My Relentless Transformation 5.0 experience is very nearly over, and it’s time for an updated batch of…
As we’ve discussed, there is no better way of evaluating progress than implementing and tracking a well-rounded results profile. My consistent recommendation is to use four metrics: circumference measurements, bodyfat calipers, scale weight, and pictures. None of these things requires expensive equipment, and only the calipers likely require you purchasing something not currently in your possession. Together these four metrics are unstoppable, and each metric you drop from the equation restricts your ability to track all-around progress.
With the above in mind, ironically the Relentless Fitness scale broke before the most recent set of measurements! We purchased a new one, only to find that it is waaaaay off the mark. Back to the scale store we go. For now a “?” will have to do, although I can guarantee you the number is down from last time (due to the shift in my muscle mass -> lean phase change).
The first numbers were taken on May 28th and the last on July 25th. Remember that I didn’t take the first measurements until 3 days after Memorial Day weekend eating/drinking. That means they aren’t artificially inflated. These are real alterations acquired in precisely 8 weeks and 2 days.
The magic duo has happened – an increase in muscle mass + a reduction in bodyfat. I didn’t drastically reduce calories, I didn’t drastically reduce food options (I ate plenty of grass-fed dairy, rice, rice pasta, and potatoes), and I worked out a very manageable 3x per week, with the occasional 4x thrown in. Much more on this later, but remember the theme – REAL people, REAL results, REAL world.
The official numbers:
- Weight: 191 -> 191 -> 193.2 -> 192.6 -> 193.4 -> 192.8 -> ?
- Circumference (in):
- Chest: 42 -> 41.5 -> 42 -> 42.5 -> 43 -> 43 -> 43 (+1)
- Waist: 33.25 -> 32.75 – 32.75 -> 32.5 -> 32.25 -> 32.5 -> 32 (-1.25)
- Abdomen: 35.5 -> 34.75 -> 34.5 -> 33.25 -> 33 -> 33.5 -> 33 (-2.5)
- Hips: 40.5 -> 42.5 -> 41 -> 40 -> 40.25 -> 40.5 -> 40 (-0.5)
- Thigh: 24 -> 24 -> 24 -> 24.75 -> 23.75 -> 24.5 -> 24.5 (+0.5)
- Calf: 15.5 -> 15.5 -> 15.5 -> 15.5 -> 15.5 -> 15.5 -> 15.5 (EVEN)
- Arm: 14.25 -> 14.25 -> 14.5 -> 14.5 -> 14.75 -> 15 -> 15 (+0.75)
- Bodyfat (mm):
- Back: 13 -> 12 -> 13 -> 14 -> 12 -> 12 -> 12 (-1)
- Chest: 10 -> 7 -> 8 -> 8 -> 8 -> 7 -> 7 (-3)
- Abdomen: 13 -> 14 -> 15 -> 13 -> 14 -> 12 -> 9 (-4)
- Thigh: 15 -> 12 -> 15 -> 14 -> 14 -> 14 -> 12 (-3)
- Bicep: 7 -> 6 -> 6 -> 6 -> 6 -> 5 -> 5 (-2)
- Triceps: 9 ->8 -> 7 -> 7 -> 7 -> 6 -> 6 (-3)
I know what you’re thinking.
Where has Roger been? Has he fallen off the Transformation wagon? Is he lying on a couch somewhere with empty pints of Ben & Jerry’s strewn around the crime scene?
Today I am thrilled to reassure you that rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.
I am here. I am present. And I am still transforming like a bat out of hell.
Cause and Effect
So what happened? I’ll attribute the change in my posting frequency to three things: Continue Reading
Home is where the bad habits are.
If you’ve come around to the notion of thriving health in your adulthood like I have, your family time and family environment come with all sorts of baked in and less than healthy associations.
I know it’s not just me because I can’t tell you how many client conversations have taken place on this subject. Home is where you can expect to find the exact special box of cereal and/or bagels in the morning. Home is where you have a family tradition of ordering out for Chinese food (and it’s not the steamed stuff either). Home is where you open the fridge to find that ridiculously nostalgic ice cream brand staring back at you and a double sized bowl to put it in. These things are like clockwork. They are ingrained. They are unavoidable.
You have two options: embrace the hell out of it or impose a different plan. Continue Reading
Stop playing it so safe.
When you consistently play it safe, your body stops adapting both physically and mentally. Adaptation is a function of imposing a demand on yourself, a demand to which you are not accustomed. That provides the impetus for change.
How often are you too comfortable? How often are you content with sticking to safe workouts, relying on overly convenient nutrition, and not prioritizing sleep and/or stress management? Continue Reading
Is it better to reach toward something positive or actively avoid something negative?
The carrot rewards you after accomplishing a milestone. The stick punishes after deviating from the milestone’s path.
Question of the day: the carrot or the stick?
Some say it should be all carrots, all the time. The stick mentality is unnecessary, crude, and cruel and positive reinforcement works better over the long haul. Others side with short-term data, which prefers the stick. Continue Reading
Do you trust your stomach?
Do you trust it to tell you when it’s hungry? Do you trust it to tell you when it’s had enough?
I don’t trust mine one bit.
The root of my distrust likely originated with my nutritional upbringing, which centered around Pop Tarts, Tastykakes, and TV Dinners. Eating from that food pyramid for two solid decades threw my internal hunger pathways for a loop.
Eating from that pyramid for two solid decades also put sweets – specifically cookies and ice cream – all the way at the top of my food chain. Start eating those things, and it’s damn near impossible to stop.
What to do? How do you cope with broken hunger mechanisms and a sweet tooth to boot? Continue Reading
You know you better than anyone else.
If that truth doesn’t immediately resonate, take some necessary steps. Learn to become more aware. Learn to listen. Learn to trust.
When your body and mind say go, let ‘er rip! When your body and mind say rest, pull it back! When your body and mind say eat, eat!
At the outset of a fitness journey, you may have to override these signals at times. After all, you are establishing new habits, and that is not an easy task.
When you hit your stride, however, these signals are your compass. If you cannot transition from do this, not that and eat this, not that plans to ultimately trusting your signals, you will ultimately fail. Harsh, I know. But I stand behind those words. Continue Reading
Have you ever kept a food log?
Self imposed accountability is tremendously powerful. The simple act of writing down what you eat – on a napkin, in a journal, or through a spreadsheet – forces you to think through what you consume. It is a tried and true way to get over a hump, get back on track, and/or assist various forms of self-experimentation.
Want to supercharge the food log process? Take pictures of your food before you eat it as a rule (sound familiar?) That is accountability on Raw Tea.
While I don’t believe in food logs as a long-haul activity, I wholeheartedly believe in their consistent use for beginners, their semi-regular use for the intermediate, and as periodic check-ins for the advanced. I’m obviously food logging daily at the moment, and I’m finding it useful in the context of an aggressive challenge. Once the Transformation ends, I’ll revert to my usual – logging a day every month or two.
Every single time I log my food, I learn something. That is not an exaggeration. Continue Reading