Time to get in shape

This will be a pretty big departure from the usual Ljubomir post, but I figured it might be interesting to some. After all, I have been on vacation/travelling for the last month and half and I am now officially out of shape. There is no other way to spin it.

To be fair, I am not so far out of shape that I can’t pass my APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test). I would “make tape” if I had to tomorrow.

What is normal for me is that I keep myself between an upper and lower limit. When I get to where I can barely run 20 miles a week and my top button on my uniform is bursting, it’s time.

I’ve been pretty healthy for about 20 years now, so I have  perfected a pretty decent routine. About once a year I get in really good shape, which takes about 2-5 months, depending on how strictly I stick to the consumption side. I never really stop exercising. I just don’t have the intensity to starve myself all year.

So lets start with some basics. There is no magic bullet to trimming down. It is a simple matter of burning more calories than you consume. There are definitely people with faster metabolic rates, or whatever but you cannot make something out of nothing. Physics is like that.

That means, you have to calculate your BMR, or Base Metabolic Rate. As a 6’1″ 46 year old male weighing in this week at a whopping 216 lbs mine is 2025, That is the amount of calories I burn every 24 hours if all I do is exist.

Here’s how to calculate yours.

That means, if I want to lose weight and NOT work out, I have to consume less than that every day until I reach my goal weight. But luckily, I work out quite a bit. We’ll get into that later.

There are (basically) two ways you can account for this. You can multiply your BMR by a constant which is intended to average out your daily throughput from exercise. This is called the Harris-Benedict equation.

Or you can compensate every day by adding to your BMR the calories you burn from each work out. There are a number of tools available for doing this online. The most precise way to account for these burned calories is a programmable heart rate monitor. I have been doing this for so long that I do sort of a hybrid. (Because I have a pretty good idea of what each workout burns).

But lets say I burn an average of 1000 calories a day from exercise. That means I am burning 3025 a day. A pound is roughly burned off for every 3000-3500 calories you burn in deficit. So, if I want to lose 2 lbs a week, I have to short myself roughly 6000-7000 calories every week.

If I eat less than 2100 calories a day, that’s a 6475 calorie deficit every week and I should lose weight at that rate.

Now, a word on “transforming.” This is the idea that you can burn fat and build a decent amount of strength and muscle endurance/size simultaneously. There are those in the purist body building community who say it doesn’t exist. But here’s what happens to me every time I use this method:

Week Zero

Week 10

Those are the before and after pics I took, last time I did this (and remembered to take pictures). So whether or not transforming is possible, from my perspective is pretty self evident. At the beginning of that cycle (about 2 years ago) I was 217, 36 in waist, and my final bench set each chest day was 8 x 185. By the end, I was 193, 30 in waist, benching 8 x 275 and I ran a sub 19 5k.

The issue is on the diet side. Now listen–I am not a dietician or an expert on this stuff. Just a trial an error guy and I am going to share here what works for me. Since I am basically at week zero again, I thought I would finally get it all on “paper.”

Here’s my routine:

Wake. Take thermogenic. I alternate them daily–Hydroxycut and Shred Matrix every other day. Eat 1 90 calorie quaker chewy granola.

Run. (30 minutes is about 400-500 calories) Tues, Thurs, Sat are speed days, Wed, Fri, Sun are long slow distance. LSD days are more like 1000 calories burned.

After run meal- 1 egg and 1 egg white. 1/2 cup steel cut oats. 2 tbs almond butter. Locally pollinated honey on the oats for my allergies. Lots of water.  This is about 450 calories.

Snack (about an hour before gym)–80 calorie danon vanilla Greek yogurt and handful of mixed nuts.  About 200 calories.

Gym. I use powder thermogenics (or “pre work out”) and alternate those as well. I will do another post on this, but my workouts are basically warm up cardio, resistance training, with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) in between every set. My basic split is Mon and Fri core.Tues and Sat chest/triceps, Wed and Sun shoulders/bicpes, Thursday Legs. About 500-750 calories burned for an hour workout.

After workout snack. Packet of flavored tuna and one slice of white bread or 3-4 rye crackers. About 200 calories.

Snack about 2-3 hours post workout. EAS carb control shake. 100 calories.

Dinner–Whatever Mychael makes. Usually try to eyeball 600 calories. I can do a post on “eyeballing” as well.

Snack–Thomas’ English muffins (low calorie whoe grain) butter, honey or Ljubomir Farms jelly! About 150 calories.

So if you followed along with the math-

I would have burned about 3075 calories on a day like that and consumed about 1790. WAY under the 2100 cut off. And, yes, I am hungry.

But those are the basics. I will do some more posts on here on macro and micro nutrients, what it means to “eat clean” and so forth. There are some supplements I threw in there (and I use a couple more) so lets talk about those too.

In the end–I don’t do this to add one second to my life. I figure God has stamped on this product known as “Scott Klajic” a precise expiration date. I do it because I like the way I look and feel. That’s it.

Tell me what you think about this program. It works for me.

Move, trip and back to work

Well, we finished our move from Spring Branch and back into our old/new house in Kempner, Tx. We were away from the house for the last two years while Scott was in an academic position at Fort Sam Houston. We missed our nice home and are glad to be back in it. Although, the renters did not take very good care of it. For example, the first night we were back, the AC failed due to the filters (the house has two ACs) not being changed the entire time:

Two years worth of dust build up on the coils.

There were lots of other things wrong, so the deposit was exhausted and then some in order to get it back to the condition we left it in.

In the middle of the move, we took a trip to the Montana location, and had a great time. We visited the Serbian Orthodox Church in Butte, which will be our home congregation when we finally move there:

Scott took the kids for a hike around the property:

And we got to sell our stuff at the Helena Farmers Market:

We saw the Gates of the Mountains, Great Falls (where our barn builder is located), and so much beauty we didn’t want to leave.

When we got home to our not-so-well-maintained house, we were a little bummed. But Scott got a little perked up unpacking and putting away some of his favorite things:

We are now just about settled in, and we will be putting together some pictures and videos of the new place. It’s much smaller, but it’s nicer and the facilities are better.

Oh, and one last thing. Mychael is pregnant again:

Mychael taking a nap on Scott’s lap, twelve week bump starting to show.

We hope our readers will rejoice with us in this news as we have been blessed beyond what we deserve or could ever hope for. Baby Klajic # 4 is due in February.

See you soon!

Family time on the farm

Our move back to our old place near Fort Hood is approaching fast, and we decided to put collars on the goats today. We aren’t sure if they will stay contained at our place up there, so until we have it secured it perfectly, its probably a good idea to make sure they can be identified if they end up on a neighbors property.

So, all of us, including the littlest guy, Aleks spent some time in the goat pen, trying to wrangle them up.

Even the little ones are tough to tackle

Action shot!

Our horse, Ginger is photo bombing this one

David got to tag the last one

Everybody happy wearing their “clothes.”

…and we also inherited a new duck today. She is getting along with everyone just fine.

Here at Ljubomir Farms, we try to do everything as a family!

Vehicle maintenance

We had to get rid of the Excursion, because the engine was toast.

But we still need a full-size, 4×4 SUV and we are a true Ford family. So we got a 2008 Expedition, which is a little older than our previous one but a little nicer.

It has a crazy buzz coming from the one of the pulleys, which is often mistaken for a bad power steering pump.

This was a skill level 2-3/10 job depending on your experience. It requires only 2 tools. An 8mm socket to remove the air intake manifold and a 1/2″ breaker bar. The only thing that would have made it easier would be a second set of hands when releasing the tension. This would make it easier to get the serpentine belt around the last pulley. Other than that, super easy.

The Ford 5.4L is not  a bad motor, but these pulleys are notorious for failing. Now that I have this done, I think we are ready for our next two hauls. One when we head back up to Kempner, and then two  days later we depart for Montana for a 17 day vacation up there.

Edited to add: It occurred to me there is no “before” video with the noise. However, if you go back and watch this video, the Expedition was idling in the background and you can hear it. It was obnoxious.

Starting to seem real now

For readers who don’t know, my husband isn’t just a hunky farmer/rancher who drives a big truck. He’s also a clinical psychologist and active duty army officer. For the past two years, he has been in an academic position. The technical title is, Chief, Special Subjects Branch, Department of Behavioral Health Sciences, AMEDD Center and School. Can you tell I’m a little proud of him?

Anyway, today was his going away luncheon and they gave him an award and a funny gift. A red stapler, as a reference to the movie “Office Space.” You see, Scott is a self proclaimed crusader against bureaucracy. Stupid stuff at work makes him a little crazy.

Here are some pictures from the send off. I cut out his boss because I didn’t ask him if it was OK.

Red stapler gift

…and a desk name plate.


And we snapped a quick photo with all of us at the end.

It’s been a different kind of assignment for him, one they call a “broadening assignment.” Well, whatever. We are heading back to Fort Hood for what will be Scott’s last duty station before he leaves the army and we can move to Montana. The going away luncheon just made it a little more real.