Man it was hot today! Hot! Hot! Like August hot!
The heat today was borderline unbearable, it was actually hotter yesterday, yet I think having this type of heat two days in a row when the weather normally is in the mid to high 60’s just makes it seem unbearable. The thought of an extremely hot summer, and the fact it reached the 90’s two days in a row, with the peak heat of summer still three months away is a daunting thought.
I don’t know if the heat helped, but staying on track with my eating wasn’t a problem today. I also think the prescription change from glipizide to glucophage is also helping to curb my appetite. The endocrinologist, told me that glucophage is a medication used with type two diabetics who are trying to lose weight because it has some appetite suppressing effects.
In reference to my meals, I was told today by a friend of mine, that the Cliff Builders Bars that I’ve been eating for breakfast might not be the best choice. The protein in a Builders Bar comes from soy beans, and he told me that Asian people naturally produce more estrogen when consuming protein from soy. I don’t know how true this statement is, but maybe that’s why I have recently had a sudden urge to buy lots of shoes, and I’ve had a strange urge to watch the Twilight Movies with my girlfriends.
It shows how difficult it is to make good food choices. Who the hell thought eating food would be so fucking hard. While the ingredients in a Cliff Builders Bar are a better choice than most other meal replacement bars, it’s clear that the bar is racist and may not be the best choice for an Asian Make trying to build muscle, but might be good for an Asian Male looking to figure skate.
My workout session with Ali today was focused on lifting. The primary focus was on the chest and triceps. I warmed up on the treadmill for 5 minutes, doing a few sprints.
In starting our session he had lay on a resistance ball and do dumbbell chest presses. My first set was with 35lbs, where I did 25 reps. The next set we moved up to 45 lbs, and 15 reps. Set three was with 50 lbs and 15 reps. Sets four and five, I used a 50 lb dumbbell to alternate my chest presses.
From the dumbbell chest presses, we moved into doing chest presses with a cable machine, pressing outward with one arm, and then moving into a cable fly with the same machine. After the cable flys, Ali had me do some triceps extensions, and closed grip pushups against a railing, and two sets of bench press burnouts.
There were a few sets of TRX push-ups, and triceps extensions, and a new exercise with the Reebok slide, which seemed to be similar to a dumbbell fly. This new exercise sucks, and it puts stress on my bad shoulder.
At the end of the hour my chest was throbbing, it has been a week since my last chest workout. Regardless of how I felt physically mentally it was a major win as I thought I was getting weaker from not lifting enough.
From my session with Ali I went right into my Cardio workout on the Arc Trainer. I did a session of Cardio Intervals (eight :30 steps up, with seven :30 steps down, and two sprints), I ended up doing 4 cycles of intervals, increasing the resistance the same way each cycle going up by 10 from level 30. Each cycle I varied the incline levels, starting at level 6 for the first cycle and finishing at level 20 on the last cycle. My goal was to keep the speed up as much as I could, so I watched the blinking lights on the screen of the machine closely trying to keep the bars up as high as I could. After an hour I was pooped. I did a quick stretch routine and walked back home.
Chalk up another day of victory for this guy. I’m thinking I will drop some weight this week, I can feel my clothes a little loser, and my shirts are starting to feel bigger. Oh, sweet 300 I can taste you like the Peking Duck from Peking Gourmet which I love so much. I think when I get to 300 I will treat myself to some duck, perhaps this time I won’t eat an entire duck on my own.
Maybe the book I’m reading is starting to give me this idea, or maybe my body is sending my messages sublimely, but the thought of sustainability is overtaking my thoughts. I realize the two hour workouts 4 days a week, and three hour workouts on 1 day a week are not a long term sustainable plan, in fact I don’t even know if it’s a short term feasible plan. I know that the change in my food consumption has changed significantly, which is the main reason I am losing weight, I also understand the workouts are just accelerating my weight loss. If I alter my plan can I still lose 5-7 lbs a week? Probably not, I want to get down to a real workable weight, and I don’t want to wait until tomorrow. This drive is what pushes me through my workouts, and gets me past the feelings of wanting to give up. The question will eventually become what is an acceptable rate of loss over the long term curve.
Once I get to a number comfortably below 300 I think I will have the courage to stop murdering myself every week. I have an appointment this week with a trainer to act as my strength and conditioning coach to give me a program which cycles my workouts, and takes full advantage of my efforts. I want to optimize my work levels. I have made up in my mind that I want to climb mountains again, and that desire will fuel my fitness level for the rest of my life. I can think of few other endeavors where you push your body to its ultimate breaking point, and find ways to break through it. I think many alpinists will tell you that the bulk of what they do is fight through their own demons to overcome the elements, and Mother Nature’s obstacles.
A quick note on my current chapter of Omnivores Dilemma, I am still reading about Organic, and Industrialized Organic Foods. If organic farming has two objectives I think the first would be to provide consumers with foods which are less processed, and aren’t corrupted by synthetics, the second would be a farming method which creates sustainability, and harmony with the environment. On the first objective I think most industrialized organic farms accomplish 90% of that goal. In a recent UC Davis study they have shown that organic produce retains more essential vitamins and nourishment then just regular industrialized farming. Having only barely reached the goal on the first point, I think the question to ask is at what cost?
Pollen in his book writes that it takes 7 calories of fossil fuel energy to deliver 1 calorie of food energy to the end consumer. It’s made me realize that when choosing what I eat where it comes from is just as important as how it was produced. Having the same produce year round has a major cost to it. Is it really necessary to have asparagus in the middle of winter, when we know it’s a spring time vegetable? What is the long term cost of having that veggie shipped 5000-6000 miles from South America to your local Whole Foods?
If sustainability is the second goal of organic farming, the mega industrialized organic farms are no better than their counterparts. In fact if you include the diesel fuel used to cart fertilizer from (rather than using the composted fertilizer generated by the animals that live on a truly organic farm) other regions to an organic farm the energy expenditure is identical. I have over simplified the points made by Michael Pollen, at the same time I firmly believe the commercialization of organic foods has helped bring them into the mainstream and given us the end consumer the ability to choose higher quality foods, yet I’m not sure if the cost is worth it only time will tell.
A quick side note industrialized organic farms most of the time have better farming practices, because they don’t use synthetic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers which seep into the ground water, yet their practices when it comes to the meats we eat only seem slightly better, like I should only slightly consider wearing a thong for a swimsuit.
My relationship with food is changing daily, and this is the change which I needed the most to become lean. I may soon become a hippie and tell everyone eat locally, meaning buy your foods as close to home from small farms as possible.