Friday, September 25, 2009

Like a Phoenix: M.A.L.E.

Probably my favorite mythical creature has to the be the Phoenix. A mythical bird If you never really knew the story behind these creatures, this is what Wikipedia has to say:
A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1,000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of myrrh twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again.
To rise from the ashes and be born again. Kinda like this quest of mine to fit into smaller jeans. Well, my jeans are a bit baggy then they used to be, but the momentum I had when I started this blog evaporated for the summer. It wasn't destroyed, it just changed state. I spent the summer walking at lunch and maintaining the progress I had made last winter and spring. The good news was, I didn't gain weight, the bad news, I didn't lose any either.

It is with renewed vigor, I introduce M.A.L.E. which stands for Men Attaining a Lifestyle Evolution. This is a program offered through the fitness center of my employer. This is there description of the class/program:
M.A.L.E. - Men Attaining a Lifestyle Evolution is an ten-week men’s only weight loss and chronic disease prevention program. Each week various nutrition, behavior change, and men’s health topics will be addressed. The program will include high-intensity group exercise sessions. Open to male members with a BMI of 30-39.9.
I'm a person that needs something on my Outlook calendar to make sure it happens. If my phone doesn't beep and tell me it's time, I probably won't make it. This program meets every Thursday evening and Saturday morning. Thursday are for 2 hours and involve 1 hour of education in nutrition, lifestyle and the like and then 1 hour of fitness training in the gym. 30 minutes of cardio - 30 minutes of strength.

A few weeks back, my beautiful wife challenged me to step on our fancy scale in the bathroom. It tracks your progress in your weight management goals. I'm sure some people might be trying to gain weight...go you! I'm not one of them. My wife worries about my health and I hate it when my wife worries about me. It's my job to worry about her and the kids. I'm committed to her not worrying about my health. I guess she could still worry about me getting hit by a bus, but right now, I'm not will to climb into a padded room...yet.

Since stepping on that scale that day, I'm down 7.5 pounds. Not too shabby. I'd like it to be more but I've been not doing my diet correctly yet. The M.A.L.E. class is helping with that.

In preparation for the class, we got to go in for a full evaluation. This includes all kinds of very high tech body analysis equipment (so very cool!) one of the pieces of gadgetry is called the "Bod Pod". It looks a lot like the egg Mork from Ork arrived in, oh so many years ago. This device scans your body and determines all kinds of details about you, your true body fat and muscle compositions, from that, the computer determines your resting calorie consumption (Resting Metabolic Rate - RMR). This is what your body needs to do it's daily livin' as if you were left sleeping in your bed all day. Mine came in at 2005.

Here in has been the cause of one of my problems. My usual net calorie consumption lately has been ~1600 calories a day. The only secret to weight loss that's real is that in order to attain weight loss, you need to use more calories then you consume on a daily basis. Our bodies have a mechanism in them that makes sure we don't start to death quickly. It's called starvation mode and it happens when our calorie consumption falls too low. The body starts to conserve food more efficiently and store anything not immediately needed...thus slowing the weight loss!

According to the nutritionist in the M.A.L.E. program, this ain't good. My target calories should be in the 1800 - 2000 calorie range to maximize my weight loss. So strangely, I need to eat a little more each day to lose more weight faster and healthier.

Over the next 16 weeks, I hope to give regular updates about my progress in this program and share with you any nuggets I find in needing of sharing. I have no idea if anyone is still out there reading this. If you are still there, Hi! I'm back! If you are new, welcome! There are others who can post here if they want and hopefully some of them will join me. If you are new, these are members of my family - strangers - I'd like to introduce you to my family...family...say Hi!

Thanks for stopping by! I should be back soon with more!

2 comments:

karim said...

Very thoughtfull post on fitness. It should be very much helpfull

Thanks,
Karim - Mind Power

seashore subjects said...

Yea for you! My husband is also on the road to fitness and weight loss and spent weeks being amazed at how many calories he was supposed to eat.