Monday, April 27, 2009

Dara & Andy - April 26th 2009

Well we finally met up at the end of our 1st Challenge. I've been impressed with Andy's Progress. Had a great weekend and Andy was a great help with the kids :) and they enjoyed his company too!
Well, here we are just after Christian's 5th Birthday party.
In case you don't know, Andy is the tall f**ker in the red!!! :)

12 Months in the making - Before & After

Good Evening,
this is just a special post for I wanted to put up. Yesterday was 26th of April 2009. Exactly 1 year since the photo Christian took of me which is in my before photos, the one which horrified me when I saw it. Well, as a form of retribution for that day, I wanted to take another photo on the same date 1 year on, again taken by Christian, taken in the exact same spot. This is the photo below, and the smile on my face says it all. I was weighing 17stone (probably a bit more) in 1st photo on left, and I weighed in at 14st 11lbs one year later :)

This is comparisson has given me a boost. I still have some weight to get rid of still, but feel great with progress so far! :) yay me!

Details of challenge 2 coming soon!!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Challenge 1 - Final Weigh in 25th April - Dara

Good morning,

Well its final weigh in day today for Challenge 1. I have to be honest and up front and say I'm a little bit of a grump this morning. multple reasons, mostly due to lack of sleep. 'Alex will you sleep for flips sake'... was late getting to bed (1am), then into his bed to settle him around 3.40am, then up awake at 6.40am... feeling a bit tired...Anyhoo this has been a reflection of how this week has been for me in general.. Alex can be such a light sleeper at times and he goes through bad spells like this where he wakes a lot at night... very frustrating......anyhow.. there's my excuse for this week, for bad mood and bad week of excercising (especially at the start of the week). My weight training went to crap this week as I only got a small bit done and made sure that I at least got some cardio in.

Anyhooo, the start of the week was a total washout from an excercise perspective, with Alex not sleeping I wasn't fit for early morning workouts, and I've been helping Carla out with some Financial Returns for the Pre-School which were due for Quarter 1. So, once those were out of the way I got into some excercise on Wed, thurs and Fri, primarily cardio with small stints of weights.

So having said that, I had been monitoring my weight all week to ensure I wasn't going back up.. and thanksfully it has been going down!!! woo hoo, reason to celebrate... all week I was seeing consistent 14st, 12lb weight !! yahooo!!!! however this morning... here were my stats for my final weigh in of challenge 1 !!!

Weight: 14st 13lbs (-1lb on last week....should have been two!!!!!!)
Bodyfat%: 22% (static)

so, seeing it up to 13lbs was a little annoying this morning, but I guess is due to bad sleep and lack of consistent excercise this week. So, I know I didn't hit my targeted weight by a long shot of 13st 7lbs, but the aggressive goal was great! and still achieveable ...challenge 2 here I come!!!

Diet this week was pretty good, and happy with eating.

So.. I know I said at begining of this post, I was in a bit of a grump.. but it willl be short lived I know..just need to get head in rihgt place and do a workout too, relieve some stress!! Also Andy is coming up here today and that should be good craic..

Progress on challenge 1.

Starting Weight: 16st 2lbs (226lbs) 28% bodyfat
Current Weight: 14st 13lbs (209lbs) 22% bodyfat
Total Loss: 1st 1lb (15lbs)

I think thats not bad for 2 months work!, though the plateau's definately threw me, I had higher expectations, but didn't realise how challenging it would be once I started to get down to this current weight. Lots learnt,..and v. happy I'm at my lightest weight.


So, photos I'm showing this weeks in comparisson to the 1st one blogged here..which was a couple of weeks into challenge 1 when we setup this blog. And I've also shown some comparisson to my november 07 photos when I weighed 16st 12lbs, and I've come a long way since then (over 2st).

Friday, April 24, 2009

eve before end of challenge 1

Good evening,
its the night before challenge 1 ends and final weigh in day! It has been a fantastic 2 months working on the weight loss and doing this accountability blog. Realy motivational when you have to blog each week.

Anyway, with tomorrows final weigh in for challenge 1 coming up, I decided to do a quick recap.
Here is a quick reminder of where we started and first photos from this blog.

When Andy and I agreed challenge 1, which was just a couple of weeks before we started this blog, we set out to meet tomorrow, and see who hit their goal!

here are our original stats again as a reminder..

Dara's Weight loss goal:
Height: 6' 1"
Starting Weight (Feb 21st 2009): 16stone 2lbs (226lbs)
Target by April 25th: 13stone 7lbs. (189lbs)
Total weight loss goal: 37lbs

Andrew's Weight loss goal:
Height: 6' 7" (yes he's one tall fella)
Starting Weight (Feb 21st 2009): 25stone 10lbs (360lbs)
Target by April 25th: 23stone 5lbs.(327)
Total weight loss goal: 33lbs

So here is a reminder of the first pics we posted, here.... So, tomorrow.. all will be revealed and sumarised!

We meet up tomorrow at my house in Monaghan... after we weigh in and blog tomorrow am before we meet. Looking forward to meeting up, it should be fun!! We'll review challenge 1, set challenge 2, and reveal ideas for the future for this blog!!!

Until the morning..


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 18th April - Andrew

Well, it's been a good week with good progress. I went back to the drawing board, so to speak, and looked at everything that I was doing compared to everything that I am doing now to identify any areas that I could improve on. The results were surprising to me.

Generally, dietary matters are fine, the odd slip up here and there in the past but certainly nothing major. The main area to improve on was exercise. I don't think that I've been pushing myself as much as I used to, every week I'd try to do a slightly harder workout, building it up over time. I found that I'd been largely ignoring my core workouts (crunches and curls), my cardio, although good, was at a setting that I've been at for a while. So, this week, I went all out. Shifted up the cardio a difficulty setting, really mixed it up too by using machines that I don't normally use (and here's a piece of advise from bitter experience this week, if you've never used a machine before, get lessons on how to set the difficulty setting first, I pushed myself to the point of collapse on Wednesday as I was using the rowing machine for the first time and didn't realise it was on the highest setting - ouch!). I also started my core exercises too, for the time being they will be every second day (Mon, Wed, Fri) until I can get them all done, then I'll push them up again.

Right, enough talking, here are my results for this week!

Weight: 151.1 kg /333.11 lbs /23.79 stone

So, just over a 2 kg loss! Not bad eh - worth the sore muscles!!

A few more stats according to my scales:
Body Fat % : 32.6
Visceral Fat : 17
BMI : 37.4
Musle Mass % : 34.9

My BMI is still very high, BUT when I started my weight loss journey (before Dara and I got in contact), I was 45.1. So I'm tickled pink to see that figure fall as well, plus my trousers seem to be getting looser all the time and as I type this I'm wearing a t-shirt that a well meaning friend bought me last year that was just way too small to wear, fits me just right now!

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 18th April - Dara

Ah man,
this is tough..I have to say serious weight loss and lifestyle changes are not for those who don't have their head in the right place. Let me cut to the chase...

Weight: 15st 0lbs (210lbs) - no change
Bodyfat: 22% - minus 2 percentage points

Once again it would appear on the surface I'm hitting a weight loss plateau. Maybe I'm losing fat though going by the fat% on the scales. I've dropped from 24% last week to 22% this week. Which in the end of the day, losing fat is the aim of the game here. But for me to lose 2% points of fat, and still be same weight it would mean I have put on weight in the form of lean muscle/body mass.

E.g. Last weeks data:
24% bodyfat

breaks out as:
50.4lbs of body fat
159.6lbs Lean mass

This weeks data:
22% bodyfat

breaks out as:
46.2lbs of bodyfat
163.8lbs of lean mass

So you can see from above example, if the scales bodyfat % is right I have lost just under 4lbs of bodyfat, and put on just under 4lbs of lean mass. Where have I lost this and gained this, I don't.
So, from my perspective, I would have loved to have seen even 1lb down on overall body weight to see me move into the 14stone mark...but hey, that will hopefully be next week (final weigh in for challenge 1).

On the workout front this week, I had a very good week, I did Cardio every day except thursday and I got 2 good strength training sessions in, and another smaller one. Although I missed cardio on thursday I made up for it yesterday (friday). I did 20mins in the morning when I got up and I did 60mins cardio on treadmill yesterday evening.

In terms of nutrition and eating this week. Well, it was pretty good. I have had better weeks. I did have some take away foods this week, but best choices I could make. No big creamy sauces, and lean chicken where possible. but I'd still score it around 90% on target. (though I did have a slice of birthday cake yesterday for Alex's birthday - tut tut - it was too nice!!)

Well here are the photos for this weeks results. I think my frustration is reflected a little in my expression this week! look a little grumpy!!

So, In general, I'm still very happy with how I'm progressing. I've had a good week getting on track with workouts, but wish I had made more progress on overall weight loss front. Today was last weigh in before final Challenge 1 weight loss. My goal was 13st 7lbs, which now I think I was overly ambitious..however I have learnt an awful lot, and at same time I have still lost weight and feeling great. I had a trip to the attic this week to pull down a bag of old clothes I hadn't worn in years, and found a whole new wardrobe! I also retired all my old 42" and some other 38" trousers to the attic also. So that was theraputic. On a daily basis I notice small things that remind me of my progress... trousers loser, my watch needed a link removed, my wedding ring is nearly falling off me because my fingers are skinnier, and even my shoes are loser. So although the scales may not be showing as massive drop yet, I'm feeling it.
I have to take a visit to My sister in law and get her to take some measurements again and see how I've progressed with skin fold test. I think that will give a good indication also.
But for this final week. I'm going to really have to review my diet, and turn my cardio workouts completely and utterly on their head. I think I thought it would be much easier to lose the remaining weight. But it has been a really good learning experience.
I'm looking forward to next week when Andrew and I meet up for the first time in 5 or 6 years. It will be a laugh as always.. :)
Until next week and final weigh in..

Monday, April 13, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 11th April - Andrew

Well hello there!

Firstly, my compliments to Dara on his artistic work on the blog, I especially love the before/after pictures at the top of the screen AND his most recent pictures look awesome, way to go buddy!

It's been a funny week, I've been pushing harder with the cardio, pushing up the intensity and getting a good sweat going. I usually do resistance training twice a week , Mondays and Fridays but as the gym was closed for the long weekend (Thursday - Monday), I didn't get any done on Friday and won't get any done today. So I'll make up for it tomorrow, with a nice long workout, hit the gym around 6 and finish up around 8pm.

Sadly, I appear to have hit my own plateau in terms of weight loss but I'm not discouraged. I know that after being sick I was weak getting back into the gym and I wonder if there was a little muscle loss during the few weeks that I was unwell. On the brighter side of things I bought a brand spanking new pair of jeans last week and they were a little tight around the waist, today I tried them on for the laugh and they're much looser so it's all good!

So, here's the stats for this week, very little in terms of actual weight loss but as Dara and I know the scales can be deceptive, as muscle is denser than fat, if you're building up muscle and losing fat the net result can be 0 weight loss. Perhaps it's time to start utilising other body measurements until this plateau has been broken. It also means that I'll revisit my workouts, determine what areas I can improve/increase and take a good look at diet as well to see where I can improve. So, with a little luck and some hard work I hope to have better results next week!

Weight: 153.3 kg /24.09 stone /337.3 lbs

So there's little actual weight loss as mentioned but my jeans and other clothes are looser and, at the end of the day, while your weight is useful for a little bit of feedback, it's not the be all and end all of things! I found it quite funny to receive an email from a friend in London during the week (titled "Hello you skinny mofo!") who noticed my most recent photo and when you compare it to my pictures from Michigan in July, where he last saw me, there is one hell of a difference. So, best foot forward as usual, will start keeping a food diary again and we'll see how we get on.

Until next week!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 11th April - Dara

Good morning!
well, last week I said I broke my plateau, so did that continue? This week, I didn't get nearly enough work outs done. I usualy work out before work, but last week my eldest son has been bad with his Asthma and I've not been getting enough sleep to be fit to get out of bed in the morning...however I did finish up my week with a couple of good sessions in the evenings.

Having said my workouts weren't great this week, I did well with my eating. I've been trying carb cycling as I've mentioned before, and I think its paying off, really noticed it yesterday when I was on v. low carbs, was really craving carbs. Today willbe high carbs again, yum!

Anyway, this morning, weigh in day. I was anxious this week that with the not so great workouts that I wouldn't make any progress, or just marginal. I really wanted to get down to 15st2lbs, make some progress. Well, I had a pleasant surpise this are my stats for this week:

Weight: 15st 0lbs (210lbs) (-3lbs on last week WOOHOO!!!)
bodyfat: 24%

So, I'm really chuffed with the progress, still not so sure about the body fat % reading on the scales. this mornings reading on the scales was a genuine surprise and must be related to keeping the eating on straight and narrow, even if training was not 100%. This has given me a boost.

As for photos, here we go... (using my digital camera instead of iphone camera so should be better quality from now on)

So, its been a bit of a crappy in terms of workouts, but I really think I need to get back to daily cardio in the mornings before work. I think if I don't do daily, I run risk of not getting anything done. I need to focus on my motivation to do this.
I don't have a large amount of weight to lose now. My goal is 13st. 7lbs. thats 1.5stone to go. the last stone is usually the most tricky/stubborn to lose. So some people may think I might not look like I have to lose weight, but its spread out over my body at moment, and there are pockets of areas that still have a good bit of fat that need to be shifted. Still on my belly, ass, thighs, a bit around the chest... I think when I get down to my target weight and look back at these photos and it will be clearer where that weight had to go. Time will tell!! :)
Until next week.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 4th April - Dara

So, has the plateau I was facing last week been broken?

well, good news is, it appears to be!! I double checked my daily calorie intake this week for what I should be taking in daily for maintenance levels, and for calorie defecit and I was in the right bracket for 15-20% calorie defecit to keep weight loss up. However I did change my cardio this week, I changed it about a bit. Instead of only doing treadmill I did a mix of treadmill, stepper and rope in quick successsion. I probably could have done it more frequently this week, but I still got that in and working on my new resistance training routine, where I'm doing a 2 day split where I work half of my body one day, and then work the other half the next workout session. Allowing me to really target each muscle group effectively.

Well, so weight stats!! here we go:

Weight: 15st 3lbs (213lbs) (down 1lb on last week)
Bodyfat: 23% (down from 26% last week)

I'm not sure how accurate the bodyfat % is on our scales, but it is indicating the right trend at least. So I'm happy with inital 1lb loss and I think some muscle growth is happening. So, I'm happy with progress. I'll try increasing the frequency of my cardio this week as that seems to be making the biggest difference, new routine, new frequency. Shake it up a bit more!!! I think the trick is to step in to the gym each day and try make your body feel like it is the first time it was in the gym. i.e. push yourself!

Now, for photos:

Well, this weekend I was in Dublin so didn't get working out as I'd hoped, but did get a long walk in on Sunday (today) as Carla was doing the Bupa 10km Run in the Phoenix park, so I got a good 30mins walk around the park today, even if it wasn't high intensity, it was moving! Plus I kept my food/eating as good as possible, if frequency of eating wasn't what I've been used to lately. Anyway, back on track tomorrow!

Until next week.


P.s. Might use a different camera next week as the pics were quite fuzzy this week.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 4th April - Andrew

This will be a lightning fast blog as I am running out the door to get some clothes for my sisters 40th tonight. More accurately, I am getting some new clothes because everything I own now is starting to make me look like MC Hammer, that's how baggy everything has become! A few weeks back I had to punch new holes in my belts to make them tight enough to actually keep my trousers on! I kind of like the idea of holding onto one of these belts, marking the date on each new hole, as a little reminder to myself when all this is done, a trophy almost.

Anyway, enough rambling from me on this, let's get down to business!

Weight: 153.3 kg /24.14 stone /337.97 lbs

So, not a huge loss this week.....or so it would seem on the surface. I've been a little "bunged up" the last few days so there might be a HUGE weight loss by next weekend!! I hope that Dara, or anyone else for that matter, isn't eating as they read this!

Just as a side note, before I forget it, I've been seeing these tickers pop up on various sites, looks like it might be a laugh although I haven't looked into them yet, as in the "how to" aspect of them. Can't be all that hard to do though!!