Sunday morning, and it was time for me to check on my progress (or lack thereof) by stepping on the scale and bringing out the calipers (I use an Accu-Measure FatTrack II caliper, measuring three points). Horror of horrors; I lost about a kilogram of weight compared to last week (which I thought was a bit high then) but still down 0.4 kg from two weeks ago. My caliper measurements were almost unchanged (actually down a very small amount). I know that weight can fluctuate due to the amount of water in the body, so last week’s weight may be an outlier, but compared to four weeks ago, my lean mass hasn’t increased significantly.
Looking back, there are a few things that may have contributed:
- I’ve had a cold for almost the entire past week (still do). Through it I have ate roughly the same amount of food as I did when I wasn’t sick. I think I should have eaten more, as healing takes up some of the caloric budget (which is already under stress by my training).
- Sleep schedule was a bit irregular over the past few days due to social engagements.
- More of my meals were not as ideal as they can be, again due to social engagements or just not having made time to prepare enough meals.
There are some things that I can do better.
- Sleep more than 7 hours on average, 8 would be best. Over the past two weeks, I’ve slept on the average 7 hours a night (no less than 6.5 even on my late nights out). I think I should really go for 8, especially as my workouts are getting very demanding for me. The time lost due to commuting in the heavy holiday traffic hasn’t helped with getting more hours in the day, but now that I’m on leave from the office, I should make this a habit. When I go back to work after New Year’s I must already have a good plan in place.
- Prepare more of my own meals rather than buying from outside (when at work), or hoping that what is prepared for the family somehow fits my nutrition goals. It took me some time to get set up for this since I arrived. In the past two weeks I got a cooler bag and a set of lunchboxes to go into it for me to take to the office. Shopping for healthy, easy to prepare ingredients is more challenging here. For example, there are no chopped-up frozen vegetables other than peas, carrots, and corn, so I’ll have to allocate time to prepare fresh veggies sometime during the week. Most fish is sold whole here rather than filleted, so again, more preparation needed. I’ll need to adjust to the conditions here, and so I will!
- Don’t be afraid to eat more. I’m not on a fat-loss mode, so I shouldn’t be loathe to eat more food (as long as the majority is healthy food) to support my recovery and growth. As Danny said so eloquently in one of his recent posts, eating a lot can be annoying! As long as I don’t gain too much fat (which can be controlled by doing HIIT anyway), I shouldn’t be too worried.
On the positive side, my training has been going quite well. I have been pushing and pulling weights at my limits every workout now. I have been adding more mobility work before my workouts, and also learning to do soft-tissue work/foam rolling on my off days or pre-workout. Recovery from my workouts could still be improved, however, by eating more and getting more sleep!
I finally finished reading Nate Green’s book, “Built for Show“, and learned a lot about having fitness become part of improving the whole “package”. I also finished reading a preview of Module 4 of Adam Waters’ RTP program which focused on accountability and how it can drive one to “just do it”. Both have provided me with a lot of good points to follow. Still have two other fitness books to read over the holiday break, and will also be receiving Tom Venuto’s book in a few weeks!
Eat right, train hard, and expect success!