Friday, October 21, 2011

The Last Ten Days

I suppose this will be more intense than the first 20, but let's see.

To recap: I started by cutting out all artificial sweeteners, eliminating fruit (I could have just cut back on it, but I tend to do better on an all-or-nothing basis), giving up my semi-weekly "kip meals" and adding a little dairy back into my life, in the form of swapping my coconut milk creamer for grass-fed half & half. As the challenge progressed, I limited my intake of chocolate from about half an ounce to an ounce of 77 or 85% about five times a week to Friday and Saturday nights only. I finished the last of my jar of almond butter and didn't buy more, and the only between-meals snack I eat is my precious, precious buffalo jerky. And, starting on October 15, I added in BCAAs pre and post-workout, and am starting to get accustomed to chugging glittery vodka.

I've seen fabulous results even in the short period from October 1 to October 19. I've dropped six or seven pounds and can feel a significant difference in my body composition, in really funny ways - like how my arms feel when I'm washing my hair, or how my lower back feels when I reach back to rub it at work (my desk chair has awful lumbar support), or what my thigh feels like when I brace my forearm against it when I'm putting the dogs' leashes on.

ANYWAY. So now we start the final ten-day stretch, and of course it's time to turn up the intensity.

Starting yesterday (October 20) and continuing through the end of the month, here's my life:

The keys here: meat and greens and animal based fats only. No cruciferous or starchy veggies, like carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts or beans. No sweet potatoes. No avocado. Continue to get tons of protein in, but instead of cooking with olive oil (which I occasionally do), use butter or animal fat. No more dairy in my coffee.

For a lot of my meals, this isn't a big change. Breakfast, for one.

Look familiar? Messy desk, smoked pulled pork, over-easy eggs. This time I've added a handful of raw spinach (greens). Recently, more out of sheer laziness than anything else, lunch has been almost exclusively protein - this week, for example, PhillyGuy grilled me a ton of pork chops on Sunday afternoon, and that's what I've been bringing to work for lunch. (Thank goodness I can close my office door. There's just something...not professional...about sawing through a fat pork chop with a plastic knife at your desk.) Most days I had been bringing a little bag of raw veggies of some kind (peppers or carrots or green beans), so that's out...but otherwise, minimal change.

Dinner is the big difference - about twice a week I'd have a sweet potato, so that's out. And I have to replace my usual suspects (brussels sprouts, beans) with greens, which of course I need to figure out how to cook properly. Last night I had two chicken sausages, two eggs and a gigantic pile of kale chips, which I tossed in butter, topped with kosher salt and baked for a few minutes until crispy. Not so bad. I'm less enthusiastic about my ability to cook the giant bunch of collard greens I picked up.

And...of course. My best friends. Black coffee and water. So. Much. Water.

Naturally, this stage is not intended to be permanent - this is a "turn-up-the-heat" stage to force my body to burn its own fat so that I can lean out as much as possible in a short period of time. So far, I don't have any issues, but so far, it's only been 24 hours of eating this way, so we'll see how I feel tomorrow or Sunday...when I'm sure my cravings will skyrocket, and everything I see will turn into a walking Chocolove 77% dark chocolate bar, a'la Tom and Jerry. Maybe this isn't the best weekend to start burning my new "salty caramel corn" scented candle.

But sweet jebus it's been worth it. I PR'ed my front squat the other day by 15 pounds, and I was so surprised at how smooth and how good that 130 pounds felt. I did a jumping pullup on my door-mounted bar at home. And every morning, when I put on pants that used to be snug, or - better yet - used to be completely off limits, it's just a fabulous feeling.

- Tuesday: gymnastics. Back extension rolls, bridge-ups with kickover, back limber. I killed the metcon - three rounds for time of 10' bridge walk, 10' forward rolls, 10' plank walk, 10' backward rolls. 6:00 exactly - the key is that I mastered the bridge walk almost immediately. That shit is disorienting.

- Wednesday: front squats, starting with triples and working up to a peak of 1. 65x3-85x3-105x1-120x1-130x1. Natural glute-ham raises. Metcon: AMRAP double-unders in 5:00, 73. My DU's are getting better but I was having trouble stringing more than three or four together.

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