Monday, January 17, 2011

Week 9 (Here Comes The Suffering)

It's already week 9 in this silly quest, which means it's time for the major deprivation to begin. I've already been watching chocolate chip cookies disappear into the mouths of my wife and kids, as I take another bite of my daily apple. Well, I've been sneaking a small treat here and there, actually, but this week begins the "no processed sugar" portion of my self-torture quest for sharp six-pack abs.

As you may have deduced, I'm pretty much playing this by ear (or, by mirror and tape measure). I refuse to count calories. It's too hard. I'm too lazy. I'm simply eliminating most foods that have a lot of calories with little bulk, in favor of lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains and dairy (light on the cheese). Most of my protein will come from chicken breasts, eggs, natural peanut butter and nonfat milk. I'm not sure if I have the guts to completely cut out coffee, as I previously stated I would. I've cut way back, but life without my little cup of gold every morning may not be worth living.

I've noticed, as my diet has become stricter and I'm starting to drop a little weight, that my overall strength seems to be declining just a little. I'm not sure if that's an effect of insufficient calories or waning motivation. I've been feeling tired and weak lately. I will say that my workload the last several weeks has been pretty intense (and stressful), and I have never been able to deal with stress all that well (well, running certainly helps, but I won't be able to do that again for awhile).

From here on out, I'm going to be less concerned with hitting PB's in my exercises and focusing more on lifting with very good form and keeping my muscles under tension for a good period of time during each set. I've incorporated standard planks into my core routine. I used to do them regularly, but haven't for a couple of years. So those, along with weighted crunches and hanging leg raises comprise my abs routine.

Eh, what the heck. I'll throw up some photos, even though I have yet to see much of a difference from week to week. Actually, the one thing I notice is more vascularity in my forearms in the top photo. I'm assuming that's from a slightly lower bodyfat level. Or, maybe I was just flexing them harder today.

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