I've started to notice a pretty significant transition this week. This morning, my waist measurement was 30.5"...which is the first time it's been that small in many months (probably when I was running 40+ miles/wk. I hit 29.9" right before my marathon last year...but with far less muscle). Granted, my waist measurement fluctuates about a half an inch on any given morning, based on water retention and bloating (yes, I AM a man), but it's a good sign. Also, just the visual cues are telling me that I'm getting a little leaner. There seems to be more definition between the abs.
So...the suffering I spoke of earlier this week may not be as intense as I expected. My current diet isn't terribly extreme, yet progress is being made. I'll continue as-is until I see the progress stalling. One key is to very gradually coax the fat loss. Unless you have a LOT of bodyfat to lose (i.e. Biggest Loser contestant), you don't want to lose too much, too soon. That causes the body to go into starvation mode, which forces the body to conserve fat by slowing the metabolism. As my goal date approaches, I'll be constantly evaluating my status to determine what subtle changes need to be made.
As I spoke on my running blog about balance, I think I'm finding balance in this quest. My body told me I was starting to overtrain, so I cut back from 3 weight workouts and 3 aerobic sessions per week to two each (still doing pushups, pullups, situps, dips and squats daily). It seems to be working. My energy level has been good. Part of that is probably attributed to a cleaner diet, too, although I haven't been getting enough sleep (work has been crazy).
Speaking of diet...here are a couple of key things I've been doing, aside from eliminating processed sugar (well, 95% of it). My lunch is probably the most affected meal of my day. A typical lunch now consists of a half sandwich, large carrot and a large whole apple (today, I added a mini orange). For the sandwich, the only condiment I use is mustard (zero calories). I add one slice of ham, one slice of turkey, one slice of cheddar cheese, two cucumber slices and some lettuce. As a mental trick, I cut the half sandwich in half, so it looks like I have two halves. Silly, maybe, but it seems like I'm eating more. I've noticed that my stomach capacity has decreased, so I get full easier. Like I said, I'm monitoring my weight closely, and if it drops too quickly, I'll increase the intake slightly.
Finally, here are a couple of shots after today's workout.