I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday and enjoyed time with your families. I certainly did, even though it was in about a foot of snow across the state at my dad and step-mom's house. The kids had a (snow)ball, though!
As I suspected, the food situation would be challenging. With absolutely NO disrespect toward my my wife and my mom, my step-mom is a GOOOOOD cook. And her pies (made from scratch) should be illegal. Her pecan pie can make captured spies give up sworn secrets.
So how did I do? First of all, I didn't deny myself of the goodies. I partook in Thanksgiving as usual, with one slight adjustment. This year, I didn't stuff myself to the point of being sick, like I have the last who knows how many years. Yes, I filled my plate, but I didn't go back for seconds. I basically just controlled my portions (meals and desserts). Here at home, I have more control over my dietary choices, so an occasional indulgence while visiting the family during the holidays isn't akin to a fitness train wreck. If you deny yourself ALL the time, you're setting yourself up to binge. Trust me, I've been there.
As for workouts, I managed to utilize my dad's exercise room once, but threw in push-ups, sit-ups and hanging dips once a day (I do at least one set of each every day, along with pull-ups when I'm at home). Today, I hit the weights pretty hard, too, starting to increase my poundages.
Even though I've backed myself into a corner by choosing the end of February as my target date for the shining 6-pack, I'm going to periodize my training (much like I do as a runner). This next month will be dedicated to lifting heavier weights and increasing muscle mass. I'll loosen my diet just a bit (i.e. I'll increase calories), but it won't be a free-for-all with the goodies. It's much easier to build muscle mass while taking in slightly more (healthy) calories than maintenance level. Consequently, my abs, as they are now, may lose some definition. I'll do my best to keep them visible, but my focus will be on gaining a little weight which, hopefully, will be mostly muscle.
Beginning in January, I'll switch gears once again, then again in February, in order to burn off the remaining fat while hopefully preserving most of the muscle. I'll detail those approaches later.
And with all that said, here are this week's comparison photos: