Welcome to Week 13 of me publicly broadcasting my goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until that goal is accomplished.

History Of How I Got Here

June 2010
  • End of massive weight loss transformation.
  • Lost around 80 pounds of fat in two years
  • Got weight down to 184 pounds


September 2010 – December 2014
  • Yearly fitness goals to lift weights for maintenance and strength.
  • 95% of workouts are based on lifting weights
  • Comfortable with maintaining a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle


January 2015
  • Wanted to lose as much fat as possible before pursuing a massive muscle building program
  • Created a year long goal to lose at least 15 pounds of fat by end of the year
  • If I suffered no muscle loss, 195 pounds would equate to 15 pounds of fat loss.


January – November 2015
  • Weight bounced between 199 – 215 pounds


November 20, 2015
  • Decided to document my journey online for extra motivation to meet goal before end of the year
  • Hardest time of the year for me to lose weight is during the holidays, so I challenged myself to get to 195 pounds during the season.
  • Countdown Week 1 (click here)
  • Countdown Week 2 (click here)


December 2015
January 2016

February 2016

Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals for 2015 was to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary measurement.

WEEK 13: February 5 – February 11 2016

February 5th Stats
Scale Weight: 211 pounds
Waist: 35.5 inches

Week 13 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 211 to 210.5 pounds.
  • Waist under 35.3 inches
  • Eat about 1926 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 193 grams Protein
      • 193 grams Carbohydrates
      • 43 grams Fat


Observations & Challenges


I’m currently doing a Push-Pull workout routine. The workout cycle is:

  • Day 1: Pull
  • Day 2: Push
  • Day 3: Rest
  • Repeat.

If interested, you can find the exact workout here.

Well on one of my pull days I was performing deadlifts. In my haste, I rushed my warm-up and didn’t properly stretch out my lower back. What happened was almost deju vu of what happened a few months ago! As I was working on my second to last set, I heard a loud POP!!

It was the popping noise you normally hear when getting your back adjusted by a chiropractor.  I thought I was in trouble. I twisted my back around to pinpoint the soreness. I was at a crucial point where I was either going to stop working out for the entire day, or just continue.

I decided to do my last set but made sure that my abs were super tight. As I did that last set, I felt no pain whatsoever which surprised me. I decided to move on to my stiff-leg deadlifts. Given the pain was in my lower back, I knew that the stiff-leg deadlift would definitely agitate the possible injury.

For my first set, I went light and just squeezed my abs as I bent down. To my surprise, NO PAIN!!! This was just odd. Once I was done, I tilted my pelvis and realized that the soreness only occurred when I tilted my pelvis forward. By tightening my abs, I was doing a good job of preventing my pelvis from tilting.

I finished the workout with no problem. I actually added more weight to my workout. I was just totally shocked at my strength. That shock continued the next day when I performed front squats. I go to parallel (and lower) when I do front squats so I expected my pelvis to possibly tilt at the bottom of my squat. By bracing my abs I was able to avoid the tilt again.

I’m fortunate enough to have been able to workout this entire week despite this lower back soreness. Like I talk about in Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside!, you need to make sure you know the difference between good and bad pain. The pain I was experiencing was definitely bad, but I didn’t let my ego get in the way of just ignoring it. I smartly tested the area out, and continued with my plan.


I was very hard on myself during Week 12’s countdown. It was eye-opening to hear the truth. What was also cool was hearing Episode 88 of The Octane Athletic Performance podcast that featured yours truly!

Listen to it here!

I went into deep detail about gateway/trigger foods. It’s an awesome reminder of who I am. I feel that I have my mindset back. Sure, I expect to eat junk foods, but I don’t see it dominated my mind like it had for the past couple of weeks.

In 3 Inner Conversations You Need To Have To Help Release The Beast, I got a big mental boost by completing the “Who Am I “, “Who’s Your Enemy” & “Reality” chapters from Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside! They were the butt-kicking I needed to see how I’ve truly been doing during this Countdown to 195!

Trigger Food Discovery

The Super Bowl happened last Sunday, and I expected to enjoy myself during the big game. I thought of a couple food ideas. Ultimately, I decided just to make myself some homemade baked buffalo wings with celery, carrots, dip and chips as snacks.

I decided to go with Doritos chips because I hadn’t eaten them in awhile.  I was also curious if I would be addicted to them as much as I had been in the past. Well it didn’t take long for me to find out. As you see in the food journal below, I splurged on the chips the day BEFORE the Super Bowl which led to a unplanned cheat meal of chips, mangos & ice cream.

What’s ironic is that the ice cream had been in my home for over two weeks without me touching it! For me that’s shocking because I know ice cream is a red trigger food. In this week’s observation, it’s clear that chips are even deadlier for me.

No worries though because all chips are on my Red Trigger food list proudly displayed on my refrigerator door!

Mike's Red Trigger Food List

Food Journal

Here are my honest food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 5 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 6 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 7 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 8 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 9 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 10 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for Feb 11 2016

End of Week 13: February 12th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 210 lbs
  • Waist: 35.6 inches
  • 88% Compliant
    • 22 out of 25 meals I ate during the week were compliant with my eating plan

Despite the numbers, I felt good about my progress this week! I can my muscles popping out when I look in the mirror. Even though they are popping out, I could see that my waist did not significantly shrink. It appears that this was a week in which my body just stayed at a standstill. If I evaluate my current plan compared to my past, it’s no wonder why.

Due to the change in my workout routine two weeks ago, I decided to start off with 1926 calories. I wanted to see how my body would respond with that amount of calories due to the heavy weightlifting I am doing on my current routine. I’m glad I did that because two weeks later, I can see that it’s too many calories to create a significant fat loss for my activity level.

How do I know this? Well, when I went back to my Week 1 stats, I see that my activity level was much higher back than then these past two weeks. That’s enough proof for me to know what adjustments need to be made.

So I will be decreasing my calories from 1926 to 1776. That should create the deficit I need to get towards 205 pounds. I suspect that once I get to 200-205 pounds, I will have to increase my conditioning to get my body to shed that final fat to get to 195 pounds.

Upcoming Week 14 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 210.2 to 209 pounds.
  • Waist under 35.5 inches
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day
    • Ideally that breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat


It’s Cold outside……Do I really want to lose my Winter Fat? Tune in, Next week to find out about Week 14!

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