Sunday, March 10, 2013

Body Acceptance

I have been pondering this idea of body acceptance for awhile now.  I visit some fitness message boards out there on the net and see people discussing this topic in a not-so-polite way about the idea that one should be happy with the way their body looks, no matter how it looks.  It is also thought that there is some prejudice against people who are overweight, whether it be seating at a local restaurant, being accepted for a job or the availability of products that fit the lifestyle of an overweight individual.  Hell, there are even taxes that are aimed directly at people who are overweight.

Just browsing through the body acceptance boards on reddit or tumblr, though there are some pictures of "skinny" people, the majority of the posts and pictures from overweight people, mostly women.  I imagine these places are a way to push back against the "ideal" image of what a person should look like in our culture.

I have a few opinions on body acceptance, but I will share my personal story first.

One night, just over a year ago, I had drunk a few beers, probably had some junk food and on top of that even more beer.  It was late at night, I was about to go to bed, but I had to take a leak first.  I turned on the light in the bathroom and like I usually do, looked at myself in the mirror.  At the time, I was probably around 220 pounds +/- a few pounds.  I grabbed my belly fat, and gave it a little jiggle.  The image of my fat didn't disturb me, or upset me. It just sparked an inner-debate.

"Is this how I should look now?", "I am thirty-one years old, I have 3 kids now, I should embrace this body and continue to lead this lifestyle."  "Should I just accept this?  I'm overall happy with my life, why should I change it?"  Then I told myself, "Is this the best you can be?  When is complacency something you are happy with, especially with this?"  "You are going down a path that will lead to morbid obesity in the end, and then what?  It will just be more difficult to change by then".

That's when I decided to change things.  To be honest, I don't think it was all that difficult.  At first I adhered to a very strict diet, with 5 meals a day and being in the gym almost every day.

After a few months of this routine, I discovered intermittent fasting, and the leangains blog as well as Brad Pilon's book, Eat Stop Eat.  Which made me realize that the routine I was doing was not sustainable.

From a family point of view, being missing every day for hours at a time was just not healthy.  And being in the gym every day killed my motivation to put forth my best effort.  Though I did lose 30 pounds, I would opt for an easier route that I would enjoy much more because I would no longer be a slave to the gym.  From a dietary point of view, I was denying myself the foods I loved and eating the same stuff every day was not making me all that happy.  Plus I couldn't drink beer!  What bullshit is that???  Fuck that noise.

So now I just try to do things that I find sustainable.  Going to the gym three times a week for less than 2 hours at a time is sustainable, skipping breakfast is sustainable.  And these are working for me, I've maintained about the same body fat % as far as I can tell, and I'm getting stronger because I can put more focus and intensity in to my workouts.  For the most part it has been fun.

But that's me.  People should accept the way they look, because anything more or less is just delusion.  Acceptance shouldn't mean you have to be complacent about it.  If you are truly happy with the way you look, great.  But should you not strive for something better?  If I didn't strive to be better at being a husband or father, or employee, or business person, how can I as a person progress or achieve anything?  For me, complacency never leads to happiness in most aspects of my life.

There are certainly prejudices against overweight individuals in our society and others.  You can go to any fitness board or look at the way people are portrayed in the media and see that fat people are treated like crap.  This is unacceptable.  People shouldn't be treated like shit for the way they look and fat people are not an exception.  As long as the choices of individual people aren't affecting others, they are none of our business.

TLDR; Body acceptance is fine, complacency is not.  Mind your own business and let people make their own choices.

Couple pictures, my diet hasn't been perfect, but my training has been consistent and heavy.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Affliction.

Yes, yes.  I can and will be a hypocrite.  Why am I bringing this up?  Why write a new blog post about hypocrites?  Is this still a weight loss blog?  

The answer to all those questions that you may or may not have asked is "yes".  Does a "yes" answer make sense for all those questions?  Yes*. Are you sick of my rhetorical questions yet?  Yes.
   
A few blog posts ago, I wrote about the people at the gym who are douchey or annoying.  I was critical of those who made loud noises, who lifted a certain way, and who I claimed as a nuisance in the gym altogether.

Sure there are still douches in the gym.  Hell, maybe I'm a gym douche these days.  But I come here to plead my case about how I lift.  When I wrote that aforementioned blog post several months ago, I had no idea I was afflicted with a disease.  The disease is quite common among those of us who frequent a gym  and I would say it affects about 90%** of those people who go to my gym.  I had been living with this disease for quite some time because I had no idea, not one inkling I was affected.

But then a discovery was made.  Not by me, of course.  You see, one of the symptoms of this disease is ignorance.   It is this ignorance that allows the sickness to spread to others.  This virus is so powerful that it even influences how gyms are designed and what equipment a gym has on hand.  This disease is a son of a bitch!

Of course, I am talking about Fuckarounditis and the person who discovered the cure is Martin Berkhan.  A man (and his BLOG) I get my dietary and training advice from, a man who has changed all aspects of my fitness views.

I bring all of this up because I was especially critical of those who go for maximum lifts at the gym and make a ton noise.  And today, not only did I go for a maximum deadlift, I made a bunch of noise and even cursed when I was finished!

So here I am, with a different perspective on how I view people at the gym.  There are still douches, but maybe the douches think I'm a douche.  Maybe we are all douches and the earth is just a gigantic dirty vagina waiting for us to clean it out.

Here's my 500 pound deadlift, no straps, no belt.  All thanks to Martin Berkhan, who taught me how  to focus on my training and put in the work where it is really needed.  I must say, I never in my wildest dreams, even as a high school powerlifter thought I could pull 500 pounds off the floor.  Needless to say, I am pretty excited about it and I just had to make a blog post to mark the achievement and to type out the word "douche".


*No
**Number pulled right out of my ass

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hello out there! Progress pic maybe?

Okay, it's been awhile since I've updated my blog.  I've been cocooning so-to-speak.  I'm not saying I've reached my goals, but I'm progressing overall, and getting stronger still.  I am not as trim as I'd like to be but that's because I'm fucking up my diet...I don't care THAT much, though I get frustrated at times.  WHY CAN'T YOU GET OFF MY BELLY YOU FAT!

Anyway, I've been pretty busy with work, and kids and such.  I feel like I have just enough time to fit it all in and still be able to hit the gym every other day which is why I have had trouble writing.

Okay, I'm lying.  I just don't have any great ideas!  I could find plenty of time to write, I'm sure.  But if I wrote all the time, you'd probably sit there groaning, thinking,  "not another post from THIS douche bag".  So, here I am, intermittently posting (c wut I did thur???) cocooning and trying to really impress, honestly.


I could have been writing about the god damn curl-bros I deal with on a daily basis, circuit training with every god damn piece of equipment I want to use and taking forever to get off the god damn things, and not cleaning up their weights.  Or how they, for some reason, think it's a splendid idea to mix fucking bacardi rum with their fucking protein shake.  REALLY???  Of course they are underage too, fucking morans.  NICE BICEPS BRAH...why are you still weak?  Oh, it's because you are super-setting various bicep exercises for 3 fucking hours and not working on any muscle group movement that really matters!   Do you ever even squat?  "Just curls and crunches bro"  All of my rage. 


Anyway, here's a progress pic for you


I combined it with what I started at.



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Legs don't get enough love!

Since I know you guys have not had enough of seeing my entire body, and obviously I do not feel I have displayed it enough *cough*douche*cough*

BUT!  What you guys have NOT seen really is my legs.  So I'll post a picture of my legs and a video of a new squat form I'm trying out.

Legs!
First, my legs.  I have actually made quite a bit of progress on my legs, adding muscle and toning.  They used to look like a couple of flab sticks.  Not anymore!

Now for a new squat video.  Using a new form to see how it feels on my knees.  The results so far is that it is easier on them.  With my other form (narrower stance and parallel squat) I was having tendon problems in my right knee.  With the new form (Bar lower on the back, wider stance and deeper squat (ass to grass as it's known)) I felt no pain in my knee.  so yay!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Side by Side Progress Pic

Has it really been 4 months already?!

Fuck this has been so easy, anyone can do it...and when I say that, I mean DO IT!  It's not only fun, but beneficial to society.  Here's a little project for you.  When you go out in public just observe the people around you and take note at how many people you see that are probably over weight.  It is ridiculous!  I'm not telling you to judge those people.  I'm telling you to internalize what you observe and think about what it means for you. 

It is something I did when I heard the story of the Bremerton ferry needing to reduce its maximum capacity because the average size of a passenger (see weight) had gone up by so much that it was dangerous for them to keep operating at their current maximum capacity.  Not only was I embarrassed at myself because I was (or may still be) part of the problem, but at my community for getting to that point. 

It may be weird, and it's certainly funny, at least to me, that I would use that as motivation for weight loss, but it is true. 

Just look around you and you will see that this is really a cultural issue that involves everybody.  But now I'm drunk rambling so here's a side by side from my starting point, to now.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

OH MY GOD AT MY DINNER

First week of following my macronutrtion plan closely.

Off days my "macros" (as the fitty people call them) look like this

Protein: 185g
Fat: 60g
Carbs: <55 grams
Calories: 1501

On my workout days my macros look like this:
Proten: 185g
Fat: <30g
Carbs: 382g
Calories: 2540

Today was my first workout day following this plan, to hit my macros my meals go like this

First meal)

20%
Protein=37g
Fat=<6g
Carbs=76.4 Grams

Second meal)
Same as first

Post workout meal)
Protein=111g
Fat=<18g
Carbs=229g!!!!!

So my dinner looked like this:

Footlong barbecue chicken subway sub with whole wheat bread, double meat, veggies
13 Ounce Baked potato with a little butter, salt and pepper
Skinless, boneless chicken breast (9 ounces cooked)
A large bowl of cheerios with 1% milk

So much food!  I hope I got everything I need because I can't eat any more, it just won't fit!

Edit: For credit
These are "leangains" macros popularized by Martin Berkhan at http://www.leangains.com
And calculated at Andy Morgan's Blog (http://rippedbody.jp) using this (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Am054ZWv-_BcdFRLbktxcGZjdXhmdVBPRlA1SDk3RkE&hl=en_US#gid=0) calculator to figure it all out. 

Also, new deadlift PR!

  • Barbell Deadlift:
    • 45 lb x 20 reps
    • 135 lb x 10 reps
    • 225 lb x 5 reps
    • 315 lb x 1 reps
    • 385 lb x 5 reps
    • 350 lb x 5 reps
    • 325 lb x 6 reps 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I am humbly bragging here but I am having so much fun at the gym that I must share. Please forgive me.

It may not show, when I'm there because I try to stay intense, of course I'm always smiling easy if someone is talking to me.  I always smile easy.  Anyway, I got some PRs (personal records) today.  And I want to share them with whoever is so bored that they check this blog. (absolutely nobody)

I've been making slow but steady progress on my lifts as I maintain my current weight (between 190 and 193 pounds)

Barbell Bench Press:
  • 45 lb x 20 reps (+47 pts)
  • 135 lb x 10 reps (+77 pts)
  • 205 lb x 5 reps (+105 pts)
  • 225 lb x 1 reps (+66 pts)
  • 255 lb x 5 reps (+148 pts)
  • 225 lb x 7 reps (+133 pts)
  • 205 lb x 7 reps (+117 pts) 
I'm not sure I've ever been able to rep that weight for that many times.  And it's fun to break your own records, puts one in a good mood, I swear!


  • Dips - Triceps Version:
    • 6 reps || weighted || 55 lb (+55 pts)
    • 7 reps || weighted || 45 lb (+58 pts)
    • 9 reps (+40 pts) 

    This is the first year I have ever done weighted dips.  Weighted dips is where you load weight on a chained belt, the weight hangs between your legs while you do your exercise.  I use the weighted belt for chin-ups and dips.  I'm pretty excited about this PR too.  Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

    Anyway, sorry about the bad formatting of bullet points and all that shit, I don't care enough to make it look perfect.