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Today I looked on this blog and saw my Big 24 numbers from last September. The results were sobering. Despite working out rather regularly since that time. I was doing 20 lbs less on “The Exercise”. Whoa!?! What happened? I am way stronger than last September. All my other lifts are up. I think this drop comes down to one thing: location. Last time I was doing Big 24s I was on an olympic platform. I could let myself go all in. This time around I’m doing Big 24 in a confined apartment complex gym. If I miss the lift I just don’t have a lot of space to bail. The solution is simple. The gym in my apartment building is right next to the roofdeck. All I got to do is drag the weights outside. We’ll see how that goes.

There is a clear, larger lesson to this. If you’re serious about improving performance, you have to keep track. I would have had NO idea if I hadn’t written things down here on the blog.

This got me thinking, what else should I be tracking? My 30 day push ahead of July 4th is a perfect opportunity to keep track of a wide variety of data points to see what makes sense and what doesn’t:

– Training.
– Food. Obvious, low-hanging fruit. I eat pretty darn clean, but I’m quite sure that I eat way too much
– Sleep
– Supplements
– Weight
– Body measurements
– Some sort of qualitative measurement of how I feel.

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A couple of days ago I cleared out my cupboards of all the remaining “crap” I had in the house. I just threw it away. A few boxes of pasta, some maple syrup etc… anything that could qualify as non-primal is out of the house. I felt a lot of guilt throwing it out. My mother grew up in Germany immediately after WW2. She remembers rationed food vividly. “Wasting” food is completely anathema to her and she instilled that in her sons. However, I know this is for the best.

In the past year I have gotten much stronger and have managed to drop about a third of the fat I was carrying around. However I’ve just plateaued there. From my past as an athlete I know that a fit weight for me is around 190-195. I currently weigh 211. I’m running a little experiment from now until Labor Day.

First, I am carefully tracking what I eat on FitDay to see if I can make a dent in the 15-18% body fat I have left. Of course, the observer effect is in full force here. As I enter everything over the course of the day, I see myself getting closer to 2,700 calories and start to cut back. That’s fine with me. This isn’t a scientific experiment, it’s about getting results!

Second, I’ve given myself complete license to eat whenever I’m hungry, in exchange for being absolutely mindful of how hungry I really am. I didn’t think this would work, but so far so good. Yesterday I ended up at 1,900 calories, but wasn’t hungry.

Third, I’ve purged the insulin spiking snack food. At this point insulin spiking “snack food” to me is a peach, a plum, or a nectarine. We’re not talking a bag of chips here. However, when I have wonderful summer fruit sitting around the house I end up eating 5 or 6 over the course of the day. That’s a surefire way to stay out of ketosis since every 90 minutes or so it gives a nice little insulin spike. Don’t get me wrong, having 3 or 4 fruits a day is fine and I can maintain my weight eating them, but the last few months have shown me that I can’t drop any weight like that.