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MMAFreak's Long Road Cutting Journal

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MMAFreak
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MMAFreak's Long Road Cutting Journal « : January 24, 2018, 07:22:40 AM »
What's up everybody? This journal should have been started back in September when I first started undoing this whole fiasco I found myself dealing with. Let me summarize what's been going on and why this is necessary.

As you get older and the standard fare of life starts to set in such as getting married and having kids, you find yourself with less time and energy. Prior to getting married life had started getting busier in general. I was focusing more on my career and of course spending time with my then fiance going out with friends and trying to enjoy life. I maintained an average level of discipline with my diet and exercise but saw myself go from a lean 175lbs to a more filled out 200lbs. No big deal I thought. I'll just buy some new jeans. I stayed around this mark until my wedding and then packed on a few more pounds after I was married. Probably at that point sitting around 205lbs.

Fast forward about 10 months and my wife who was seven and a half months pregnant at the time was riding in the car with my stepson who had recently got his drivers license. As he proceeded to make a legal left turn at a green arrow a young girl on her phone blew through the red light and T-Boned them at the drivers side. My day went from normal to racing for a hospital almost 50 miles away in about half a second when I got the phone call. My wife had begun going into labor from the impact which they were able to stop by administering some IV medication. It kept the inevitable at bay for about a week before she went back into labor again.

When my son was born it was supposed to be the happiest moment of my life. For a brief moment it was the happiest day of my life until they immediately took my son over to the examining table and started hooking him up to various monitors and administering oxygen. The nurse explained that he was very labored in his breathing and they suspected his lungs were underdeveloped. So yeah...what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life turned into the scariest day of my life in an instant. I only got to place my hand on him for a brief moment before they wheeled him away. I wanted to lean down and whisper something loving in his ear but I couldn't even speak.

To keep what could be a really long story short I'll just say that my son spent the next 44 days in the NICU and my wife the next week since an emergency C Section had to be performed. I spent every waking moment making sure they had what they needed. Nothing about the experience seemed real because it was so far removed from my expectations of becoming a dad. Given that I basically lived in a hospital for a month and a half I ate most of my meals at the hospital cafeteria. Things like french fries and chicken strips became staples in my diet and it only got worse from there.

Even after we brought our son home I spent any free time I had as close to him as I could be. My eating habits just got worse and the modest amount of exercise I was getting became nonexistent. Move forward another two years and I'm sitting in my doctors office for a routine check up. My doc has never been one to sugarcoat anything and he looked me dead in the eyes and said "You're on pace to die in your 50's Jeff. You were always one of my patients that I never worried about but you have developed some really bad habits and they are slowly killing you." I knew I had let myself go but the reality of the situation had not really set in until that moment. Thinking about my son burying his dad in his late teens/early twenties and all the things I would miss if I didn't change was a terrifying and heart wrenching thought. I looked at the calendar on the wall and said to myself "September 12th is a day that you are always going to remember." I was 252 pounds and a depressed shell of what I once was.

I'm happy to say that rather than let any of this get me down I left with a blazing fire lit under my ass. I had made some feeble attempts at getting my health in order in the past two years but this time it was going to be different. It had to be different. I wasn't just doing this for myself anymore.

One of the biggest problems was that my nagging injuries from years of abusing my body had become pretty horrendous from putting on so much weight and neglecting my health. I knew that just going and lifting weights was not going to solve my problem and that I had to fix my body while simultaneously losing the weight. I knew I had to map this out from start to finish on how I was going to achieve my goal of going from 252 pounds to 180 pounds in less than a year. I figured my caloric needs and broke my program down into six week increments where I would weigh myself with a goal of losing 10 pounds at every six week weigh in. Seven phases at six weeks per phase losing a target of 10 pounds per phase. A total of 42 weeks is how I mapped my plan. Since I am now almost at the end of phase 3 I will give a brief summary of my diet structure and exercise regiment for Phase one and two. From here on I will log daily exercise and food 3-4 times per week.

Phase One - 9/24-11/5 2500 Calories Per Day

Like i said I had to fix my body and get to feeling well enough to get back to lifting. So I incorporated a LOT of yoga into this phase. Waking up at 4:30am every day so I could get an hour in prior to leaving for work. It was the smartest decision I could have made because in six weeks time my low back had improved drastically. I incorporated some steady state cardio and lifting into this phase but the main focus was on the flexibility and stability provided from yoga. I only missed a few days of yoga in phase one and incorporated my cardio and light lifting in the evenings when time allowed.

In terms of diet I just kept it simple by eating lots of whole foods and making a vow to stay away from fast food and takeout. I didn't really play with watching macros but just more so making sure my choices were always healthy and I didn't go over my daily calories. Nothing special. Just healthy food and making sure I burned more than I ate. I did try to be careful to not eat an excessive amount of carbs though.

I ended up losing 18 pounds in the first six weeks going from 252 pounds to 234 pounds.

Phase Two - 11/6-12/17 2360 Calories Per Day

I kept a strong emphasis on making Yoga an almost daily activity and getting more into it discovered just how taxing a workout it could really be. I maintained a fairly regular lifting schedule (3-4 days per week) throughout this phase as well but not pushing too hard and going too heavy. Towards the end I began swapping out some calisthenic circuits in place of my morning yoga.

I hit the Ketogenic dieting hard in phase two. Turns out that removing the bulk of the carbs from my diet (especially the sugars) only accelerated how well my low back and other injuries would start feeling over this six weeks. Between this and the constant work on flexibility and mobility I was feeling almost like I didn't have any chronic pain by the end of this phase. I'm sure the weight loss obviously plays a major role in the remedy of these injuries.

I ended up going from 234 pounds down to 223 pounds for a total of 11 pounds lost this go around and a total of 29 pounds in 12 weeks.

Phase Three 12/18-1/28 2220 Calories Per Day

I am nearing the end of phase three and I'm nervous that all the holiday cheer may have stifled my progress. Because of that fact I have in the last few weeks cut yoga back to 3 mornings per week and perform 3 30 minute calisthenic circuits (burpees, push ups, planks, etc) per week in the mornings. I have also incorporated using the Wendler 5/3/1 program as my lifting regiment (starting lighter than usual) to begin regaining my strength.

I switched from straight Keto in this phase to doing a more cyclic version. Basically I give myself one day a week to drop the fats lower and raise the carb intake a little bit.

My weigh in for this phase is this Sunday so I will update with where I land.

Phase Four - 1/29-3/11 2080 Calories Per Day

Phase Five - 3/12-4/22 1940 Calories Per Day

Phase Six - 4/23-6/3 1800 Calories Per Day]

Phase Seven - 6/4-7/15 1660 Calories Per Day

This hasn't been easy and I'm sure it will get harder before it is over. But my resolve to show my son that health is important and that a man takes care of himself is as solid as any. Sorry for how long of a read this was and thanks if you actually hung in there for the whole thing. By the end of this Journal and my 42 weeks I hope that this will serve not only as motivation for others but as a cautionary tale to not letting what is important fall by the wayside. If you don't take care of your health you will never be able to take care of the people you love.

Given that I have rambled on long enough I will just go ahead and wait until tomorrow to post anything about nutrition and exercise. I hope that you guys stick around to see what happens in the coming months.

-Jeff
Nobody cares. Work harder.

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DaSlaya
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« Reply #1: January 24, 2018, 07:31:04 AM »
Wow, powerful read!  Its always great to hear what motivates people to aspire to be the best person they are, no matter how sad or tragic the story.  Lets be honest, the happy stories in our life never aid us in re-forming ourselves. Your diet looks like its going to get tough, but it appears you are crushing it so far.  You are ahead of your goals already (10 pounds per phase)m so if the holidays got ya and you only lose 1 pound it doesn't matter, your still on track!  I look forward to checking in on this journal and best of luck to you!
-Chris


Wis3guy
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« Reply #2: January 24, 2018, 07:31:31 AM »
Life throws us some crap.  I hear you and I will watch how you progress.  Keep going and stay focused.  You are doing really good so far.  I would watch your calorie goals though.  That last faze of 1660 seems a little low.  You want something that is sustainable so you don't go back up once you get the work finished.


Clipper83
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« Reply #3: January 24, 2018, 08:05:59 AM »
In, great to have you back here.
If you can't explain it using simple words, you don't understand it well enough.


ExAdmin
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« Reply #4: January 24, 2018, 08:10:50 AM »
Nothing about the experience seemed real because it was so far removed from my expectations of becoming a dad.

Oh man.  I think I felt my first emotion in a while.  I didn't realize I still had those.

I was 252 pounds and a depressed shell of what I once was.

Woah.  That's some serious weight.  I thought you were going to be going from 200 or 205 back down to 175. 

I'm happy to say that rather than let any of this get me down I left with a blazing fire lit under my ass.

At this point, "Eye of the Tiger" started playing in my head as I was reading.

I ended up losing 18 pounds in the first six weeks going from 252 pounds to 234 pounds.

...

I ended up going from 234 pounds down to 223 pounds for a total of 11 pounds lost this go around and a total of 29 pounds in 12 weeks.

Dude, that is some serious progress.  Honestly one of the most inspiring journals here on SR.  You've shared an emotional story, set out a detailed, long-term plan and have already started making some serious progress.

Turns out that removing the bulk of the carbs from my diet (especially the sugars) only accelerated how well my low back and other injuries would start feeling over this six weeks. Between this and the constant work on flexibility and mobility I was feeling almost like I didn't have any chronic pain by the end of this phase.

This is interesting.  So removing the bulk of carbs and sugars you think is really helping with inflammation?  I might have to give something like this a go.

- Tommy


MMAFreak
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« Reply #5: January 24, 2018, 08:12:11 AM »
Wow, powerful read!  Its always great to hear what motivates people to aspire to be the best person they are, no matter how sad or tragic the story.  Lets be honest, the happy stories in our life never aid us in re-forming ourselves. Your diet looks like its going to get tough, but it appears you are crushing it so far.  You are ahead of your goals already (10 pounds per phase)m so if the holidays got ya and you only lose 1 pound it doesn't matter, your still on track!  I look forward to checking in on this journal and best of luck to you!

Thanks man! Unfortunately the most growth as a person does happen when things get tough. I haven't been perfect by any means with my diet thus far but I'm damn happy with the results. I'm hoping for more in the neighborhood of seven pounds this phase but it is true that even one pound puts me on track. :)

Life throws us some crap.  I hear you and I will watch how you progress.  Keep going and stay focused.  You are doing really good so far.  I would watch your calorie goals though.  That last faze of 1660 seems a little low.  You want something that is sustainable so you don't go back up once you get the work finished.

Indeed life does have a tendency to throw a curve ball now and then. I'm really just thankful every day that my family is healthy because if you saw the car they were in, it could have been so much worse. (they had to cut the driver door off to get my stepson out) And yeah the last leg is really low but after dieting down for 42 straight weeks I'm going to have to really keep at it and go to some extremes to keep the weight coming off. Or the other option is that if I can keep exceeding my goals I can just skip the last six weeks and do it in 36 instead of 42. :)
Nobody cares. Work harder.


MMAFreak
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« Reply #6: January 24, 2018, 08:21:29 AM »
In, great to have you back here.

It's damn good to be back man. This place was once a shrine of inspiration in my life and it has been since my return. Hoping that I can inspire a few people along the way also.
Nobody cares. Work harder.


MMAFreak
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« Reply #7: January 24, 2018, 08:28:22 AM »
Oh man.  I think I felt my first emotion in a while.  I didn't realize I still had those.

Woah.  That's some serious weight.  I thought you were going to be going from 200 or 205 back down to 175. 

At this point, "Eye of the Tiger" started playing in my head as I was reading.

Dude, that is some serious progress.  Honestly one of the most inspiring journals here on SR.  You've shared an emotional story, set out a detailed, long-term plan and have already started making some serious progress.

This is interesting.  So removing the bulk of carbs and sugars you think is really helping with inflammation?  I might have to give something like this a go.



Emotional indeed. I still get a little glassed in the eyes just talking about some of this stuff. Progress always comes easier in the beginning and by the end you're working your ass off for every last inch of progress you make. This is why I don't really consider myself ahead even though I am technically ahead of pace on my weight loss. I know the last two phases are going to beat me down and I need to be going in as far ahead of the game as possible.

And sugars definitely drive inflammation. A healthy person not eating much in the way of refined carbs/sugars may not notice as big a difference but if you're overweight and eating lots of them you are going to feel great by removing them from your diet. Look up research by Dr.Rhonda Patrick on the negative effects of refined carbs/sugars. I can tell you that the science is definitely sound because it made a very noticeable difference in how I felt.

And I might be enough of a dork to still have Eye of the Tiger in my Itunes workout playlist.  :D
Nobody cares. Work harder.


mhseaver670
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« Reply #8: January 24, 2018, 01:04:42 PM »
Good stuff. I can relate to the NICU adventures.
My kids was in there too. One for 2 months, and one for little over 3 months.   Felt like an eternity. 
Was a very long road for us and a very long time after that too. I got fat,, divorced, depressed from kids moving out of state and all that poo too. Came back, peeed off at life and have become a better father, ( kids moved back with me. And have full custody now)  and I have a passion for working out.

Great start to a great log. And congratulations on the new addition.   

What yoga do you do? Like a video? YouTube? Or something you come up with?
Maybe you should TRAIN as hard as you HATE.

"Getting stuck isn't always an option but staying stuck is!" - Cam


JayT
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« Reply #9: January 24, 2018, 01:22:46 PM »
Sorry for everything you've went through. Glad you're back on here though and excited to see how you progress along the way.


MMAFreak
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« Reply #10: January 24, 2018, 01:44:39 PM »
Good stuff. I can relate to the NICU adventures.
My kids was in there too. One for 2 months, and one for little over 3 months.   Felt like an eternity. 
Was a very long road for us and a very long time after that too. I got fat,, divorced, depressed from kids moving out of state and all that poo too. Came back, peeed off at life and have become a better father, ( kids moved back with me. And have full custody now)  and I have a passion for working out.

Great start to a great log. And congratulations on the new addition.   

What yoga do you do? Like a video? YouTube? Or something you come up with?

That's rough man. Nothing worse than your kids being in the hospital. Time seems to stand still. I'm glad you got back on a positive path and especially that your kids moved in with you. That's awesome!

I use an app called Down Dog on my smartphone. It works really well as you can customize the length, intensity and focus of your program each day. There is a definite learning curve to doing yoga and in all honesty I'm probably not doing everything 100% correct. I just can't bring myself to go to an actual class. I love the practice of yoga but I'm not really a huge fan of the culture that surrounds yoga. LOL
Nobody cares. Work harder.


MMAFreak
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« Reply #11: January 24, 2018, 01:48:14 PM »
Sorry for everything you've went through. Glad you're back on here though and excited to see how you progress along the way.

No worries man. I doubt I would have ever had half of the appreciation that I do when things are good without going through some really tough times. But my boy is not only not small from being a premie, but he is actually in the 86th percentile for height and 88th percentile for weight for his age. I joke with my wife and tell her he would have permanently destroyed her vag if he went full term and didn't have a c section. She usually throws something at me when I say this but its worth it. LOL Glad you're following man!
Nobody cares. Work harder.


ExAdmin
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« Reply #12: January 24, 2018, 04:47:03 PM »
I just can't bring myself to go to an actual class.

Yeah but girls in yoga pants though. 

Seriously though, I've been to one yoga class so I feel like I'm an expert on this.  I thought it was good to have an instructor there to call you out on anything you were doing flat-out wrong.  But some of the poses aren't the most modest...
- Tommy


kaka
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« Reply #13: January 25, 2018, 01:33:15 AM »
I will be watching! You have gone through a lot....but hey you have managed it despite the difficulties! I hope things will get better...


Wis3guy
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« Reply #14: January 25, 2018, 02:04:42 AM »
I myself have only done yoga from p90x.  However my student who is in his 50s has been doing yoga for over a year.  He started to help with muscle pliability, and help to not pull muscles.  He says it works for him.

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