Looking for Answers and My Abs

Indiana Jones couldn't find my abs
Indiana Jones couldn’t find my abs

The fat guy showed up in the mirror again. I don’t know when, I don’t know why, but he’s back. And I absolutely hate the bastard.

After I completed Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred program from www.bodybuilding.com I liked what I saw but I thought I could benefit from going through the program again. My stomach was still too big and round. A weekend trip to Disney and a work trip to Los Angeles, a little bit of rest, and I’d hit it again. I have thought about signing up so I could get some advice at that web site, but I am tired of signing up for this, downloading that.

Something weird happened during the three weeks I was off the grid with weight lifting – I lost weight. Yep, I lost weight. I came back under 186 pounds. After hovering between 187-191, I was under 186.

A second planned oral surgery got in the way as did work and life so I only did a few of the workouts before resigning myself to cardio roughly every other day. I checked my Nike running app and realized I hadn’t run much of late, so I’ve been trying to run a little more often.

I asked some people I trust and some people who know such things, professionals as it were, about why I have not lost significant weight in six months. It seems to me I should be a lot further along than 50 pounds down in 18 months.

After using My Fitness Pal to log my food for four days last week and having professionals analyze it for me, it has been determined that I have my carbohydrate and protein intake backwards. I thought I was doing well, I thought I was eating the right things. Aside from the occasional pizza indulgence, I haven’t been eating unhealthy, just too many carbs and not enough protein. My meals aren’t the problem, my snacks are. I am convinced that I need to eat something every few hours to keep my metabolism going and to keep from gorging at mealtime. Just about all of my snacks, even the ones that are high in protein, contain too many carbs.

Now, I am not an anti-carb fanatic. I am a believer in carbs for energy. However, if I want to resume trying to lose the 8-10 pounds I still want to lose, I need to flip my carbs and protein intake.

A few adjustments later and the scale read a new low – 185.2. And of course, my weight popped right back up to 188. Either the scale is inaccurate, I’m retaining water, Lord only knows.

Back to the body image issues. So, I think I look better when I am lifting weights just about every day, especially during the Shortcut to Shred program. I had much more muscle definition and my stomach didn’t seem as flabby. I actually think if I could get rid of my belly fat I’d be happy at this weight. Someone told me a couple months ago that I look like a “regular” guy. I took that as the compliment it was intended to be.

You would think after 18 months, I would understand my body better, you’d think I’d know what I was doing at this point. I’m angry, I’m confused, and I don’t know what to do next. I won’t use pills or supplements, I take a lot of pride in the fact that the only dietary help I’ve gotten is from whey protein.

I watched an episode of Extreme Weight Loss on ABC recently. As thrilled as I was for the gentleman featured on the show, I was angry. This guy lost 200 pounds in 12 months. You read that right, 200 pounds in 12 months. Don’t get me wrong, I was blown away by his story and his accomplishments, but I was pissed.

I will admit I don’t have the kind of time to work out more than hour a day or so. I sit in the car for almost three hours a day and I am an accomplished desk pilot.

I have struggled to lose 50 pounds in 18 months. Did smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 18 years (I quit six years ago) mess up my metabolism that bad? Is my sleep apnea a big metabolism slower as well? Why is it so hard for me? I eat 2,000 calories or less per day, exercise fairly religiously now, avoid foods I used to consume on a daily basis (I do have my cheats and indulgences), and I have been on the plateau from hell for six months. I know I sound all woe is me, but I seriously don’t understand. Nothing makes me angrier than feeling stupid.

I like pie
I like pie.

Hopefully this new advice about carbs and protein turns things around. I am angry, frustrated and fed up. It’s not like I’m going to go eat a complete apple pie covered in half a gallon of ice cream (even though that does sound tempting) and give up exercise. Healthy diet and exercise are my lifestyle now.

It’s funny. After doing that six-week Shortcut to Shred program, the old 007 Daniel Craig workouts I used to do just aren’t enough anymore. I guess I could add weight, but I burn through one of those workouts in 25 minutes. I did one recently and I was underwhelmed. Those Shortcut to Shred deals are a full hour, every time.

No critters out on the running trails to tell of. No vultures, squirrels, coyotes, snakes or spiders, just suburbanites, some of whom who have the same goals as your humble narrator.

As much information is available here on the Interwebs, and from the people in and around my life, you would think I would understand what the hell is going on with my physiology. But, since I’m not going back to school to pursue a degree in exercise science or nutrition, I’ll keep throwing stuff at the wall and see what sticks (to the wall, not my abs).

Speaking of my abs, I think I saw them on the back of a milk carton. They certainly are not below my chest and above my…belt. Short of taking out an Amber Alert I guess I’ll keep trying to play Indiana Jones and find them under this layer of fat.

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6 thoughts on “Looking for Answers and My Abs

  1. Thanks for sharing. I feel like abs are the holy grail for fitness, I’ve spent years trying to obtain them. Since drinking green tea and making meals ‘boring’ i.e. just eating a protein item on its own I am starting to see some definition!

  2. I know the struggle and frustration! Have you tried any apps like Nike Training Club? You can sign in using your Nike + running app account and pick a new workout every day depending on what your goal is, how long you want to work out, and more if you need some fresh ideas or need to change it up. I’ve also heard that abs are made in the gym but shown in the kitchen… 70-80% what you eat and 20-30% exercise. If you just thought to yourself, “that sucks,” I’m right there with you. Lol great post 🙂

      1. What I’ve found is… there is no universal answer that is going to work for everyone. That makes it really hard to figure out what the one thing (or worse, what combination of things) is that is going to work for you! Pilates 6 days a week and regular cardio has been working for me lately! (But I do different workouts every single day – it’s constantly changing, so I think that has A LOT to do with it.)

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