Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hair and Weight Loss Update

Before I update where I'm at with my hair, I'd like to chronicle my attempts at weight and fat loss here.  Due to poor diet and lack of exercise, my weight increased from about the time I was 31 until I was 38.  I was finally shocked to my senses one day in March 2010 while on the cliffwalk with my wife in Newport, RI.  It was an easy walk but I was winded and tired at the halfway point.  Here was my bloated 200 pound self:

I realized something had to be done.  I slowly began working on my diet and began incorporating at least some of the paleo eating plan.  I tried to start eliminating bread, pasta, cereal, rice, potatoes and sugar.  Instead I focused on eating quality meat, poultry, fish, nuts, vegetables and fruit.

My goal was to try to get back to the body I had when I was 25.  This picture has served as motivation to me:

I've had my ups and downs.  When I get injured and especially when I get sick, I find it very hard to stick to the diet and usually hit the ice cream hard.  But, overall, I've changed my pattern of eating enough that it now comes naturally for me to seek out paleo foods.  Of course, the other big part of it is exercise, particularly intense exercise.  I was doing a combination of running and cycling but have now gone over primarily to cycling.  I always fill my rides with plenty of intervals both by straight sprints and also all-out hill climbs.  Raising your heart rate far into the anaerobic range turbo charges one's metabolism and it stays high long after the exercise is over.  I was down to 162 last week but have gained a couple pounds back due to some ice cream binging.  My goal is to get down to 150.  I think if I can reach that level, my stomach will look close to what it did in that picture of me at 25.  I've definitely still got a roll of fat around my abdomen that has to go.  So, here I am with 14 pounds still needed to come off:

I feel so much better having shed this weight!  The great part of it is that I mostly don't feel like I'm depriving myself with this eating plan.  I don't have to go around hungry either.  The large amounts of protein are very filling.  Eating many vegetables and some fruit ensures my body receives a full spectrum of nutrition.

Turning to my hair, I have neglected the coconut oilings some.  I'm still using it some but need to get back to a better routine.  All my outdoor activity causes significant wear and tear.  I was dousing my braid in coconut oil before my rides which worked well to protect it.  At this point, I'm unsure whether I can continue to gain length that doesn't look ratty.  I had Amanda cut 1 1/4 inches off the length yesterday and it feels much more healthy for it.  Here was my hair today, first unbrushed:

and then brushed...

My last trim was on June 12, 2011 so I definitely gained some length over the summer considering that the pictures above were taken after the 1 1/4 inch trim.  I probably went a bit too long without a trim this time.