42 weeks: Fitness updates

I’ve been looking over the events of the past 10 months, trying to recognize the milestones I’ve reached. Truth be told, most of it’s been a blur.

Every Saturday morning since the beginning of February this year, I’ve stepped on a scale to check my weight loss progress. This weekend’s total weight was 225.8 lbs (102.42 kg). That’s a drop of 77.2 lbs. (35.02 kg) in 42 weeks.

Forty-two might seem like an insignificant number (other than being the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything), but it dawned on me that I’m 10 weeks away from completing the first full year of my mind and body transformation.

So, I wanted to give you an update on how far I’ve come.

Stick around for 10 more weeks and I promise to show some pictures. :)

Hitting goals

In July, I wrote an article with my thoughts on goals. In that article, I put myself on a 12-week plan, which involved adding money to a “wardrobe fund” for each goal I hit throughout those 12 weeks.

I’m a little late on updating you with the results, but I’m happy to announce that my wardrobe fund is pretty full. I managed to hit a number of weekly and overall goals, saving a total of $840 USD.

During that 12-week span I managed a few physical changes:

  • Dropped 18.2 lbs. (8.26 kg).
  • Lost 6.125 inches (15.6 cm) from my waist (belly button).
  • Lost 4.625 inches (11.7 cm) from my waist (hips).
  • Lost 2.25 inches (5.7 cm) from my chest.
  • Finished a 5K race and starting training for a 10K.
  • Got quite a bit stronger in my weight lifting.

As I was clearing out my closet to make room for new clothes a few weeks ago, I was reminded of a comment that Nathan Rice left on another blog post of mine. Rather than spending the $840 on new clothes for myself, I made a few decisions:

  • Put the $840 toward my Christmas fund so that I could get my friends and family a little bit extra this year.
  • Give away all my old clothes to others in need. Basically, this meant giving them to my grandmother so that she could pass them out to less fortunate people in our family and in her neighborhood.
  • Tell my family members my new pants and shirt sizes and hope that they'll get me new clothes for Christmas.

Overall updates

Since February, I’ve completely transformed my life. So, here’s a few fun facts:

  • My beginning weight was 303 lbs. (137.44 kg).
  • My current weight is 225.8 lbs. (102.42 kg).
  • In February, I couldn't walk up a small hill without being short of breath.
  • I completed my first 5K race in September.
  • I finished training for a 10K run just this past Thursday (November 17).
  • I can now squat 405 lbs. (183.7 kg) and deadlift 450 lbs. (204.12 kg), which is twice my body weight. This is a true 1RM, not an everyday max.
  • I haven't had an alcoholic beverage since January 1, 2011 (not that I was a big drinker anyway).
  • I've only had three sodas to drink (and nothing other than water, milk, and juice) since February.
  • I pig out every Saturday, usually eating pizza, hamburgers, or whatever my grandmother has cooked up if I'm visiting her.
  • I don't count every calorie in every meal, but I do follow a pretty simple diet plan for most meals: Animal, Plant, Water.
  • I haven't missed a single day of planned exercise since I started in February. However, I did miss one weight training session due to other obligations, but I fit in a 30-minute run that morning to make up for it.

The future

When I started, my main goals were to have better overall health and beach-ready abs. However, my goals have been changing. I still want great health, but I’ve learned to enjoy other things such as the 5K race I competed in. I’m even getting back into powerlifting again. A year from now I might have a weight meet or two under my belt.

I definitely plan to keep better track of changes to my body to help others in the future. There are some things that I only recently started tracking such as blood pressure and body-part measurements. Weight loss isn’t everything.

My immediate plan is to start the Smolov Squat Routine, which is this crazy squat program written by a Russian powerlifter. I’ve been mentally and physically preparing myself to take on this 13-week cycle for the past few weeks. I’m even taking a complete vacation this week so that my body and mind can handle the load. I’ll save the details of this for the next post though.

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing about cardio work in the near future. I’ll probably have to cut back for a couple of weeks at the very least to readjust to the Smolov squat plan, so that’ll give me time to evaluate what I want to do. I’m open to suggestions though.

That’s my story after 42 weeks. Stay tuned as I near the end of my first full year.