Tag Archives: diet

Strength & Wisdom

Over the past 12 months I’ve been on a journey to redefine myself mentally, physically and emotionally. I have changed my diet, many of my habits and focused on being healthier and happier overall. I am at the point now where I feel confident in myself physically and mentally, and that I’d like to start sharing some of the insights I’ve gathered along the way. This site is my opportunity to do that, and as I have already been sharing many of my thoughts here, won’t be too much of a stretch. Moving forward, the format the site is likely to change a bit – as are the topics covered – but expect the same snarky attitude I’ve always had.

Strength
One of the biggest changes I’ve focused on over the last 6 months has been changing my physical appearance and abilities. During college I stopped caring about what I looked like. I put on weight, and while I was never weak, never put much thought into my strength. About 12 months ago I decided to change all that and adopted a paleo way of eating/lifestyle. The WOE didn’t immediately take, I cheated a lot and didn’t see much weight loss/change until I really focused down on it about seven months ago. That’s when I joined the Nerd Fitness “Rebellion” and kickstarted my fitness, nutrition and lifestyle learning.

This pushed me into high gear. I started working out multiple times a week, focusing on cleaning up my diet even more and on improving other bad habits I had picked up over the last decade or so. Many of you know I quit smoking a few years back, but I had many other bad habits that needed to be cut, or at least backed off on. Over the last seven months I’ve stopped ordering takeout as much, cut back on drinking, focused on getting adequate sleep, made sure I’m eating enough food every day and get enough physical exercise every week. Because of this I’ve lost 50 pounds (total over the last year), and started seeing some real improvements in my strength. I started off doing a body weight-based workout every day, then joined a gym in September and started lifting. In January I started Stronglifts 5×5, which is a progressive strength training program, and I’m lifting double the weight I used to. The overall idea is that you do five sets of five reps, in 5 basic, compound lifts, increasing the weight by 5 pounds every workout. It works… impressively. More on that at a later date though.

Honor
Strength (fitness, nutrition and health) is nothing without wisdom, however. These efforts have pushed me to focus on learning as much as I can about fitness, nutrition and overall growth as a human being. I could link you to the 43632426 sites that I now read on a near-daily basis, but that would probably be overwhelming. People like Tim Ferriss, Elliot Hulse and Mark Sisson are certainly more knowledgeable than I am in these areas, but life is a learning curve in itself, so why try to jump ahead? The idea here is to share my knowledge, which is still growing, with other people who might be starting out from the same point I was, at the same point I currently am, or still thinking about trying to change their lives. These efforts aren’t meant to encourage, or motivate, but simply be informative… because like many other people I started off with an understanding of fitness and health, but over the last several months it has changed and evolved. I learned that many of the things I “knew” previously were wrong, or misrepresented, and I have since learned to question everything, and keep looking for the answers. Aberro Specus is about “escaping the cave” and discovering things for yourself. Hopefully I can point you in a better direction.

Moving forward my posts will be on four categories, primarily: Fitness, Nutrition, Philosophy and Personal. There will be other topics, such as gaming and writing, but these will probably all fall into the Personal category – unless I post fiction… look out for that. These topics will be broad enough to appeal to most people, but more focused, much in the way that I have been trying to bring focus to my life. Hopefully, these ideas will inspire others to make positive changes in their lives… or at the very least share them with other people.

I look forward to sharing more with you later… Until then.

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Monday Fitness Update

So once a week, now that I am actively working out and trying to lose weight and get in better shape, I weigh myself and take my general measurements. Neck, chest, bicep (right), forearm (right), waist, hips, thigh (right) and calf (right). This is to track progress and get a better sense of where I am at in general. A combination of weight, neck and waist measurements can give you an approximate body fat percentage, and it helps motivate me to keep going.

Monday morning, after my workout and shower, I take all of these measurements, log them, and then go about my day. I also keep track of how many calories I ate over the previous week (Sunday-Saturday) and how many I burned, to get an idea of if I’m eating enough, eating too much or not working out enough. So, without further ado – here is this mornings’ measurements.

Weight: 185 lbs
BMI: 25.1*
Body Fat %: 23.79

Neck: 16″
Chest: 42″
Bicep: 13.25″
Forearm: 12″
Waist: 39″ 😦
Hips: 38″ 😦
Thigh: 23.5″
Calf: 16.25″

*I’m 6′.

For reference, I ate far too little this week, at only 10,854 calories (I should be hitting at least 12,000), but my burn totals were pretty fantastic at 19,175. Now I just need to boost my intake without letting the burn suffer.

I lost 4 pounds this week, which is kind of insane. This could be due to a variety of factors, but I honestly expect it to go up slightly next week, probably to 186. However, if it drops again to 184 I’ll be happy. My main goal is to drop waist inches though – to at least 36″, preferably 34″. If I can hit this goal in another 4 weeks I will accomplish my first question/mission/challenge for Nerd Fitness and hit level 1!

Today… I still have a good bike ride to do (plus a Call of Cthulhu campaign to run), so I need to head out to eat dinner and get ready for those things. Expect to see a similar post to this every Monday, and some more interesting content coming soon.