Lately, life has been impossible to “manage,” and it’s all I can do just to keep up a workout schedule alongside the whole “I have a full time job that’s been demanding more lately than it has in years and so does my wife and we have two small children and it’s my four year old’s birthday next week and my parents are staying with us for a couple of weeks and sleeping in my basement while my mother in law still lives nearby and of course I usually shop for all the food cook all the meals and do the financial books around here and speaking of the books we’ve finally realized we have to cut our expenses before we go bankrupt” thing. So, for me, what gives way in this scenario, it turns out, is my trademark scholarly approach to monitoring and planning my fitness and food life. I’ve been slacking off when it comes to the controls I have in place around the use of alcohol and consumption of other non-paleo food items, and I’ve also relaxed my normal strictures about daily fasts, etc. With predictable results: I’m more tired, less energized, less generally pumped (in other words more depressed), recovering harder, feeling and looking a bit dumpier, and in general “a bit off” … at least, “off” of “my game” as I’ve established it over the past couple of years. Worse: I can tell I’m feeling off, but, I have barely enough room to take notice of this, to care, and to try to do something about it.
Yet quantitatively, the effects of all this “slippage” haven’t begun to really take hold. Not so far. Maybe it’s even all in my head for now. If so, the negative impact is no less “real” for being “only mental.” That’s stress for you! Let me substantiate what I am saying (about the slippage not really showing) by posting my most recent body metrics data with recent comparisons.
|Date||Weight Observed||Suprailliac Skinfold||Body Fat %||Fat Mass||Lean Mass||Umbilical||Bicep||Thigh||Shoulder/Chest|
|4/10/11||187.5||7mm||11.5%||21.5||165.5||35 7/16||14″||22″||47 1/4″ / 40 7/8″|
|3/6/2011||186||7+ mm||>11.5+%||>21.4 lbs||<164.6 lbs||34 5/16″||14 1/8″||21 11/16″||47 5/16″ (sh) / 39 3/4″ (ch)|
|2/20/2011||182.0 lbs||6mm+||11.5%||21 lbs||161 lbs||34 3/8″||13 3/4″ flexed, 12 5/8″ unflexed||21 3/4″||46 3/8″|
|Feb. 6th, 2011||187.0 lbs||7-8 mm||11.5-13.8%||21.5–25.8 lbs||165.5-161.2 lbs||35 1/2″||14″ (flexed) / 12 1/2″ (unflexed)||21 5/8″||46 1/4″|
|Nov. 21, 2010||184.0 lbs||(less than) 6 mm||(less than) 11.5%||21.2 lbs||162.8||34 1/4″||14″ (flexed) / 12 1/2″ (unflexed)||21 5/8″||47 1/4″|
|Oct. 24th, 2010||179.5 lbs||6 mm||11.5%||20.5 lbs||159 lbs||34 1/4″||12 3/8″||21 5/8″||46 3/16″|
It sure is hard for me to evaluate these numbers. I see two ways to read them. One is to stack them against the past few months and say, yeah, I was leaner back in November, but I’m basically holding steady since February. Another is to point to all the very small increases and decreases and pretend they are meaningful. I show an inch increase in my umbilical region but only a pound and a half increase in weight. So that might be the extra cheese, dairy, sugar, alcohol, grain, etc., I’ve been eating, for sure, or, increased total carb consumption is just leading to extra water retention. If so, it’s not retaining in my biceps, which seem to have shrunk (consistent with my terrible performance, lately, on pull-ups), but might be found in waist and thighs. Yet my suprailiac skinfold remains more or less unchanged, even possibly better. Am I stronger? Yes. I’ve done some things lately that tell me I am. Am I faster? No. I am probably not. Fatter is more like it.
So, I’ll be on the look-out but, until I get through the next four weeks and shift gears into summer, this monkey remains in hell and doesn’t feel like cracking down further on the monkey mind.