2015-08-03

Time to skinny up.

T-2...Months until we land in China. Once we arrive, one of the first things we will do is attend a dear friend's wedding. Like many people, we have grown fat over the years. Also, like many people we a a bit vain. So, we have decided to do short term diet before we head to China. The point of this diet is not to create healthy life habits, or any of that other idealistic thingamajigs. Those could be awesome side effects, but we are doing this mostly to shape a nice slim beach china body.. :-) I know weight isn't the best goal, but it is the easiest to measure.

S.M.A.R.T Goal

  • Specific: We will loose weight and tone up.
  • Measurable: We will loose 30 pounds each.
  • Attainable: Other people have lost more in less time.
  • Relevant: It will give us the figures we want, make us healthier, and allow us to enjoy more strenuous activities while traveling (like hiking, or camping).
  • Time-bound: We will do this within 2 months.

Thought & Routine

I have been doing an hour or two daily of some various Udemy courses the last few weeks, and I really like some of the morning, and evening ritual stuff inside this productivity course. I have heard some of these tips, and practices from other sources, but never all put together in one place. Yes, some of what he says is a bit hokey, but try it before you knock it.

Diet & Food

I have also been a fan of Tim Ferris since I read his 4-Hour Workweek(affil link) several years ago. His ideas inside are incredibly appealing. When he came out with his 4-Hour Body(affil link) I bought it, and read through it immediately. After reading it, I tried out the diet, and lost 17 pounds over a month. After that I stopped due to life's other demands. A couple of months later the wife and I did it together for a month, and she lost 10 pounds. Not bad for a diet that pushes you not to exercise a lot.

Exercise & Metabolism

Exercise and I have had a love-hate relationship ever since college. Before college I was one of those kids who could eat whatever he wanted, drink a 2 liter of Mt. Dew everyday, and not get fat. As I entered college my metabolism slowed, but my eating didn't. Cmon, the cafeteria was a $5 buffet every meal. Even when I left the dorms, and got off the meal plan I still ate terrible. I started working at a Chinese Buffet, and later on a Pizza Hut. We ate out more than we ate in, and fried foods were always at the top of our list.

So, starting the second or third year of college, I noticed the mini-keg under my shirt, and began experimenting with this thing the jocks called exercise. I was over weight, and under muscled in the beginning. Also, gyms were a scary place. Top that off with the fact that all my friends were computer or music people, who didn't use the gym either. Being fat was the norm in my friend cicle, but I tried anyways. I started and stopped over and over through the years. I tried playing some basketball, I ran, I used the machines, and I looked angrily at the free weights. I tried all kinds of things, like P90X, yoga, and cardio Pilates with Ana Caban. I also read blogs, and books about the 100 push-up challenge, muscle gains, and how to train for a marathon. Some things worked and some things didn't. The biggest lesson I learned was whatever exercise plan you do, you have to give it a chance. In other words, stay with it for a few months. If I stuck with a plan for a few months, no matter which plan, they all worked to some degree.

The Schedule

So, I took all of the above experiences and picked the stuff I liked, and the stuff I think worked. I have created a schedule, and a meal plan.







07:00:00 AM Startup(morning) Ritual

07:30:00 AM Breakfast

12:00:00 PM Lunch

05:30:00 PM Small Meal/Big Snack

06:30:00 PM Exercise Activity

08:00:00 PM Dinner

10:00:00 PM Shutdown(evening) Ritual






I am trying to follow the four meal plan, instead of the traditional three, or the more intensive body builder six to ten times. I am mostly doing this for my wife. She gets hungry about every four hours, whereas I can forget to eat at all. Yesterday, for example the wife had to nag me into eating dinner, because I had already forgotten to eat lunch, and was over engrossed in FF XIII, and kept forgetting to stop at a save point.

We are again doing Tim's Slow Carb plan. We are trying to follow it as closely as possible, with Wednesday being our cheat day. As a substitute to cooking every meal, we are planning to use Soylent to replace meals occasionally. My guess is it will end up being our 5:30 Snack. Along with each meal, we will drink a glass of water. Yay hydration! 


Monday Morning: 7M Noon: 10M Aerobic Evening: 30M Stomach & Arms

Tuesday Morning: 7M Noon: 10M Aerobic Evening: 30M-1H Aerobic

Wednesday Morning: 7M Noon: 10M Aerobic Evening: 30M-1H Aerobic

Thursday Morning: 7M Noon: 10M Aerobic Evening: 30M Stomach & Arms

Friday Morning: 7M Noon: 10M Aerobic Evening: 30M-1H Aerobic

Saturday Wake: 7M Noon: 10M Aerobic Evening: 30M-1H Aerobic

Sunday Wake: 7M Noon: 10M Aerobic Evening: Free

This next chart is about our exercise schedule. The 7M means, 7 minutes of exercise. Specifically, to do that 7 Minute Scientific Workout as part of our wake up ritual. This workout is a little strenuous, but no to strenuous.

The noon 10M is about getting up and moving. It might only be five minutes, or it may be fifteen. We both work sedentary jobs, and sit for long periods of time. Any movement is a win. I plan to walk to the community center, and check the mail, or bike around the block. Nothing super strenuous. 

I am a bit worried about this last column. It is later in the evening, we are tired, and will power is at it's lowest. The hope is that when we knock out these exercises, then dinner will be our reward. I guess we will see what happens. I am sure you have already guessed, stomach == ab exercises. During my time doing the P90X, I really took a liking to their 15 minute ab routine. Even after I stopped that program, I continued to do the ab portion off and on. Over the years I have made some -small modifications to it, and I am very happy with what I currently do. Arms, is just some weight lifting. The aerobic will vary according to what we thing we need. It will probably include things like biking, long walks, jogging, and swimming.

Rituals?

So the rituals I mentioned, are meant to set the tone for each day. What I mean by tone is, ya know attitude, and focus. The whole morning ritual should take less than an hour. Today was our first day, and we had a few issues, but it still only took us about an hour and ten minutes. What I noticed this morning was that watching the news was a mixed blessing. Positive news made us happy, and bad news, made us talk about other bad news. I may cut out the news, and put our cool down talk during our meal. Here is a step by step, as I have it currently planned. 
  1. Drink a glass of water, and start the coffee maker.
  2. Do our 7M workout.
  3. While we cool down, we discuss what is the one most important thing each of us needs to accomplish today, and anything else important we need to focus on. 
  4. One of us showers while the other cooks breakfast. 
  5. We eat breakfast together while maybe talking more, or listening to the news. 
  6. Then the cook goes shower, and the other person does the dishes. 

The evening ritual is a bit less intense. The point of it is to reflect on our day, and get ready for bed. It involves talking about what we accomplished, any frustrations, or obstacles we had to overcome, and the usual stuff we do before bed like reading. I have no set time in mind for this, I am guessing it will take us less than 30 minutes, and hopefully the exercises will have tired us enough to make crashing easier.

Accountability

Just to recap, I Jeremy Carman, currently weigh 205.6 lbs, and I plan to loose 30 pounds by Oct 1st.  On Oct 1st, I will weight 175.6. Wish me luck, and feel free to tell me what changes to my routine you might make.