Thursday, July 31, 2008

hill hater

one of the reasons it's been so hard for me to keep on track since i've been home is that i still haven't joined a gym. the housing search has been really difficult this time around and i don't want to choose a gym until i know what part of town i'll be living in, so i'm still hitting the bodyweight circuits. being gym-less has its advantages though...for instance, getting me more addicted than ever (in a masochistic sort of way) to the exercise that i love to hate: hill sprints. i've been doing lots of them lately and nothing seems to give me such a substantial kick in the butt. they are the perfect form of interval training for me right now because even if i had a gym, i'd struggle with the idea of getting on a bike indoors when we're in the midst of a glorious portland summer. but not only do i get to be outside while i get my exercise done. hill sprints are free, fast, and most of all effective. there are several great hills all over portland, so i just do a quick turbulence training bodyweight circuit and head out the door in search of the nearest hill. i tend to only be able to make it through 4 or 5. it usually takes me about 15 minutes to run up and walk down 5 times. not going to lie, i find hill sprints to be pretty painful. but the pain is short-lived and, in terms of getting the most workout in in the shortest amount of time, they pretty much can't be beat. if you've never given them a try, it might be time...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

bacon anyone?

Q: what diet will allow you to eat burgers, bacon, eggs and butter all week long and then sit down to a big plate of pancakes on the weekend with a clear conscience?

A: welcome to the anabolic diet.

today is day 7 and i'm really psyched that i finally decided to give this a try. the basic premise of the anabolic diet is that you eat lots of protein and fats during the week and keep carbs to a minimum (under 30g/day) to deplete your muscles' glycogen stores and then you eat whatever you want on the weekends focusing on eating higher carb foods. glycogen stores are sufficiently depleted by the weekend that the body sends the glycogen straight into the muscles to replenish glycogen stores instead of storing the carbs as body fat. the diet allows your body to switch from burning carbs for energy to burning fat since there are essentially no carbs available.

the anabolic diet is a great fit for me right now for so many reasons. like eat stop eat, no foods are off limits and you can pretty much eat as much as you want (as long as you are eating the right foods at the right times). in fact, on the anabolic diet, you are supposed to eat a lot. the recommendation runs somewhere around 15 to 18 calories per pound of bodyweight. for me that's somewhere around 1950 to 2340 daily calories. which is (for me) a lot of food. let's keep in mind that during my first month and a half of my last transformation, i was eating 6 small meals a day at a caloric deficit which was about 1600 calories a day. also fat and protein don't spike your insulin levels the way that carbs do and i've found in the past that higher fat tends to work well for my body. the other thing that i love is that the diet allows me to be social without having to put so much thought into what i'm eating. if i'm going out with friends, there's always something i can eat...during the week meat with green veggies (it's never hard to find a steak or burger) and on the weekends pasta, rice dishes, sushi, well some junk food if i so please.

i guess the other thing to mention is the results. i haven't taken measurements in a long time and my scale is still in storage, but i can absolutely see visible results after only a week on the diet. i have lost weight (some of it is water, i'm sure) and i'm already starting to see muscle definition in places that had become just a little too soft. i'm pretty excited to see where i am at this time next week. for now, i'll be enjoying the rest of my carb-fest.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

still alive.

okay, so to be perfectly honest the last month has been one of the most stressful and emotionally trying of my life. getting home and trying to redefine my place in the world has been more difficult than i ever could have imagined and i've been an emotional wreck. it's been so difficult for me to maintain everything that i created and worked towards over my last few months in spain, especially being someone who is hardwired to turn to food when i get emotionally overwhelmed. i have to admit that i've done my fair share of that over these past few weeks. what have i learned from it all? well, that eating to escape my emotions didn't work in the past and it still doesn't work. in fact, it sends me into a state of feeling so unbalanced that i literally can't think straight. last week i finally got fed up with feeling that way and decided that it's time to get serious about my training and nutrition again. with everything in my life feeling so uncertain (my career, my relationship, my faith), this is the one area that i know i can control and that taking control of it inevitably makes everything else make more sense. there is this strange correlation between those two and i notice such a difference between my mental state when i'm eating right and exercising that i sometimes wonder if i have a chemical imbalance that exercise corrects...i'm not sure why, but it makes it blindingly clear that i need to make this a # 1 priority in my life. so, at the beginning of this week, i re-committed to the bare minimum of 3 turbulence training workouts per week. i'm combining that with the anabolic diet (low carb/high protein/high fat) because i've wanted to try it for a while and it somehow is what feels most manageable at this point. i'll go into more details about the diet soon for those of you who are unfamiliar. at this point, suffice it to say that today is day 4 on the diet and i feel better than i have in weeks. will try to get pictures up again soon and get back to posting my progress. the bruises hurt a bit but i'm getting my butt back on the bandwagon.