I started up again on getting exercise again just two & a half weeks ago, on Monday, February 18, doing about 30 minutes each morning before I went to work.
Incredible how even that little bitty bit improved things. I felt more energy throughout the day — even though I had to get up earlier in the morning to do it. I even lost some weight: 1 pound by that Friday (Feb. 22) &, incredibly, another 3 lbs. by two days after that. A lot of that water weight, I’m thinking — because I’d been having ongoing problems with edema, & all of a sudden it was gone: I could see the veins in my feet again! A sign that my circulation is improving as a result of exercise — I had a similar experience in 2006. So it was a very good kind of water weight loss, that.
This week I kicked things up a notch or two by hopping back on my erg to do some daily rowing. It helps to have a challenge — in this case, Concept 2’s March Madness challenge to see how many days in the month of March I can row 5000 meters or more. On top of that, I’ve at long last started on Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training program, starting with his 14-week Turbulence Training for Fat Loss workouts. This involves three 45-minute workouts per week combining high-weight/low-rep strength training with interval training — in my case, done on my rower. Because I’m still on the lower end of fitness, I’ve chosen to start with the “introductory” workouts even in advance of the beginner level, so my program will be a couple of weeks longer.
Dietarily speaking, I’ve been cutting most of the occasional cheats out of my eating (less cheese, less rosemary garlic pistachios, less beer, fewer steak & portabello mushroom burritos from the Bear Tooth, &, of course, no pizza at all), & ensuring I don’t skip meals. Over the past week I’ve also been trying out a high fiber meal replacement drink, with great results. I’ll have more to say about that in another post, but I can say here that this, in combination with the notch-up in exercise this week, has resulted in further weight loss. Supposedly 8 pounds now since I started, according to my not-completely-accurate-but-internally-consistent scale (down to 192 from 200). (For those of you who think in kilograms, that’s a 3.6 kilo loss — 87.1 kilos down from 90.7.)
The other big thing I’ve been working on is refreshing my knowledge. I learned a lot from a variety of sources back in 2006, but one begins to forget this & that. So I’ve been making the rounds of some of the books & websites that helped me so much two years ago. I’m not nearly done, but so far I’ve been revisiting:
Diet & nutrition
- GI News, updated monthly, gives the latest news & research about the glycemic index, which every person who is looking to lose weight — especially those who are insulin resistant or have actually developed Type 2 diabetes — should be paying attention to.
- The LowGlycemicEating discussion list at Yahoo Groups is support forum for people who are giving up the highly refined carbs-out-of-a-box that most people who eat Western-style diets are eating, in favor of whole grains, fruits, nonstarchy vegetables, & the other “good carbs” that don’t send you blood glucose sky high & make you really fat. I’d been nomail oin this list for awhile, but not anymore.
- Precision Nutrition is a nutrition system designed by Dr. John Berardi, an expert on exercise nutrition. PN includes “7 guidebooks, a gourmet cookbook, our online digital audio/video library, an online membership” — a permanent membership, without annual membership fees, that itself is worth the price of the program because of the forums & numerous articles, with new articles added regularly & frequently. I have hardly even tapped this.
- Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle, or BFFM to its many fans. One of the things I learned two years ago is that if you want to lose unwanted fat, the best experts aren’t all those stupid fad diets all over the place: the biggest fat loss experts in the world are bodybuilders & personal trainers. Tom Venuto is one of them — a natural bodybuilder who’s never used drugs or steroids to get his great physique, & for several years now he’s been teaching countless people, including overweight middle-aged women like me, how to take off the tub to get healthier. I first wrote about him in February 2006. Venuto also has a Burn the Fat blog, but for the best of the best of what BFFM has to offer, the Burn the Fat Inner Circle is well worth a membership.
- Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training. I discovered TT in July 2006, & what I wrote about it then is a great overview of what the TT program has to offer. Namely, lots of well-designed workouts that are geared towards maximum fat loss & muscle gain in just three 45-minute workouts per week, & just as suitable for everyday overweight people like me as they are for professional bodybuilders & other athletes. Ballantyne also writes a Turbulence Training blog which is updated frequently, usually every day. He also has a TT program designed especially for women.
I’ll have more to say about what I’m learning or relearning at these sites, & also through other books, blogs, websites, etc. as I continue to improve my own health & fitness.