Monday, February 15, 2010

Meal Plan Week 3 update

Okay, so this week has been a complete fail. It was almost as if I wasn't on the diet at all, but not quite that far. I wasn't eating as many meals as I wanted to when I wanted to, and it didn't always have as much protein as I wanted (like only having cereal with milk for breakfast). I also went over my budget in alcoholic drinks (not by much) and ate 4 Godiva truffles in one sitting. I think the big problem was running out of diet compliant food and not finding a lot of time to go out and grocery shop for more. So I was really unprepared this week, hence more opportunity to fail.

However, I still feel like my will power is pretty good (besides the few slip ups of course). I've had plenty more opportunities to drink and such, but I didn't. I'm also generally very more conscience about what I'm eating so that's a plus also. I think part way through my week I knew I was slipping, so I got into the wrong mindset of "Well this week is already a fail, why bother getting back on track." Toootally wrong to think, I know. But at least I recognize it and admit it, so I can take steps to correct it. After all, it's a new week. Time to get back on track!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 2 Progress Stats

Beginning weight: 190 lbs
Week 2 weight: 185 lbs
Difference of: -5 lbs

5 lbs isn't much, but at least it's going in the right direction! Hopefully this number will start declining more rapidly once I start actually working out. My goal for the next 2 weeks is to get under 180 lbs. I plan to achieve this with not only exercise, but with better eating habits as well. I am eating a lot more but I have to better mind the portion size. Overall I think this a good start. I wish I knew exactly where these 5 lbs were lost (and if you're thinking clothing, I was wearing the same thing I wore when I first got weighed): is it fat? muscle? water weight? Hard to tell just after 2 week, but maybe in the weeks to come, a change in physical appearance will assure me that I'm losing the right weight.

Meal Plan Week 2 update

So this week was a little more of the first: general keeping to my diet but still eating out, healthy albeit. I did however use my 2 alcoholic drink maximum (vodka redbull friday night and a beer sat night). But considering that, I didn't drink at all at the Mos Def concert, and not a sip of any alcohol during the SuperBowl! A win for my will against temptations. I did snack a little on some Lay's chips (not much though) and had BBQ ribs for dinner. As for my SuperBowl meal? Tuna Burger on Whole Wheat thin buns with spinach, tomato, grilled onions and an aioli made with light mayo, lime juice, dijon mustard and sriracha.

Generally, I feel like this week was a little more of a fail from the first week, but i've had some big successes. I still need to get on a track where I have more control over what I eat, so that will be my goal for the following weeks. It's all about preparation.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Meal Plan Week 1 Update

Ugh. So I didn't post as much as I wanted to, updating everyday on what I've been eating. Maybe one day I'll get there, but it's hard to find time throughout the day to get on my blog and post it. Perhaps I should just document what I eat then post later? But with that in mind, I can at least update on my diet this past week.

Overall, I'm pretty proud of diet progress. I've haven't been following a strict plan like I wanted to, but my general changes have been good. I have been really good about eating smaller meals and snacking healthy, drinking a lot of smoothies, and making sure that almost everything is Abs Diet compliant. Where I have faltered though is that I have been eating out a lot. Not as much control as I wanted, but in doing so I have found some good eating out alternatives. At Toast, a restaurant by my work (the one with the cute hostess), I get the Chicken Apple salad and it's pretty tasty: Grilled Chicken with slices of Fuji apple, walnuts, blue cheese, fennel with a vinaigrette on mixed greens. At Pasta Moto (also by my work), I get the Mama's Meatballs: Turkey meatballs with a red tomato sauce, roasted mixed veggies and a little ricotta cheese. And for breakfast, Starbucks has a good choice with the Low Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich: Turkey Bacon, egg white and white cheddar in a whole grain english muffin. Also eating out for lunch the other day, I got a grilled salmon with sauteed spinach and lentils... really delicious and healthy.

So overall I feel pretty good. Where I'm most proud is my will against temptations (oh and they're there). Last Tuesday I went to a concert and Friday we had a small party at work with free beers, and I didn't drink anything. I know I'm not completely restricting it from my diet and I could've had a drink or two, but why not just cut it out if you have a choice? I also declined a chocolate truffle and some tres leches. Again, I'm not completely cutting this out of my diet, but the diet is more than just eating right... it's about testing my will power against these tasty temptations and having control over what I eat. So far, it's been surprisingly easy. I'm not missing these things that much, but it might have to do with my diet. I'm keeping my tummy satisfied and eating plenty of berries and fruits for my sweet tooth. Not as readily satisfying as a chocolate truffle, but once I see results, then it will be all worth it. Then, as I see results, I'll reward myself with these yummy yum yum's. Always in moderation though.

Check back on Sunday when I post my Week 2 Meal plan update, as well as a physical progress report! (sorry ladies.. and Chad.. no shirtless photo's this time. Just weight and BMI).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Page Update

Sorry, I didn't realize that I had commenting disabled for everyone but members. I fixed it, so now anyone can comment, and anonymously if you feel like (though I encourage you to at least put in your name).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Meal Plan Week 1.1

So the nutrition part of the program is already proving to be a little difficult, for the fact that I'm temporarily staying at my parents house. 1) There is no room in the fridge for my stuff! I wanted to plan and shop for the week, but I'm unable to buy a week's worth of food. Only a few days at a time. 2) My commute has gone from 10 mins to about 60. That means I have to eat much earlier, shifting all my meals a little early thus making it harder when I'm working OT hours. But thinking about it now, seems easier to take this thing one at a time, with a little bit of planning ahead. I know roughly what I want to eat throughout the week, buy the things I need for that, then I have the flexibility to change it day by day. But definitely HAVE to think at least a day ahead and plan and make what you're going to eat. So 3/4's of the way through my first day of dieting and it hasn't been too bad. There was not one time today that I was aching in hunger and it was easy to wake up a little early this morning to prepare my breakfast and lunch.. so i think I'm on the right track! Here's what my meal plan looks like for today:

Breakfast: Abs Diet Power Smoothie
Snack 1: 1 Tbls Peanut Butter, Cup of strawberries, 1 String Cheese
Lunch: Turkey Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread, with glass of 1% Milk and an apple
Snack 2: Ounce of Almonds and a bunch of baby carrots (which I am currently snacking on)
Dinner: Sushi (most likely Spicy Tuna Roll with Seaweed Salad and some Salmon Sashimi)
Snack 3: Leftover smoothie

So for dinner, I didn't prepare anything =T. Already off to a bad start right? So I had to find a smart and healthy alternative to eat out, and I chose Sushi. If you know what to get, you can form a low fat, low carb and high protein dinner. And at my sushi restaurant in Novato, I can choose the multigrain rice option which makes the carbs good carbs. I don't see how I can lose with this dinner. Just can't make it a habit to go here all the time when I forget a meal cause it can be $$$ over time. There must be other great options out there. Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Goals

So as I said before, I'm more worried about the body composition stuff than anything else at this point, so my goals are going to be focused there (and also to work a little more on core strength training, which the fitness test shows as my weakest muscle group). So I want my numbers to look a little more like this:

Weight: 175
BF%: 10-12%
BF (lbs): 17.5
Hip to Waist Ratio: .90

So this means I want to drop my body fat percentage by about 9%, which comes out to about 20 lbs of body fat. When do I want to hit these numbers by? My next fitness eval, in 3 months. It's going to take a lot of hard work, but I'm excited for it. Just have to keep my goals in mind. For those curious of what that might look like visually (or physically), picture above pretty closely resembles my starting physique (though i'm more fit than this guy was) and my goal physique.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beginning Fitness Stats

So there it is, the moment you all have been waiting for, and the one I've been dreading to post: my beginning fitness statistics and photos. Just to clarify the stat sheet, the measurements taken are on the left, and the results are on the right. For me, the more important results I'm looking at are the Body Comp (composition) stats. Of course I want all my stats and measurements to get better, but that will all come when I'm working hard to get the body comp numbers I want. So as you can see, my numbers are in the "average" or "okay" range, but you might say my photos speak a little differently (btw, I can't believe I'm still rocking my farmers tan from summer). I do have good structure and genetics though, so hopefully with a little dedication on my part, I will get the results I'm striving for.

PS - Thanks to Shawn Register at 5 Star Fitness in San Rafael for not only taking physical attributes, but for being totally supportive and helpful and inspirational to my goals.

Suggested Resources

Since I've started this blog, I've been trying to get people to follow me, from friends to coworkers, to a fitness professional, and even a random cute girl that works at a local restaurant. Not only am I doing this to help keep me on task and motivated, but I'm hoping on some level that it would inspire others who are in the same boat as me to try to take steps towards a healthier or more fit lifestyle (for whatever reasons you are doing it). But since then, I've gotten a few suggestions or links from friends of resources that could help me reach my goal. So instead of being selfish, I thought I'd share them with you!

The Plate Method: My friend Sonia is a studying MD and sent this link to me to check out. So she works with this doctor, and whenever a patient comes in and talks about wanting to lose weight, he shows them this site. He even got an overweight trucker to lose 200 lbs by using this method! Definitely worth a mention. You don't have to buy the products if you don't want to, but the concept of it can still be applied successfully. Check out the site here.

101 Ways to Lose Your Gut: My friend Henry sent me this link, and I think there's a lot of good stuff there. Some stuff is talked about or focused on in the Ab's Diet, but there seems to be a lot of small things you can do to help turn your body into a fat burning furnace. My suggestion: try starting with just one or a few of the suggestions. Then the next week, add on a few more. Hopefully within a few months or a year, these things will become habitual. Check it out here.

There are so many great resources out there for this kind of thing, so if you have some suggestions yourself, don't be shy! Share it in the comments. It could be anything from a certain exercise that you find works really well, to an interesting article you read about diet, or a small tip like the 101 Ways to Lose Your Gut thing, or maybe something you've tried that you found wasn't successful at all. Anything! Share it with the community.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oakland Marathon March 27-28

That's right. I'll be running in it!... well, sort of. What... you didn't think I'd run the whole thing by myself did you? You must be as crazy as I am! Truth is, this is the first marathon in Oakland in 25 years (that's almost my lifetime ago) and they are offering a 4 person team relay which I agreed to do with my sister. So it works out how you think it would. The marathon is divided into 4 legs, with one person on a team to each leg, which comes out to about 6-7 miles per person. Much more doable yeah? I don't think I'll be needing to tape my nipples at that distance. But I, am not by any means, a runner. Or a long distance runner rather. So I still believe this will be a challenge to get my endurance up to speed to run my leg in a respectable time, and it will be interesting to see how this will affect my ability to try to build muscle mass and to see if my diet will be adequate enough for these long runs. I don't think it'll be too big of a problem since I'm only running about 6 miles or so. Expect updates of my running progress!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Postponing until 1/25

So as anxious and ready as I am to get started full fledged into my program, I've decided to wait out this coming week and start the following week. I'm a little bummed about it too. But like i mentioned in my previous post, this is a tough week to start. And despite my own efforts to convince everyone (and myself) to just jump into the cold pool without testing the waters first, it just seems better to give myself a tad extra time to take care of other things first before making a complete commitment to this project. I don't want to start half-assed ya know? Thinking now, it might be better to, in a way, "ease" into a life and habit changing program.

The other reason I wanted to start the following week (and this is probably a bigger reason for me), is that I wanted to get a true gauge of my fitness level before starting. At the start of this blog, I was planning to just take my weight, BMI, waist to hip ratio, and body fat percentage, and update these numbers bi-weekly to show my progress (quadri-weekly for the body fat percentage). So in my search of finding a place that could take my body-fat percentage, I found a gym that'll take a full fitness exam that'll measure the girth of body parts (insert giggles here), flexibility, cardio, etc., among the stats I mentioned before. I was convinced. However, I can't schedule an exam until next week, so that pushed my start date till the following week. During the duration of the program, I will still do bi-weekly progress reports of the simple stats I can acquire myself, monthly updates that'll include body fat percentage and photos, and then do the full fitness exam at the end of 3 months (or every 3 months). So check back in next week where I will post my fitness exam results and my goals and hopes for the program. For those who have been eagerly waiting, my photos will be posted then... and yes, I will be shirtless.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


So I was hoping to really start on my project this coming week. But before I got started I wanted to post my current physical stats (including body fat percentage) and my goals, as well as plan out my first week's meal plan. This weekend though is the last weekend at my current place of residence so a lot of my time will be spent packing and moving. I'm really anxious to start this diet though and if I can balance moving with planning, then I'll do it. I weighed myself yesterday and simply put, no bueno. So I'm really looking forward to when I can start.

Planning will be difficult I think, because of where I'm moving to. I'm moving back in with my parents for the time being, and they live an hour away. This is 2 hours lost that I could be cooking or sleeping. And considering I'm in crunch mode at work, planning and preparing meals when I would have little time to cook and I can't make a quick drive home to fix something up will be really crucial. Ugh, right of the bat it's looking to be difficult. But this is part of the challenge isn't it? Life will throw stuff your way that make the simple things seem like daunting tasks. So being successful will depend on balancing my diet and workout plans with these things. I'm only hurting myself if I let these things become a source of excuse for why I'm not following through with my project. Just got to deal with obstacles head on.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Workout Plan

The Abs Diet isn’t only a great resource nutritionally, but physically also. It was designed to burn fat fast, and in the mid section. So in it is also a great workout plan to help supercharge your ability to burn fat, and this will be my guide as I start to work out. But in this case, it will NOT be my bible. There are so many great resources and ways to work out that I will be drawing from all over to help bully away my beer belly. I plan to do everything from playing sports, hiking, circuit training, cross training, weight lifting, cardio, to even maybe training for a marathon. But as I start my exercise plan, I will be following the Abs Diet guidelines as a jump off point, and then sort of improvise from there. So here are those guidelines:
  1. For the first two weeks, you don't need to exercise - instead, just acclimate yourself to the diet and focus on eating right. If you're already physically active, then it's only a plus
  2. Do Ab exercises twice a week - focusing on the 5 muscles groups that make up your core
  3. Workout 3 times a week - doing full body circuit training to target your major muscle groups and keeps your heart rate, all while keeping your workout time to about 30 mins

The Diet Plan

Like I’ve mentioned before, I think the more specific you are, the more likely you’ll succeed. So for my diet plan, instead of just saying “I’m going to eat better” or “I’m going to cut out carbs”, I’m going with a specific and proven diet: The Abs Diet (amazon link), created by Men’s Health Magazine Editor-in-Chief David Zinczenko. I won’t get into great detail about the specifics of the diet or the theories that I find the diet an appealing one to do (you’ll just have to get the book yourself for that), but here’s a brief outline of what it will entail:
  1. Eating 6 meals a day - 3 full meals and 3 snacks
  2. Use the 12 Abs Diet Powerfoods as the staples of your diet - can be found here
  3. Drink smoothies regularly - which can also be meal or snack substitutes
  4. Stop counting - the calories that is
  5. Know what to drink and what not to - so pretty much just water, tea, milk and occasional juices, and cutting back alcoholic drinks to just 2 a week
  6. For one meal a week, forget the first five guidelines - I love a plan where I'm allowed to indulge in my In-N-Out cravings

The book has tons of recipes and even a sample week of the meals planned out (which is what I’ll be starting with) and is a great resource, so it will be my bible through the course of this transformation. But it won’t be my only resource. Men’s Health Magazine posts great dieting tips and recipes that fall under the Ab’s Diet protocols, so I will be mixing some of those into my plan to keep it fresh, as well as coming up with recipes of my own which I will post throughout the blog. Also, I won’t only be focusing on what I eat, but when I eat as well. I think this will be the key to my success more than anything else. Every week I will post up a menu of what I will be eating for each meal and when, so it will be extra important to really plan ahead, shop for what I need, and to cook maybe several meals in advance to make sure that I’m not skipping meals or tempted to go out and get something I’m not supposed to. I’m sure it sounds rough, and I know it will be, because what if you don’t feel like eating something when it comes to eating a planned meal? Well, this isn’t about eating what I feel like eating is it? If it were, then I’m sure this blog would be about how I’m striving to become the world’s heaviest man.

The Start of Something New

Welp, it’s a new year. And with the New Year, comes the New Year’s Resolution. We all make them and usually fail miserably come spring time. I don’t even know how this tradition came to existence but it has been the greatest source of motivation AND insecurity every 365th day… at least for me. But of all the resolutions that are declared at the beginning of a fresh year, none is more common than the “lose weight” resolution. I make this one just about every year, and I probably gain a few pounds every time I say it. It shouldn’t bother me just on the fact that I’m only 1 of probably millions that are in the same boat as me (damn that must be a big boat), but darn it, I’m tired of this flabby donut of flesh resting on my hips. So this year, I’m making the resolution to lose my beer belly! “Psh, yeah right Ryan, what’s so different this year?” you must be asking yourself. Well, touché my friend. You’re absolutely right. Like I’ve said, I’ve made this resolution before and have not gotten or sustained the results to call this resolution a success. But I have a plan this year that I hope will help me overcome this lardy hump: this blog!

I think the key to most successes, especially for resolutions is to: A) Set a specific goal, and B) be prepared/have a plan. This blog is my attempt to plan out my success as I strive for a specific goal. It’s easy to say “I want to lose weight this year”, but how much weight? But even more specific (because weight can be a deceiving gauge of weight loss success), what body fat percentage do you want? What body type are you aiming for? How much more weight do you want to put up? When do you want to reach this goal? And so on and so on. So in this blog, not only will I be posting my goals (which may change throughout the weeks), but I will also keep track of my progress with self photos and numbers (can’t believe I’m putting myself out there like that), plan out my meals for the week, post my workout plan for the week, and generally talk about what’s working, what isn’t, where I’m having difficulties, etc. Sound easy enough right? I guess we’ll see won’t we.