feeling are two different things.

    My significant other informed me of a trip Thursday-Monday, meaning I re-kajiggered my meal plans for the next two weeks. I also tallied up and put in two new recipes to try, based on some fitness guy's instagram. One is a mango chicken recipe (430 calories, 60gms protein) and the other is a greek chicken tray bake (my term based on a baking show - a tray cake being a real thing) which has 430 calories and 45 gms protein. We'll be trying both of those next week, and this week a new recipe for me will be a salmon. I've never cooked salmon before, but it seems like a relatively painless source of Vitamin D and given that I get extremely little Vitamin D, and given that I don't get out in the sun much at all so my skin can't make it, salmon every ~2 weeks seems like a reasonable method to get it, if I can figure out a recipe I like (I tend to not like fish, so, this will be interesting).
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    Mid-Week 4 Update

    It was bound to happen. Despite making progress (almost down 10 lbs, in <4 weeks!), I hit a mental stall around Tuesday. I'm starting to get over it, but I think it's due to several factors. One is simply energy. I have less energy than before with less calories coming in and more going out. I'm not sure how to solve that problem. Another issue is work. The most pressing stuff I need to do for work now is stuff I've been putting off for months. So I look for excuses not to do work, meaning I sit around doing nothing (I work from home a lot, given my long commute), and combined with lack of energy I don't use that time for exercise or anything else. Tuesday night I spent 5 hours watching TV Shows ("How It's Made" is really neat, I hadn't seen it before). Yesterday, I spent 4 hours processing photos from the last few years that were in my queue (stuff I need to do, but it's pretty low in importance). I went to bed early and got up late, logging in 9.5 hours of sleep. I also still have not brought myself to work out yet other than cardio. Failure to do that put up a mental block of, "If I'm not lifting weights and can't bring myself to do it, what's the point of all this other stuff??"

    So, lots of mental issues swirling around, along with some physical. This morning I took a step back and am re-grouping. The limited calories is working for weight loss. The cardio is working for weight loss and I can tell it's working for fitness, since I'm seeing improvements with my stamina and have been able to increase resistance on the elliptical and rowing machine. For work, I've been focusing on the little other things that I need to get done but have been putting off, like reviewing papers or updating a grant proposal draft. For sleep, I'm trying to sleep a bit longer (~1 hour?) plus not force myself not to nap. And I've reminded myself this is a marathon, not a sprint, and if I'm unable to mentally do weights at the moment, then okay, we'll try to add them in next week. Instead, focus on the food, focus on the cardio, keep that up and keep that habit going. As consolation for not doing weights, really try to add in the core bodyweight exercises that hit muscle groups that weights tend not to.

    Another side issue is my knee. It's been hurting for awhile, and I think it's due to weight issues and not exercising it. It's been getting a lot better since I started to sleep with a pillow under it to keep it bent, and it also feels better after exercise (the cardio stuff). But, I am wondering if another mental block on the weights is that I'm worried that in my first 200lb squat I'm going to hurt it.
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    test ... having issues posting, stay tuned ...
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    Week 4 Summary

    Summary: Some steps forward, some steps back, mostly treading water with no actual improvement this week, but that's okay.

    Food: Food was again slightly better this week than last week, 108% of my goal as opposed to 110%, and 113% the week before. This was achieved by being a little lower on fat, with a 30/36/34 split this week. Cholesterol was lower, sodium higher, fiber lower, but micronutrients were generally better, likely because of the salmon and switching to a multi-grain Cheerio instead of honey nut. I still have a somewhat unhealthy attitude - read: anxiety - about meeting my goals and going over and stressing myself out Thursday/Friday/Saturday, but it has actually gotten slightly better. I think.

    Exercise: Worse this week by most metrics, mostly driven by my mid-week meltdown. That said, it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, and out of the last four weeks, I logged my second-best number of calories expended at 2796 (versus 4185 last week, but 2185 the week before). That's all from cardio -- rowing machine and elliptical. I also got some awards on my watch which helped a bit today: Even though I felt somewhat bad about not doing as much exercise, I still got that little reward for sticking with it, bouncing back, and recognition that I was still doing something. Specifically, I got Apple's limited edition award for "Heart Month," meaning I did at least 30 minutes of exercise every day for the week before Valentine's Day. Now, that's cheating slightly because there were two episodes where I exercised for 75 minutes, but starting at 11:30pm, so I got it for 2 days logged instead of 1, but I'll take it. The second award was a rowing machine workout record for most calories burned in a single span, and the third was I met my February Challenge of at least 850 minutes of exercise logged in the month of February. That said, my biggest concern for next week is, again, doing bodyweight core exercises and weights.

    Weight and BF%: Weight was again down this week, though it stalled the last three days. That's fine, it was predicted based on my eating and lack of exercise, but I still more than beat my weight loss goal for the week and am currently down a half-pound more than my goal for this week, on average. Which also means I set a new record for myself ever of largest-longest weight loss streak, of more than 1 lb lost, per week, for more than 2 weeks. Bodyfat percentage is also on-track, at 26.8% average from my different measurements/formulœ, but I have adapted my outlook in order to likely better match what's practical: Instead of starting at 95% of weight loss per week is fat, –0.5% per week (so after 10 weeks it's 90% fat), I changed it to start at 90%. That better matches the last four weeks, is more reasonable, and we'll see what happens.

    General Feeling: The obsession has started to pass a bit, but there is now the issue that I'm simply impatient. I see my goal and "Oh, in just a few more rows in the spreadsheet, I'll be 180 lbs and 16% bf" or something like that. In reality, a few more rows in the spreadsheet is late July. But that's minor compared with what happened mid-week where, well, you can read about it above. Basically, in a funk for various reasons, but significant net caloric deficit does not help. I'm also seriously considering modifying my daily food goals to increase the carbs somewhat because I really just have cravings, and then I may give in and I see myself go over my goal and I feel worse about it. (See above with "unhealthy attitude" about food.)

    In millennial style, I made a little motivational poster for myself. It helped a bit:

    ⛔️🤷‍♂️ Hit mental block? 🤷‍♂️⛔️

    🌟Look at the progress you made!🌟

    ⚖️ weight is ⬇️
    🏃‍♂️ cardio is ⬆️
    🤸‍♂️ fitness is ⬆️
    💓 health is ⬆️

    better food habits
    ⬆️🐟🦃🐓🐄
    ⬆️🥦🌰🥕🥝
    ⬇️🍕🥟🍿🍞
    ⬇️🍫🍩🍨🍪

    So it's okay if you missed that 🏃‍♂️🏋️‍♂️🏊‍♂️🚣‍ ️ for a day, or even a week. You have time 🗓

    Remember: This is 🚶‍♂️ not 🏃‍♂️

    Some days you may feel 😀
    Many days you may feel 😩🤯🤮🧟‍♂️
    But the end will be 🏝
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    Week 5 Summary

    Summary: Basically, this week can be classified as "steady progress."

    Food: Food was again better than last week, I came in at about 2% over in total calories. There are rounding errors somewhere in my food, because that ended up being 5% over in fat (vs 12% last week), 5% over in carbs (vs 13% last week), and 4% over in protein (vs 6% last week). I say there are rounding errors somewhere in the food because you can't be 4–5% over in all your macros but only 2% over in calories. But, whatever, that's in the noise. I was also lower on saturated fat this week, much lower on sodium (only 33% over versus 66% over), better on sugar (+27% vs +41%), and about even on micronutrients. I was also more even than last week, where the fluctuations in carbs was not so much that I didn't feel panicked at the end of the week that all I could eat was raw protein powder. That is even more impressive considering that I went to a dinner theater this week with friends.

    Exercise: Better this week, but not by much. Week 3 is still my best with cardio. I was still over 3000 calories expended with cardio, and with the reduced food intake, I was at a net of 1359 calories/day, enough to lose a little more than 1.5 lbs of fat per week (see next section). I also finally did core exercises this past week, but it was on Tuesday, and DOMS hit my gut so much I couldn't even do the rowing machine for several days. Back to it tonight, and I'm finally going to spend an hour in the basement cleaning all the spiderwebs (no, literally, spiderwebs) off the weights so I can get to those this week. Because ...

    Weight and BF%: ... bodyfat is not going down much anymore. It went down by 0.1% instead of the 0.5% goal, and since I think I'm doing everything right except lifting weights, for now that is my main hypothesis as to why. It's Sunday as I write this, and I do my bf% measurement on Tuesday/Wednesday, but I did a quick check and this week is also not down much. So, I really need to get on those weights. That said, weight loss is going well, I'm averaging below my goal for weight / above my goal for weight loss, and I've steadily lost more than 1 lb per week since starting, which is a record for me (going 5 straight weeks that way, previous record was only 1 week being able to lose more than 1 lb). I also was able to say confidently this week that I lost my first 10 lbs (took 31 days), and the scale is now starting with "20" instead of "21" or even "22" (lbs, not kg). So that's nice. I'd like it to go faster, but I'd rather keep things feasible and steady for now, especially since fat loss is stalling.

    General Feeling: I'm feeling better in general, at least compared with last week, and I definitely think at this point that the funk I've been in is work-related but exacerbated by less energy due to the caloric restriction and additional exercise. Takes awhile to separate these things out. But when I started doing something else Wed/Thu for work, I felt better and actually put in a full day's work (plus some). So, yeah, pretty sure it's work related with the other stuff helping to hurt it.

    Week 6: Going into week 6, my primary goal, again, is the weights. Really need to get to that. Also, I leave for my conference in 3 weeks from this morning, so that's a minor goal of getting down to about 25% bf by then; the last time I was 25% was at the end of 2015. I need to shed about 1.5–2" off my waist to do that, in the next 3 weeks.
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    Early Week 6 Update

    Weight has gone up a pound since starting the week, and it's on par with last week's average (though slightly less). I understood yesterday's increase - I over-ate on Sunday. But yesterday I was right on target and still went up half a pound. I think it might be water because I drank a lot yesterday. Bf% is again down very slightly. So, taking those two together, I'd rather keep weight stable and lose fat than lose weight and have it be half or mostly lean.

    That said, I FINALLY did weights yesterday. And cardio. After spending an hour cleaning the equipment on Sunday, I was in the basement for 45 minutes last night, 7:30-8:15, lifting. Squats I could have done at a higher weight but I didn't want to hurt my knee, so I stayed at 130 lbs instead of going to 200. Deadlifts, bicep curls, and calf raises were fine. I'd report the others, but BB forum apparently won't let me post anything else for some stupid reason.

    That said, DOMS is going to be brutal for the next day or so. I'm already very sore this morning, 12 hrs later.
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