Monthly Archives: September 2016

Weekend Update.

30milBusy weekend.

First, I crossed over 30 million lifetime steps on the FitBit – an astonishing amount of steps. That’s since June 15, 2013 (1191 days), so that comes out to around 25190 steps per day. Pretty impressive, I guess. While I don’t really see the benefit of counting steps like I used to – I just have a sense of how many steps I take in a day – I’ll probably keep counting. In addition to that milestone, I also had the biggest single-day calorie burn on the AppleWatch as well as most minutes of exercise, thanks to a long bike ride. More on that in a sec.

I ended the liquid diet after 4 days. And at the end, I recorded my lowest weight ever, at 174.5 lbs. The only reason I stopped was because I pretty much hit a wall as far as weight loss goes. I still felt reasonably good, but lost nothing in the last 24 hours – starvation mode kicked in, I guess. So, the 5th day, I eased back into, y’know, eating, and achieved normality over the weekend. I know there was a good over/under going on how long I’d keep it up (or whether I’d drop dead) – hopefully, none of you hedged your bets. With that said, I’m starting it again today, but probably just for one day, while I experiment to see what works best (and with the least amount of potential body harm).

Click for Endomondo data

Click for Endomondo data, or Movescount

Saturday, an awesome interstate bike ride. Six-and-a-half hours pedaling and exploring. Discovering new areas is the best part of riding – while getting the exercise is beneficial in and of itself, it needs to not be boring. To that end, I started out at Coolidge Park, and revisited the “Passageways” alleys scattered around downtown, waiting for the sun to come up. Then, a quick stop at Maple Street Biscuit to fuel up (yeah, the liquid diet ended with a vengeance), and out the new Riverwalk extension. Once more, the gate at Wheland Foundry was open, so I explored in more depth on the grounds, actually going in the dilapidated factory. It’s a little creepy – definitely the kind of place Dexter Morgan would appreciate, and as I got deeper into the building, I disturbed…something. I think it was a homeless encampment, but I’m not sure, and I didn’t stick around to find out – the voices I was hearing were pretty creepy, and it was dark, because of course it was. I think that’s enough of that – I doubt that I explore the grounds any further, unless someone wants me to take them.

Onward, through St. Elmo, and on to Ruby Falls, via the Guild Trail. This is a great ride, under the Incline, and around the northeastern slopes of Lookout Mountain. Spectacular views. From Ruby Falls, on to the Cravens Terrace Trail, around the “front” of Lookout Mountain, and then onto the Upper Truck Trail, which runs below Covenant College, Sunset Rock, etc, around the western slopes of the mountain. I went as far as the Georgia state line, which interestingly, isn’t marked in any way (save for a piece of ribbon someone had tied to a tree). 18 miles on the dot from Coolidge to the state line. Once cooler weather arrives, I’ll explore this trail further down into Georgia, or maybe take one of the branches up to the top of the mountain (which I did on the epic Rock City ride). Anyway, back to Coolidge via downtown, for a total of 30 miles round-trip. Not a long ride for me, but the trails are considerably more challenging, even if they aren’t very technical.

Ruby Falls parking lot

Ruby Falls parking lot

Now I need to plan my next adventure – I think next weekend will be an urban ride (weather permitting). I have a route in my head that I’ve never taken, which should be good for 40 miles or so. I need to get my map out and plan it, at least somewhat. I don’t need to determine every turn, but because it’ll be on surface streets, I need to at least figure out the safest route.

And a busy week ahead – goodbye, San Diego, hello Escondido!

On the Third Day.

Well, astonishingly, it continues. The liquid diet, that is. It’s now been 3 days since I’ve eaten. Stunning. And the best part: I’ve lost 5 pounds. I’m 2/10ths of a pound away from my lowest weight ever, so most likely, I’ll see that when I get up to go to the gym in a few hours.

And I still feel really good, just a little fuzzy in the brain. I switched things up a little bit today – stopped at the store after the gym this morning and picked up some Ensure Light shakes. They aren’t the greatest-tasting things ever (that would be a key lime pie donut from Julie Darling), but they get the job done – unfortunately, all they had was chocolate, and I prefer the vanilla ones. The main thing here is the nutrition; I need that right now. So, today, 2 Ensure shakes, 2 protein shakes, 1 meal replacement shake with 1 1/2 cups almond/coconut milk (unsweetened, of course). This:

ld-day3

So, that’s even fewer calories than yesterday, and few net carbs. I’m going to try to do this one more day, maybe not even all day tomorrow – while I feel good, I’m sure it’s taking a toll on me, probably significantly. I’ll hit my new Lowest Weight Ever in the morning, then perhaps around lunch, I’ll ease back into it – eating, I mean. Dunno – I have zero appetite (seriously, none at all), so I want to continue as long as I can, as long as I don’t start feeling crappy. We’ll see what the morning has to say about it.

Yeah, I can do one more day.

Liquid Tuesday.

I haven’t eaten in two days, and I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

My appetite has disappeared. Completely. So much so that I slashed my liquid intake today – 3 protein shakes, 1 meal replacement shake, no heavy cream. 640 calories. For the whole day. And I didn’t even want the last protein shake – I forced myself to drink it to get some nutrients. Now, dropping the cream did skew my macros a little bit:

ld-day2

Not enough fat (ironically). But with fat are calories, and I wanted to cut as many of those as possible. As of right now, I’ve burned 3900 calories today – it’s not like I sat around on my huge fat ass. Two hard hours at the gym, followed by a trip to Home Depot, followed by hours of painting the deck and my normal (ongoing) work stuff. I have energy to spare. I’m not feeling any of the effects I would have expected from more than 48 hours of not eating.

And Aria was good to me, as well. Two pounds gone. Today. I know, you’re gonna say, “Oh, that’s just water weight”. Normally, I’d agree, but I’ve had 100 ounces of water. That’s almost a gallon. A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds. So, I’ve had 6.5 pounds of water, plus 5 pounds of shakes (4 @ 20 ounces each). That’s 11.5 pounds of liquid today, yet I’ve lost two pounds. Is that right? This is all very, very strange. And y’know, I can see it in the mirror, as well. This whole experiment is getting interesting.

I really didn’t think I would do this today – I didn’t think I would be able to. So now, I wonder how long I can keep it up with no ill effects? I suspect after 2 or 3 days, I’ll really start to see results. So, what, maybe 3 or 4 days? Is that even possible? OK, I know it’s possible – people do it all the time. But is it possible for me, lover of all things tasty? I don’t know. But I’m going to find out.

Liquid Dieting.

So, this is what a liquid diet looks like:

liquiddiet

It has been surprisingly easy. Far more so than I expected, and so much so, I may do it again tomorrow. At the very least, I think I’ll do it every Monday. Of course, all this is dependent on how I feel tomorrow, and what the scale has to say about it. It may take more than one day to see positive numbers; having never done this, I just don’t know.

Interestingly, even though I had nothing solid today, calories were still somewhat high, at 1140. I didn’t expect that, from 5 shakes. The heavy cream I mixed in 4 of them (to add fat) accounted for 400 calories alone, so I could cut that, but that’s probably not a good idea. The shakes themselves have negligible calories; 110 in the protein powder shakes (I had 3 of those) and 100 in the meal replacement shakes (2). Plus another 70 calories each from unsweetened almond/coconut milk, which I used in 3 shakes (I just used water in the other two).

Carbs also were a little high, although a net of 26g is nothing to be ashamed of (and about 1/3 of what’s in one 20 ounce soda). The main culprit was the meal replacement shakes, at 10g for just the powder (6g/net; total of 9g/net with the Silk and cream). Considering I used to easily get 500g/carbs in a day (and FYI, there are about 120g/carbs and 2000 calories in a Bloomin’ Onion – not counting the sauce – and I could 4 of them right now), getting 26g of healthy carbs is a victory. There’s no avoiding those MRS carbs, I guess – at least not in a somewhat healthy way. That is, I couldn’t just drink water all day and nothing else. Well, I could, but that’s not the proper way to do this – gotta get the proper nutrition, otherwise, what’s the point?

bloomin-onion

So, anyway, I’m gonna call this experiment a success. We’ll see what that bitch Aria has to say about it in the morning.

Adventure.

click for larger, or Endomondo data

click for larger, or Endomondo data


I wrapped this week with a good ride. A fast 30 miles (in 3 1/2 hours) after 2 hours at the gym. Just because it was fast doesn’t mean it was easy, though – in fact, I deliberately picked a challenging route. Started out easy enough; Coolidge Park, with a little puttering around the North Shore until the sun came up, then out the new Riverwalk extension. To my excitement, the gate surrounding the old Wheland Foundry was standing wide open, giving me the opportunity to explore an area that is generally out-of-bounds (check Instagram for some cool pics). Had to tread carefully – lots of potential tire-flattening debris, and it was a long way back to Coolidge. In addition to photos of the dilapidated foundry itself, I got a great panorama of Lookout Mountain and I-24, from the hill next to the facility (below). Trivia: Tim McGraw’s Truck Yeah video was shot here back in 2012 – I’m not really a fan, but still, cool (although the deterioration was really more suited to White Zombie). See the video at the bottom of this post.

Anyway, onwards to St. Elmo, and to Flintstone GA. Interstate bike ride, woo-hoo! From there, a straight shot back through St. Elmo and up Broad Street, through downtown, and back to Coolidge for a quick break and a protein bar. Y’know, when I lived in St. Elmo (!), I couldn’t have imagined riding a bike from there to Coolidge Park – now, it’s an easy ride; barely challenging. Anyway, then the second leg, out to Moccasin Bend, which (interestingly) is directly across the river from Wheland Foundry. So far, most of the ride was somewhat flat, with a few minor hills in St. Elmo and on the Riverwalk – but this was not to last. Coming back from Moccasin Bend, the challenge: Pineville Road. This is a hill that separates the men from the bigger, stronger men. Really, it’s a killer. I’ve done it 3 or 4 times in the past, but in my post-Bowflex days, it was dramatically easier. But no kidding, it’s a hill. A little over 100′ in elevation change over about a half mile, then a ride-the-brakes spin down the back side of the hill to Signal Mountain Boulevard. From there to Dayton Boulevard, and another killer hill, up to the Cherokee Tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel, I recorded my fastest speed on the bike ever, at just under 32 MPH (and that’s crazy fast, on a big, heavy MTB). Then back to Coolidge, done and done. Could have easily ridden out to the dam – adding another 20 miles – but I have stuff to do today, and it was starting to warm up. I consider this part of my training for the (hopeful) century ride I’m planning; maybe towards the end of October, once it starts cooling off, but before the time changes. It’s going to take 10 – 12 hours to ride that far, so I need all the daylight I can get. Today, my average speed was 8.44 MPH (but not pausing Endomondo during breaks, photos, etc kinda skews the numbers), so at that pace, it’ll be right at 12 hours.

tl;dr – Coolidge Park to Flinstone back to Coolidge to Moccasin Bend to Signal Mountain Boulevard back to Coolidge.

click for much larger - on the left, Lookout Mountain; center, I-24, the river, and Moccasin Bend; right, Wheland

click for much larger – on the left, Lookout Mountain; center, I-24, the river, and Moccasin Bend; right, Wheland

In other news, I got a new Dymatize Elite ISO-100 protein powder. This time, Cookies and Cream. Not too bad. I’ve tried several; let’s recap:

 Rich Chocolate – this is my go-to; I buy it in 5 pound tubs.
 Chocolate Fudge – yuck. Seriously.
 Vanilla – it’s vanilla, what do you expect?
 Orange Dreamsicle – yum.

Next, I think I’ll try pina coloda. Of course. Or maybe cinnamon bun. Or maybe I’ll just go see my lover, Julie, and get a donut. Nah. Speaking of, I found out FoodWorks has a Julie Darling Donut breakfast sandwich on their brunch menu – yes, 2 donuts with ham, egg, cheese, whatever in convenient sandwich form. Must. Resist.

Tomorrow, liquid diet. Because f*ck it, that’s why. Nothing but protein shakes, meal replacement shakes and water. Maybe more than just tomorrow. I’m going to see how long I can do it, if at all. I’ve never done just liquid, so I have no idea if it’ll be easy or hard (although I suspect it’ll be hard). My shakes have all the nutrition I need, so maybe laying off the solids will help with the body fat. One way to find out. Truck, yeah.

Twenty Thousand.

20000

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Hemingway

If the Method Suits the Style.

Yeah, so it’s been a little bit, I know (as many of you have pointed out to me). Just busy. Introspective. Something. I think it’s time to make some choices. Changes. Time to cut the dead weight. The world is full of asshats, and I’ve been reminded that I should distance myself from the negative influences. And, as always, working – working on me, working on the yard, working on work. You know how it goes. And really, there just hasn’t been a whole lot going on – nothing out of the ordinary, anyway. Regardless, I’m not sure I’ll keep writing here, which is part of the reason I am now – I didn’t want my potentially last post to be bitching about tasty, tasty Twinkies.

I did finally hit the 60 minute goal on the Bowflex. I did not die, sorry. This was a couple days ago – I did 30 minutes in the morning, 60 minutes in the evening. Plus my usual 2 to 2.5 hours at the gym. Steps are way up, calories are waaay down, macros are good. So, it continues.

bowflex-record

Speaking of steps, I crossed over 29 million this week, and I’m closing in quickly on 20,000 miles. I also had a perfect August on the AppleWatch, making for 9 perfect months in a row, and 278 straight days of hitting all my marks on the Watch. However, I’m stepping things up. Trying to, anyway. I’m making a much more conscientious effort to mind carbs and calories. I’ve been doing pretty good with the carbs, consistently below 20 a day, often less. The calories are still a little tricky, though. As I’ve mentioned, on low carb, fat is essential – however, anything with fat in it is calorie-heavy. This doesn’t really matter on LC/HF (within reason), but I’d still prefer to stay under 1500 calories a day (against generally 5000 spent per day). So, this:

idealI’ve always been somewhat of a fan of IdealShape stuff. I’ve tried all the meal replacement shakes, and while they weren’t horrible, they didn’t exactly blow my skirt up, either. But they just came out with this salted caramel flavor, so I decided to re-visit them. It. Is. Awesome. I mix it with almond/coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream (fat delivery method), and it really is good – and the claimed appetite suppressant really does seem to work. Additionally, they just came out with the coconut lime drink mix; also an appetite suppressant, with caffeine and other ingredients to help weight loss. I just got it yesterday, so I’ve only tried it once – no comment yet. I’m drinking it at the gym (instead of Mio), so hopefully, between it and the lunchtime MRS, I’ll shave a few more pounds. Right now, I’m still under my target weight, but I’m thinking about shooting for something just outlandish, because why not?

I have had a couple of adventures, as well.

Saturday, a paddle. Nothing major – 5 miles, puttering around downtown. Ended up being cut way short; I was hoping for at least 10, but for reasons beyond my control, didn’t happen. Nonetheless, at least I got on the water for a little bit. I’m thinking about doing a Friday night paddle, just to be different.

click for Endomondo data

click for Endomondo data

Sunday, a pedal. A nice 13 miles on the new Riverwalk, and exploring the “Passageways” art projects scattered around downtown (pics on Instagram). It was relaxing and interesting, and the new bike shorts made a huge difference in my comfort level (and as pricey as they were, I’m glad; at least it was money well spent). I’m actually toying with getting a new bike – I love my Hei Hei, but I’m thinking about looking for something made from lighter carbon fiber. The Hei Hei is a beast, and my goal is to do a 100 mile ride, so on a bike that’s a few pounds lighter, should be a cinch. The Hei Hei was about $2500; a decent carbon fiber MTB will be twice that. We’ll see, once riding season gets in full swing.

click for Endomondo data

click for Endomondo data

I have a big ride planned for this weekend, along with a little cheat meal indulgence. Nothing too crazy, but I haven’t had an actual cheat meal in forever. Not sure where. Tupelo Honey? Foodworks? Aretha’s? Urban Stack? Who knows. Maybe all.