Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Plan

Here's the problem: I don't know much about exercise or nutrition. I mean, I'm a fairly intelligent person and I know a few things, but not a lot. What I really want is for someone to just stand next to me all day and tell me when to work out, what to eat, what not to eat. Since that is not going to happen unfortunately I need some plan.

About two weeks ago I joined the gym. Maybe three weeks ago. Another of my goals is to gain some upper body strength. I've never been able to do a pullup, so doing so is one of my goals. I know that drastic changes in routine and diet tend to not last with me, so I'm trying to slowly change all of my bad habits.

I'm going to the gym three days a week. While there I do about 20 minutes of cardio, and about 30 minutes of lifting. Upper body stuff mostly.

I've also been trying to watch what I eat, and limit the really nasty things that are high in sugar and saturdated fats.

All of this is great, but I still feel like I have no clear goals, and I don't really know what I'm doing. There is so much information out there about nutrition and exercise that its overwhelming. When I start to think about it and do research, I realize I'm spending all of my time doing just that, when instead I should be working out and eating correctly.

So for now, forget all that. Here is my plan.

Exercise: I'm going to continue to lift weights 2-3 days a week. At the minimum, every Tuesday and Thursday after work. I'm going to do some form of cardio activity 20-30 minutes every morning, Monday through Friday. In addition to these two things I make it a point to do one thing every weekend that I enjoy that involves physical activity. This past weekend it was white water rafting. One weekend it was going on a hike. One time it was riding my bicycle 30 miles. Whatever.

Intake: I pack my lunch for work every day but Friday. On Fridays I go out with some friends from work, but order the healthiest thing on the menu. I pack a lot of small healthy things in my lunch so basically i'm eating small meals thoughout the day. I have things like low fat yogurt, soy milk with no fat, tune fish, bananas, apples, and sometimes these 100 calorie snacks from weight watchers. I sometimes eat "lean cuisines" and things like that when I forget or don't have time to pack my lunch.

This Blog: This is my newest plan to aid in my weight loss development. This blog will get updated weekly with my weight. Today for the first time I weighed myself (296.5lbs) and took pics of what I look like (gulp). I won't be posting the pics until I can show some inprovement. I will post in this blog with updates at the very least, weekly. I work as a web developer and spend a lot of time on a computer, so bringing this entire thing into that world will hopefully make it easier to keep up with my progress, and stay on track. The blog is here because I realize that in order to be successful my biggest hurdle to overcome is mental. I hope seeing my own progress and maybe sharing it with others will help me in that regard.

Overall: I'm sure my plan will change over time, and that is fine as long as I am working on getting to my goals. Right now, I'm not even sure what goal i want to achieve from a numbers point of view, just that I want to look better. So I've picked 215 pounds out of the air as a weight that seems like it would be good for me. But right now, I'm just concentrating on eating the right things, and working out while still having a good time at this. I really feel that it is time for less talk, and more action, so I don't really have much more to say.
Talk to you soon.


billy said...

Read through the Metabolism Advantage, and do exactly as it says. That will put you light years ahead and help you enormously.

You can do this man, the changes you've already made I'm sure are helping enormously.

Good luck!

Kristen said...

You sure have a great plan in place for someone that claims to not know a lot about nutrition and fitness.

Ultimately, you should be trying to incorporate all of these things into a lifestyle that you can maintain indefinitely. (Sounds like you're already doing this.)The weight will come off - just stick with it.

Glad to have you here. Good luck!

Beck said...

A web developer, eh? I envy your patience!!

Anyway, VERY good goals to have! The key is making small goals. As you reach each one, it'll fuel you to keep going. It's good stuff.

Best of luck! I look forward to seeing that weight drop. :)

Oh, and one more thing...when you make mistakes, it's not failure. Just get back up and keep moving forward. This has been one of the biggest lessons for me to learn.

Rob Tucker said...

I really like this approach for you. Learn what your body does right, and learn what it doesn't like. Just don't let yourself cheat.

Also, of course come to us with questions - we were just like you when you started, but remember, no doctors in this bunch.

Best of luck to you, man. You can.. and WILL, do this!

Ripx180 said...

Lots of good advise here and from what I read you have a good plan of attack. The one thing I did read that stuck out for me is that you are doing mostly upper body. Don't forget your legs man, they are the biggest muscle groups in your body. The more muscle mass you have the more calories and fat you burn sitting on your bum. Plus it wont hurt your performance for things you like to do on the weekends. Like Rob said I am no trainer or Dr but have read many times Legs are very important.

Anyway looking forward to watching another FAT member succeed and seeing/reading about a whole lot less of you (lbs) in the future.

Jay said...

You're right, it is mostly mental, and the blogs have helped me tremendously with that aspect of it.

Good luck, we're here to support you.

Sharon said...

Brian, I haven't been a part of this blog for very long but I've learned a lot - mostly that you need a support group to keep you motivated.

Take a look at www.calorie-count.com. I learned about this site here - and it has helped me weed out the bad foods I thought were good foods.


Beck said...

To add to Rip's comment, don't forget your back, either. Building everything else up and leaving out core exercises can lead to injuries (or so I've heard). :)

Kristen said...

Good point, Beck.

billy said...

How's everything going?

Kristen said...

hi - did we scare you away?

Brian said...

Sorry, you didn’t scare me away. I've read every post over the past few days, but I actually didn’t realize I could post follow up comments :) I dumd, what can I say.

I really appreciate all the support that appears to be out there. I think I made a great decision by starting this blog.

To reply to a few things:

My Back:
I didn’t mention that I do work out my upper and lower back. Its part of my routine. I just kind of included that when I said I work my "upper body".

My Legs:
Here's the thing. I feel like my legs are in pretty good shape and I don't really want to gain any mass in them. Endurance has always been the thing I've been good at, so I work my legs by riding the bike at the gym or at the park. I'm not saying this approach is the best and it might change in the future, but right now I just really wanted to concentrate on my upper body.

Once again, thanks for all the support!


billy said...

You should still work your legs with compound movement exercises like the squat and deadlift. These 2 exercises have been shown to post the most dramatic increases in Growth Hormone and Testosterone, the 2 hormones that will help you most to gain lean mass (all over your body) and lose fat.

Believe me, don't neglect those key leg exercises. I have very strong legs too, but in the end, you want to train your body evenly for the best look and function.

Brian said...

ok, I'll add legs to the workout.