Mid-way through the second week of my 12-week weight loss and fitness challenge and I’m well rested this morning and feeling positive. I guess that’s because it’s leg day and we’ll be doing one of my favourite exercises, the back squat. I woke up around 7am and I felt well rested from the night before, so I think the changes in my sleeping habits are moving towards the positive.
Today’s workout we changed it up a bit. I went for maximum reps I could do and we upped the weight on most. I think I was mentally going for the 5 reps and then stopping, even though we were adjusting the weight before as well, so I felt like I achieved some massive gains today.
Also, I felt really strong today. I guess yesterday’s rest day did me some good.
- Back Squats: Olympic bar + 50kg for 1 set of 8. Followed by 3 sets of 8 at 60kg. I will be going up next time.
- Hex Dead Lift: Bar + 40kg for 1 set of 10. Then up to 60kg for a set of 10 and a third set on 70kg.
- Romanian Dead Life: Bar + 40kg for a set of 5. We kept the weight at 40kg and then did sets of 6, 6 & 8.
From the above I can see that I have made significant improvements on this time last week (day 3). I haven’t necessarily gone up in just weight (although up 15kg on the hex bar is good) but have extended my reps per set (sometimes from 5 to 10), so I’m clearly getting stronger. And, to make me feel even more confident my form is behaving itself, so I’m happy when my fitness coach asks me whether I want to increase my weight for the next set.
Did I mention I love leg days? 😉
After realising a few different things over the last few days with regard to my nutritional intake I’ve decided to move to 5 meals a day instead of 3. I do remember eating 5 smaller meals some time ago when I was trying to reduce my weight from a whopping 21 stones, but I seem to have got out of the habit. So, it’s back on again and closely monitoring my calorie intake as well as understanding how much of each area of food I need to consume.
Today was the day I sat down with my personal trainer to look more in depth at my meals. He did observe that whilst I was consuming protein and healthy fats, it did look like I was a little over on the grams of fat a day I was eating and I wasn’t eating enough lean protein. (Note: I want to lose fat here so consuming a little less will help my body use up the small amount of carbs I’m feeding myself, along with the reduced amount of fat, and then convert stored fat into useable energy in my glycogen stores.)
He recommended consuming around 200grams of protein, 85grams of fat and 72grams of carbs. MyFitnessPal works this all out for you when you put the items in your food diary, so it was pretty easy to play about with different foods to see what was beneficial. Also, moving away from oily fish (such as mackerel) to white, lean fish (such as cod, haddock and plaice) is a right move. It’s surprisingly hard to work out how to increase your proteins without significantly increasing fats.
Chili with feta cheese for breakfast as I was finishing off one of the portions that I had left in the fridge. High protein, but also a good amount of fat. When I looked to sprinkle 50grams of feta on my chilli I checked what MFP said: 12g of fat. Hmmmm. Think I’ll half that then, so I did.
Turkey breast and cashew nuts was my food before I headed off to the gym for my legs workout.
Pre and Post Workout
Before I train I generally have a black coffee (sometimes with coconoil, sometimes not) and I’ll eat a small amount of sugar/protein straight afterwards. Today I ate a quest bar (cookie flavour), which tastes delicious.
Sirloin and spinach was a key meal for lunch. Having some steak always puts me in a positive mood and it made me feels even better today as I’d just trained my legs.
I wasn’t all that hungry after my lunch, but I knew I had to have something so I opted for some pistacios and some raspberries. A small amount of nuts as they are all rich in fat and around 100g of berries: they’re dark skinned so they’re a great source of goodness.
Using up products that are in your fridge is probably familiar to you and today it was to me too. I was finishing off some pork loin, feta and adding in some kale for taste and goodness. Made the usual way I do with a knob of butter and a red onion. Delicious.
I was feeling a bit peckish later in the day so I opted for some strawberries. Again, these berries are great for me as they have a lot of goodness and they’re not going to add a lot to my calories or energy surplus (what I eat is going to be burned off for their digestion).
Then, an hour after the strawberries I had an apple. I know it’s reasonably high in sugar and its glycemic index/load isn’t the best, but it was easy to grab and I felt really hungry.
My Thoughts and Feelings
Today I feel as though I’ve turned a corner. I woke up refreshed and ready to hit the gym hard on leg day, and I’m glad I made some real progress. It’s day 11 after all.
I’m starting to understand and get a handle on my nutritional values and the food I eat. It does mean looking at different meats and fish, and other green veggies, but I’m starting to put things into MyFitnessPal and see what values I can add up to for the day (ensuring my protein content is high, carbs are low and fats are at a manageable level).
In the evening time I felt as though I had worked my legs that day, which is always a great sign for me.
Key lession today: be more aware of what is going on around me and push forward on my own. Don’t accept that I can simply keep plodding along. We need to adapt to move forward.