Refocusing on my Health

Lauren and I made a commitment to lose weight after the new year. It’s not an uncommon resolution by any means nor one that I hadn’t already been half-heartedly working on. As you may remember I had previously lost some weight towards the end of the summer. I was working out about 5 days a week and doing well on the diet.

Problems arose, however, with the diet. Mainly, I wasn’t getting enough fiber while on the Atkins diet. The result was some digestive problems that I couldn’t kick. Instead of adding some fiber and working through it I pretty much quit working out and dieting for about two months or so. What a dumb mistake. The result was that I gained all but 5 of the 23 pounds I had lost and much of the cardio gains I had made.

In the last 5 weeks I’ve lost 14.5 pounds and I’m back working out. The workouts aren’t as frequent as I’d like as I’ve been working a lot more than I’d like. However, last night I ran across a couple of websites that have caused me to refocus my workouts and my dieting. The first one is a site about a guy who lost a ton of weight and put on a bunch of muscle in about a year. I figure if he can do that in a year at 35 I should be able to obtain my much more modest goals as well. The second site is a vitamin site called http://www.animalpak.com. While I don’t plan nor wish to be as large as the guys on that site they do have some great info on the site. First off their workout logs and example workouts are great. Secondly, they make a kick ass vitamin pack that I’m now using. In just two days of using it I feel much more alert and awake, not to mention more intense workouts. For the record I’m running a slightly modified version of their introductory workout with both time on the bike and treadmill for cardio.

Those of you thinking about attacking your fat with the Atkins diet I give you one word of advice: find a low carb store near you. What people forget (including me) is that Atkins isn’t about cutting out carbs – just cutting out *bad* carbs. For instance, I have awesome whole weat wraps, soy milk and whole weat bread that is low carb and tastes great. What I’ve cut out are the sugars and starchy foods. You can find the bread and wraps at any low carb store. Hell, I even have granola bars and cereal. If you’re thinking you can’t live without ice cream or sweets go get some sugar free Jell-O or Breyer’s low carb ice cream. Also, you should seriously think of switching from red meat to chicken.

For those of you wishing for a good recipe for Atkins here is my aweseom chicken ranch wrap that will surely fill you up and satisfy your taste buds!

  • 1 whole weat low carb wrap
  • 1/2 cup of cooked and shreaded/chopped chicken (vegetarians substitute cucumbers and bell peppers)
  • A handful of shreaded lettuce
  • A couple strips of bacon (optional)
  • A handful of mild yellow peppers and/or jalepenios
  • A few black olives
  • A squirt of your favorite ranch dressing

If the thought of eating that thing doesn’t wet your appetite then I don’t know what will. In reality the only time I find myself wishing I was not on Atkins is when I go out to eat and that is only because you are limited in what you can eat. Although, Friday’s now has an aweseom Atkins menu – the salmon and broccoli is by far my favorite.

My final note in this entry will be on supplements. If you think you are going to lose a ton of weight and hit the gym hard without supplements you are kidding yourself. If nothing else, take a good multi-vitamin and some vitamin C. If you are doing weight lifting and find yourself sore the next day after workouts I highly recommend a protein shake with glutamin after your workouts (don’t plan on eating a big dinner after downing one of those puppies). My current supplements include an animal pak a half hour after lunch and a soy-mega whey protein-gulatmin shake after my workout.

All this talking about working out and dieting has suddenly made me want to hit the gym.

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