Month 18: Paint by numbers

Week 1 vs. Week 78 - front

Week 1 vs. Week 78 – front
[Click image for a larger version.]

Measurement Sept. 1, 2012 Feb. 28, 2014 Change
Weight (pounds) 121.8 124.4 +2.6
Body fat percentage 23.5 20.3* [Dec. 31] -3.2 percentage pts.
Fat weight 28.6 25.3 -3.3
Lean weight 93.2 99.1 +5.9
Total inches 113.6 115.9 +2.3

Exercise Start* Feb. 28, 2014 Change
Kettlebell swing 32 x 20 lbs. 63/12 x 60 lbs. +200.0 percent
Myotatic crunch 6.5 x 2.5 lbs. 9.0 x 20 lbs. +700.0 percent
Single-arm kettlebell swing 25 x 15 lbs. 13/10 x 40 lbs. +166.7 percent
Isolateral dumbbell
incline bench press
2.4/3.0 x 30 lbs. 0.3/1.1 x 40 lbs. +33.3 percent
Yates row 7.0 x 55 lbs. 4.3 x 165 lbs. +200.0 percent
Reverse drag curls 6.0 x 25 lbs. 0.3 x 55 lbs. +120.0 percent

*I started these exercises on different dates.

It can be challenging to explain Project Bulk to both fans and strangers. After all, I started out getting bigger, and now I want to be leaner.

In other words, my goal is 15 percent body fat for a healthier me.

The easiest way to show it is by using photos of me at my heaviest (Week 53), which happened to be with my highest body fat level. And then pick the week where my latest body fat measurement had dropped dramatically (Week 69).

Hopefully, this will tell the tale better than I can with mere words …

Week 53 vs. Week 69 - front

Week 53 vs. Week 69 - front

[Click images for larger versions]

February’s average workout time was 25 minutes and 5 seconds.

I averaged 2,258 calories a day in February. I also had 129 g protein a day on average.

The project has cost me $811.38 so far. I spent $55.06 less on food in February compared to previous monthly averages.

You can see all the numbers updated in real time on the Measurements page.

Week 1 vs. Week 78 - side

Week 1 vs. Week 78 – side
[Click image for a larger version.]

Month 17: What I’ve lost

Week 1 vs. Week 74 - front

Week 1 vs. Week 74 – front
[Click image for a larger version.]

Measurement Sept. 1, 2012 Jan. 31, 2014 Change
Weight (pounds) 121.8 125.0 +8.1
Body fat percentage 23.5 20.3 [Dec. 31] -3.2 percentage pts.
Fat weight 28.6 25.4 -3.2
Lean weight 93.2 99.6 +6.4
Total inches 113.6 116.5 +2.9

Exercise Start* Jan. 31, 2014 Change
Kettlebell swing 32 x 20 lbs. 56/19 x 60 lbs. +200.0 percent
Myotatic crunch 6.5 x 2.5 lbs. 10.0 x 20 lbs. +700.0 percent
Single-arm kettlebell swing 25 x 15 lbs. 11/8 x 40 lbs. +166.7 percent
Isolateral dumbbell
incline bench press
2.4/3.0 x 30 lbs. 0.3/1.1 x 40 lbs. +33.3 percent
Yates row 7.0 x 55 lbs. 3.3 x 165 lbs. +200.0 percent
Reverse drag curls 6.0 x 25 lbs. 0.3 x 55 lbs. +120.0 percent

*I started these exercises on different dates.

Losing is never easy.

The good news comes first. I’ve lost an additional 5 pounds in January.

weight  - January 2014

Weight through January 2014

I’m almost at my starting weight, but more importantly, at a healthier body fat percentage. This is a loss I can live (longer) with.

The bad news is that I said goodbye to Freshfully today, a business created by my friend Jen. I’ve known her a long time, and she will triumph again soon.

I remember her talking about the concept years ago, dreaming about a day when she could make it a reality. I remember when she and her partner started putting together the website, the branding, the entire business plan.

And how I remember the victories: winning huge contests, getting national media coverage, setting up and opening the retail store. I hope she savors those successes for a long time.

She won’t, though. Jen just can’t sit still for too long.

What we lose as a community is a place where food choices matter. Buying and eating food that comes from a single middleman means more money going to farmers, a smaller negative impact on the environment and a healthier populace.

In the 3 years Freshfully has worked to bring fresher local food to our doorstep, more options have arrived. That’s a triumph in and of itself for Birmingham, a place with a notoriously unhealthy citizenry.

My last 17 months have not meshed well with Freshfully’s mission. The first 12 were spent on protein shakes with bananas and protein bars. The last 5 have been invested in beans, lentils, frozen vegetables and piles of junk food.

In other words, I have not always put my money where my mouth was, at least where Freshfully was concerned.

But I still believe in local food. I still believe in healthier measures we can all take. And as always, I still believe in Jen.

I am lighter, but today my heart is heavy. I will miss our times catching up in her little shop in Avondale.

But I can’t wait to see what she pulls off next.

January’s average workout time was 26 minutes and 9 seconds.

I averaged 2,052 calories a day in January. I also had 128 g protein a day on average.

The project has cost me $866.44 so far. I spent $53.49 more on food in January compared to previous monthly averages.

You can see all the numbers updated in real time on the Measurements page.

Week 1 vs. Week 74 - side

Week 1 vs. Week 74 – side
[Click image for a larger version.]