So, I finally made it to the doctor today to have my shoulder looked at. Yep, it’s screwed. I haven’t had an MRI on it yet (that costs more than I have, and may not even be relevant), but range of motion, prodding, etc. confirmed what I thought – it’s most likely torn cartilage. While I don’t view that as a good thing by any means, getting a professional diagnosis means I know what I can and can’t do for a while.
I’ll get an MRI on it much later. First, there’s the cost: $425 for the MRI. That’s just going to confirm the situation, and give us a picture of what went wrong. Next step would be the hard part: I’d have to afford the surgery. When I had surgery on my left shoulder (torn cartilage, too, from back in my very early 20’s), it cost around $50k. I don’t have health insurance yet (but, getting ready to fix that), and even if I do, there’s going to be coverage issues. So, for now, lump it and move on.
But, knowing means I can start crafting a plan. I keep WANTING to go back to working out, but without a diagnosis, I was pretty concerned about doing further damage. So, I’ve been as patient as I could (which, as some people will tell you, isn’t particularly patient when it comes to situations like this), and waited until I could afford a Dr’s visit. Meanwhile, even before admitting a sort of defeat and saying I wasn’t going to be doing the Wichita Highland Games this year, I had already started setting the next goal, and doing the first step towards implementing it – tracking calories, and figuring up a daily calorie goal that wasn’t too hard (and sticking to it isn’t that bad. 1,780 calories.)
So, what’s the goal? Flat out, loose every damned bit of fat possible, till I have 6 pack abs. Now, I have no intention of keeping them (I might have them for about, oh, three or four weeks at most), but to get them requires a hell of a lot of work. Right now, I’m sitting at probably 27% body fat. That’s (really rough guesses and math here) around 60 lbs of fat on my body at the moment. The goal line would be somewhere roughly around 185 lbs (roughly 12% body fat). I’d have to lose around 40 lbs to make my goal.
How far out is a goal like that? The maximum you can lose safely is roughly 2 lbs a week – anything faster than that, and you’re screwing up your body pretty quickly. So, 20 weeks, or about 5 months. BUT… the problem is the closer you get to the goal, the less you can lose per week. I doubt I actually hit 12% – that’s pretty damned low. 14 – 15% is more realistic – when I hit that point, I’ll decide (and, when I hit that point, you’d be able to see abs fairly well, but it doesn’t have the level of cut that I want.)
OK, but… WHY?! So why would I do all this if I have no intentions of keeping them that way?
- To say I’ve done it. I’ve reached 17″ biceps (and, once I fill this goal, I’ll probably shoot for about 18″ arms.)
- Because I have 17″ biceps, and I don’t LOOK like I have 17″ biceps. My body fat level is too high, so I didn’t end up with the bulges showing up where I felt they should.
- Because I can tear out almost all of the worst type of fat (heart-health wise) that male can have – visceral fat, which presses against the organs. I’m 43 – I actually should probably do something about that. If I get that down to a healthy level, there’s a good chance I’m directly affecting my lifespan.
After that, I’ll have a good body to build on top of – one that’s a lot healthier. And, oddly, it’s easier to maintain, say, 18% body fat than it is 27% – if you’ve got a lot of muscle mass to go with it. Muscle burns calories to maintain it’s self – so, if you aren’t going overboard (either on workouts, or on eating), it’s a little easier to find an equilibrium for the body.
I’ll start documenting again next week, just like I did with the Highland Games training. However, the counter starts at 52 weeks to go – my goal, unless I somehow radically destroy parts of my body further, is to compete in the 2016 Wichita Highland Games. And look good doing it (well, as good as a 44 year old balding guy can look, at least.)