Fitness Quest — Now In Decaf!

First the numbers: 193 pounds with 23.8% body fat.

That’s pretty damn awesome given how things have panned out in the past. The last couple of times I’ve gone on a Fitness Quest, I’d hit a plateau at 200 pounds. Usually after a while I’d start getting frustrated and life would step in with distractions and I’d stray from the Quest.

Now I’m close to the weight I had back in college. Like I said, damn awesome.

Here’s the plot twist. Back in February I decided to try a weight loss supplement to help get the body fat down (all over the counter, nothing sinister). It took a while, but it started working. Then yesterday, acid reflux reared its ugly head.

This problem cropped up last July. I was at CONvergence at the time, and I had attributed it to something I ate at the con. Then at GenCon I paused to take a swig from a fresh bottle of Coke Zero. The pain that hit my stomach made me wonder if I needed to seek out medical attention. When it wouldn’t go away, I sought out a doctor — a story in itself given I hadn’t picked a primary care provider. I was worried it might be something serious. After getting some blood work done while seeing a specialist, it was, as I said, acid reflux. The specialist recommended I try reducing fatty foods and my caffeine intake. That did the trick, and life went on with only a cup of tea at breakfast and a can of Coke Zero at lunch.

Now back to the present. That supplement I was taking included a “metabolism enhancer.” The main ingredient? Straight up sapho, my friends. 200 mg of it. I knew this when I started taking it, being mindful of the potential problems that could arise. Sure enough, it kicked up yesterday, faded, then returned this morning when I took another dose.

My hypothesis is that as my weight dropped, so did my tolerance for caffeine. In the past I’ve experienced my tolerance for alcohol drop with my weight, so I would imagine it would be a similar effect with stimulants. Going back to GNC, I asked what would make a decent substitute. I got two options, and after doing a little research on the interwebs, I decided that the one that didn’t have all the currently trendy and unproven ingredients would make the better choice.

It’s not exactly back to square one — actually it’s not a set back at all. The workouts continue and my diet is still proving fruitful. I had my Sanchin tested Tuesday night and I was surprised. Apparently I didn’t know how much strength hds come back, and not just from  muscle but form and condition.

I’m still not there yet. About two weeks ago, Dan (our Sensei) had a bunch of us do some drills focusing on our legs. It was only three sets of exercises: punches from horse stance (singles, then doubles, then triples), iterative sets of front kicks (one, then one-two, etc), and finally squats and kicks. By the end my legs were quaking, my stance faltering. Dan commented that I needed more conditioning for my legs, so guess what I added to my routine at the gym?

That got me thinking a little further. What else could I do? I need to develop better stamina in my muscles (this is, of course, before my pending leg routine at the gym). I also need to become a little more flexible. So I’m starting to add yoga to my routine. I picked up a beginner’s DVD, while Mom found one geared for martial artists, so I’ll be bouncing back and forth between the two depending on when I do the routines. I’m also considering pilates, since that’s geared towards strength. That’s for a later time, though — I need to get used to some yoga poses first.

Next step: get down to 190 and stay there in time for C2E2. Not looking to impress anybody. Just hoping to get in condition for a cheat day on the diet. Deep dish pizza awaits!

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