Day 28 – 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back… or Was It?

Today is a scheduled off day from the gym.  I will spend some time this morning doing some yoga & core work but that’s about it.  I intend to use today as a recovery day.  Phase 2 of my current weight lifting program begins tomorrow.  I would prefer to head into this phase well rested & ready!

This morning was also weigh-in day.  I’ve made a few modifications to my meal plans this week in response to last week’s weigh in.  Specifically, I increased my caloric intake on lifting days by about 300 calories & I decreased my calories/carb intake for “off” days by about 200 calories.

While I am attempting to add as much mass as possible, I am also looking to limit the amount of fat I gain in the process.  I was expecting the scale to show a slight increase in weight over last week.  At worst I figured I would weigh in at the same weight as last week.

You can imagine my surprise when the scale revealed that I had lost 2 pounds in the last week!  Especially when one considers I had a cheat meal last night consisting of the following:

  • 6 slices of bacon pizza (8 slices would have been half of a 16 inch pizza)
  • 3 Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies
  • 2 Peanut Butter Sandwich GS Cookies
  • 2 Peanut Butter Patties GS Cookies
  • 1 Caramel deLites GS Cookie

Screen shot 2013-02-03 at 9.49.49 AM

So good, yet so bad!  And I will be ordering more soon….

Total caloric intake of my cheat meal was easily between 1500 & 2000 calories, the majority of which were high glycemic carbs & fat.  That should have been enough to tip the scale upwards yet it didn’t.

When I sat down to compute my Lean Body Mass (LBM) & Body Fat% this morning, I was a little disappointed.  As I alluded to earlier, I am attempting to add as much muscle mass to my body as possible during this 90 day transformation contest.  The prior 2 weeks saw me gain over 6 pounds, with most of it being an increase LBM.  I had hoped to continue that upward climb on the scale yet it was not to be.  Instead the number had fallen.

2 steps forward, 1 step back.  Or so I thought…

When I ran my numbers I was in for a pleasant surprise.  The 2 pounds I shed this week was almost entirely body fat!  My LBM was virtually unchanged yet the amount of body fat I was carrying had decreased by 1.8 pounds.

What at first looked like a step back (oh no, I lost weight…) was actually a step in the proper direction.  I now know where I need to fine tune my meal plans in order to continue gaining muscle & minimizing fat gain.

For the month, I have gained about 5 pounds.  Of that, less than 1 pound is fat.  In 4 weeks I have increased my LBM by around 4 pounds.  1 pound per week doesn’t sound like much.  But what if I keep it up for 6 months?  That’s 24 pounds, with the vast majority of it being muscle.

I will admit that I am a bit behind the pace I had hoped to set for this 90 day transformation contest.  My goal is to add 15-20 pounds of muscle while shedding a few pounds of fat.  It is possible that I may come up a few pounds short of my goal.  It might cost me a chance at winning the contest.  But I won’t quit.

It may take me a few additional months or even a year to achieve my fitness goals but so what?  There will be many 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back moments along the way.  It is all part of the journey.  While it is rewarding to stand on the mountain top, the journey taken to reach the pinnacle is the real treasure.

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