Strong Lifts 5x5

Started April 28 on Stronglifts 5x5. Old school strength training that gets results.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Mental Benefits of Physical Training

One of the biggest revelations for me during the process of the 12 week challenge was the mental and emotional benefits of working out.

I have struggled most of my adult life with my temper and patience. I wasn't a person that would go off over every little thing, but I would internalize things until my stresses would reach a boiling point and the silliest thing would set me off. More and more I found myself having less and less patience with people, and being a sales rep one thing you need when dealing with customers is patience. Especially "those" customers. The ones that on the best days just make you shake your head.

Since starting the BFL challenge in July, I have found that my "me time" at the gym has become the pressure relief valve I have needed for so long. That 45mins -1 hr of just focusing on the now. The next rep, the next interval. Nothing beyond or outside of that. That time allows the stresses of the day to just kinda melt away. I feel almost cleansed after a good workout.

I find that my temper is under control. I don't have the build up of daily stress boiling inside me. I have more patience and over all am a much calmer person.

I know a lot of people hit the gym in the morning, for me the afternoon is where it's at. It gives me that decompression time after work to release the day and be able to enjoy a relaxing evening at home.

So for those of you with busy schedules, be it work or kids or both. When it seems like there is just not enough time in the day to get to the gym, I say there is not enough time in life to not to. The calming effect and stress relief of daily exercise will make the other 23hrs of your day that much more enjoyable.

Here we go!

Saturday I started back into the routine. I'm not calling this a 12 week challenge again as I'm not going to count the days. I am looking at this as the "For Life" part of BFL. I have set some goals for myself to finish off the year and I am going to pursue them with the same single mindedness as I did the 12 week challenge.

So far its been a very good week. Felt fantastic to get back to full workouts again and really push myself at the gym and reach for those 10s. My right knee has been bothering me since the weather started to turn colder. I've had knee trouble for years now including surgery on my left knee. I'm worried it may be a little arthritis as it seemed to crop up once it started getting colder. But I slapped on my brace for my cardio and that seemed to help.

I hadn't weighed in since I got back from my weekend away. To my surprise when I weighed in this morning I was down to 211lbs. So, even with the 2 weeks of active rest and a weekend away where I ate pretty much whatever I wanted, still dropping about 2lbs a week. Its amazing what your body does when your metabolism is running well.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Great Weekend

So, back from my weekend away. Had a ton of fun with my sisters and the families. Very nice to just relax for 3 days. No gym, no worrying about what I ate. While I didn't even worry about 6 meals a day or anything eating healthier is definitely become ingrained into my mind.

On the trip down, I stopped at a Mcdonalds around lunch time. Went in, looked at the menu, kinda stood there for a minute taking in the sites and smells then walked back out without ordering anything. Went down the street to the Subway and got a 6inch chicken breast on whole wheat, no mayo no cheese and enjoyed the heck out of it. I told myself before I left for the trip I would eat what ever I was craving with no remorse, but once I actually was in McD's I realized I wasn't craving that food at all.

So anyways, had a great time but as always it was nice to get home. To my surprise after a "free weekend" including some drinking and no exercise, one day after getting back my weight was the exact same as the day before I left. I fully expected to be a couple lbs heavier so it was a nice surprise.

Back to the gym this week. Nothing crazy. Had a good run on Monday and a good UBWO yesterday. Not as heavy as I was doing during the 12 weeks but it felt good to get back into the gym and work up a sweat. It was a bit of a revelation to me. I MISSED THE GYM! Never thought I would ever say that! I managed to not miss a single workout over my 12 weeks, and that took a ton of will power sometimes to drag my butt down there and give it my all. But now, even though the "challenge" is done I find even more motivation to keep going. hmm, motivation isn't even really the right word anymore. I crave the gym, not out of guilt but because I like the new me. I love how I feel both physically and mentally after a good workout.

Anyways, Going to go for a run today, then take 2 days off and start back into it full speed on Saturday.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Active Rest

So, middle of the first week post 12 week challenge. This week is suggested being an "active rest" week. Cut out the weights and dial back the cardio. Finding it very hard to do so, but I also haven't really been trying to hard to cut back.

I've been keeping my normal routine and hit the gym every day this week. I tried to dial back the cardio and just do a moderate pace jog instead of the HIIT. I'm finding steady state cardio like that very boring and really doesn't feel like I'm getting a good workout. ON Sunday I set the treadmill to what has been my level 7 intensity (9.5km/hr) and ran for 15mins with no rest. Yawn! Barely even worked up a sweat. So for the last 5 mins I did intervals of 1:15 at a lv7 and 45secs at lv10 for 5 intervals. That felt much more like it. Worked up a good sweat and got the heart rate up. Then finished with 5 mins at a fast walk for a total of 4kms.

On Monday I switched to an elliptical machine for 1/2hr of steady pace cardio and a light leg workout. Hit quads, hammies and calves but at a lighter weight than I had been doing.

Tuesday went back to my normal HIIT routine and speeds and yesteday did a light upper body workout. Today another HIIT session then going away for the weekend and taking a total break from the gym for 3 days.

I haven't changed my eating at all. 6 meals a day, lots of water and no junk. This weekend I am going to enjoy myself without going over board.

Next week will be similar to this week and then Oct 31st starting another 12 week cycle.

My goals for the next cycle:

Size 32 pants
Get under 200lbs.
Lose 20lbs of fat and 10% BF.
6 pack by Christmas
Gain another 10% in strength
Up my cardio distance by 10%.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Well here they are my start and Day 84 pics. We took them a couple hrs ago but I can't help just flipping through them with a huge smile on my face!

First the starting pictures.

And now the Day 84!

Day 84! FInal Measurments and Thoughts

Well here it is. 12 week Challenge Completed!

What a fantastic 3 months it has been. Physically I feel like I turned back the clock 10 years. Energy levels are the highest they have ever been. I'm lifting as much weight in the gym as I was back in my 20s and running faster and farther than I think I could back then. My initial goal was to increase my strength by 20%. In the end I nearly doubled or better my strength in all areas.

My blood pressure is spot on at 112/72 and resting heart rate is 77 BPM. Both significant improvements over when I started. Initially my Blood Pressure was getting into the danger zone. 138/90 and my resting heart rate was 96BPM. I wish I had have done a cholesterol test right before I started this so I would have a comparison. I know right now my cholesterol levels are

Total Cholesterol - 160
LDL - 102

and my doctor is very happy with the results of all the above.

Mentally I'm in a totally new place. My confidence has never been so high. The other day I was running out the door and my wife looked at me in my jeans and a t-shirt and gave me a whistle and a wink. I kinda stopped and looked at her and asked ":do I look so different?". She replied that even more than the change in my physique, I radiated a confidence in myself she hadn't seen since we first started dating so many years ago.

More than anything though, the fact I finished these 12 weeks without a single missed workout or any cheating on the diet has given me a sense of accomplishment I don't think I have ever had before. I gave it everything I had both physically and mentally and being able to look myself in the mirror and know that is a huge high point in my life.

Now the tale of the tape:

Day 1 Measurements:

Neck 17.5"
Chest 47.25"
Shoulder (girth) 53.5
Bicep 16.5
Forearm 12.25
Waist 48" Le gasp!
Hips 46.25"
Thigh 24.5"
Calves 16"
Height 71"
Weight 245.4lbs

Using the Body Fat F Calculator here :
34.76% BF
159.84lbs lean Muscle
85.16lbs Fat

My final measurements:

Neck 16.25
Chest 45
Shoulder (girth) 49.75
Bicep 15.25
Forearm 11.5
Waist 39
Hips 41.25
Thigh 25
Calves 16"
Height 71"
Weight 215.4lbs

Using the Body Fat F Calculator here :
164.72 Lean Body Weight
50.28lbs Fat

I am going to go get a professional body fat measurement next week as that one is not the most accurate. But for now, it is the same method as I used at the start so we will stick with it.

Net results.
35lbs of fat lost.
5lbs of lean muscle gained.
30lbs net weight lost.
11.5% drop in Body Fat
9 inches off my abdomen.
5 inches off my hips
2.5 inches off the man boobs er.... chest!

Some of the measurements are interesting. My thighs and calves stayed the same in inches but the difference in composition is quite amazing. From soft and flabby to muscular and getting defined. My arms as the same. Instead of 16.25 inches with a easily grabbed roll of fat both on top and underneath I end up with 15.25" of nice muscle.

I managed to hit every goal I set out in this 12 week challenge but one. That was fitting a size 34 pant. While I can get a size 34 on and done up they are still tight. I did reach a comfortable size 36 which is a big drop from a tight size 42! Shirt wise I went from a 2x extra large to a large.

I am wearing clothes I haven't worn for 10 years or more. What I considered my "skinny clothes" are now big and baggy. I am not going to buy anything new yet as I haven't reached my end. I am looking forward to some major shopping on boxing day though!

I still have a ways to go to reach my ultimate goals. I don't know what my ultimate weight goal is as I no longer really use a scale weight to define my results. Once I get my Body Fat tested by a pro I will be better able to judge where I am now, but I'll be shooting for 10-12% BF and a weight around 185-190 I think and a size 32 pant.

I would recommend the BFL program to anyone looking to make a change in their life. Both physically and mentally this program is top notch. It's simple to understand but not easy to do. It is a lot of hard work and requires disciple, but if you give it your all and commit to it the results are truly amazing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Week 11 and 12

Well, today is day 83 of the 84.

Last week and this week have again been pretty busy and its been awhile since my last update.

Week 11 finished very well and Week 12 has been great also. End of week 11 weigh in and I broke out of the 220s weighing in at 218lbs. Leaving me 3 more lbs to drop in week 12 to hit 215lbs. 218 is already past my starting goal especially considering the muscle I have gained over this 12 weeks. According to our caliper and measurements (granted we are not pros at using the fat calipers) I am at 35lbs of fat lost and 7 lbs of muscle gained and have dropped over 10% of my body fat.

My workouts so far in week 12 have been very good. New highs in both weights and cardio. One more cardio session to go this afternoon and that will be 12 weeks complete. So proud of myself to have stuck with this program right to the end. No workouts missed and no cheating on the diet. Cathy as well has remarked on how proud she is that I stuck with it given my history of not following through on a diet or sticking with going to the gym for any period of time.

Of course, these 12 weeks are only the beginning of my fitness journey. I need to make the transition from the 12 week challenge to a life time commitment of eating right and exercise. I still have more fat to lose to reach my ultimate goal, so my efforts can't stop with the completion of the 12 week challenge.

I have already started to refocus my effort with new goals to reach for by year end and I think that will be the key to long term success of maintaining a healthy weight and body fat percentage. Continually updating and coming up with new fitness goals to chase

I will admit I am nervous. In the past I have not been able to maintain my weight. It seems like for most of my adult life I was either losing or gaining weight which I know is not healthy for my body.

. I haven't yet decided what methods I am going to use to continue on to my ultimate goals. A big part of me says why fix what isn't broken. The BFL lifestyle is working tremendously for me, both in the results I have seen and the simplicity it brings to the process. I am accustomed to the routine and schedule that we have been following for the last 3 months. Why not continue on? Use next week to write down my next set of goals and prepare for another 12 week cycle.

Another part of me though wants to explore other training methods. Maybe a change is needed to make sure I don't plateau. To mix things up to keep me focused and excited to hit the gym.

So I have some thinking to do and decisions to make over the next couple days. One thing I don't want to do is lose momentum before I reach my long term goals. So, while the challenge officially ends tomorrow and we will be doing our final pictures on Saturday or Sunday. One thing I'm not going to do it is revert back or slow down especially on the eating front. I'm going to enjoy my normal free day on Friday, then Saturday morning back into the swing of things eating wise.

If there is one thing I that has become routine for me over these 3 months, its that I don't need fast food or sweets on a daily basis. I don't feel like I am restricing myself on a day to day basis anymore. I enjoy my cottage cheese and berries as my evening snack just as much as I enjoyed ice cream or chips before. I see no reason not to continue on with eating 6 balanced meals a day and avoiding the junk and having a free day once a week.

As to the gym, I know there is this accepted thing called active rest the BFL community seems to follow. For myself not sure. I enjoy going to the gym and lifting weights. Am I going to go 6 times next week? IDK. Maybe for a week or two I'll cut it back to 4 times a week. Couple cardio session and a couple weights.

Stay tuned (that is if anyone is actually tuned in :) ), end pics will be coming this week end.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 74

Week 11 Day 4

Cardio day. Had a great run. Probably my best in the last 2 weeks. Set a new best distance which while nice was not the reason I rate it as my best in a couple weeks. It was great because mentally I was back in a focused state of mind which had been missing for a couple weeks.

After 2 months of this routine I found myself not pushing nearly as hard as I was when I started. I mean, yes over all I am pushing more weight and running farther that when I started, quite a bit more when you get right down to it. But I just wasn't pushing for that 10 like I really wanted it. I was more in a "that's good enough" state of mind.

It's kind of a funny thing when you get to this stage of the 12 weeks. I have hit almost all of my goals. I feel a million times better than when I started. While I still have a ways to go, I am so happy with the results it gets harder to maintain that drive and harness that extra gear to push for a 10 that I started the program with.

Its even more of a mental game right now that the first months were. To set my mind that I am not going to coast through the finish line but find my finishing kick and drive hard to the end of the race.

8 workouts and 10 days left in the first stage of my journey to better health and fitness. Need to make them the best of the bunch!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week 11 Day 71,72,73

Start of Week 11.

Saturday was not good. Woke up in a cold sweat and had to rush to the bathroom to throw up. Not sure what was going on there, I certainly didn't over do it on free day. In fact it was probably one of the cleanest free days I have had. Felt like crap all day. Didn't hardly eat at all. After spending most of the day on the couch I forced myself to the gym in the evening to do my UBWO. Bad idea. No strength to do anything. After a couple sets of chest and arms packed it in and went home. Very disappointing as Upper Body is my favorite workout and I hadn't missed a single workout in the 10 weeks I have completed. I will have to make that one up next week.

Felt much better Sunday morning. Had a decent cardio and got backon track eating my 6 meals. LBWO yesterday and it was quite good. Really blasted the legs and feeling it this morning. Today's run should be a treat the way my legs feel right now.

Was doing some running around yesterday afternoon and stopped in at Walmart to try on some clothes. Grabbed a pair of size 36 and a pair of size 34 jeans to check progress. The size 36 fit quite nicely now and for the first time I got the button and zipper done up on the size 34. They were still very tight, but first time I could actually do them up! Maybe my last goal to reach of fitting a size 34 is still in reach!

Shirt wise down to a Large from a XXL. Tried on a couple mediums as well. but I don't think they will ever been on the cards for me just based on my shoulder width.

1/2 way through week 11. Only 9 more gym days left in the 12 weeks. Really gotta dig deep and push it hard to the end.

End of week 10

Man, life is getting to busy. Struggling to find time to keep this blog updated.

Week 10 ended well. Good workouts all around. Visited the Physio Therapist regarding my continual nagging shoulder pain. Chronic Shoulder Impingement is the probable diagnosis. So, have to continue to dial back shoulder exercises and stick with light weight side and front raises. No overhead lifting. Kinda sucks but the doc feels giving it rest with the stretching routine he gave should help.

No issues sticking with eating clean. It has become so natural to me now I really don't even think about it much. No cravings at all, so much so I struggled to figure out something for my free meal on Friday night. Ended up making some back ribs instead of getting take out or picking up a pizza.

The weigh in on Friday was a bit of a downer. Didn't really lose anything to speak of. But, that went away after doing measurements. Even without any weight loss, I dropped inches all around again. Good indication that I am building muscle. Really I don't care what the scale says as long as I continue to lose fat from my trouble areas, especially the gut. I've already lost 25 lbs of scale weight and close to 30lbs of fat in 2.5 months. Any faster and I would be losing muscle which I do not want to do.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Days 64 and 65

Week 10 Days 1 and 2

Had a very good LBWO on Saturday. Switched back to leg press after a month of squats. Up to 8 45lb plates for my 6 rep set and 6 45lb plates for my 12 rep super set. Up to 4 45lb plates for my calf raises.

Good run yesterday. Hit a new record distance after a week or so of not improving. I think I could have done even better except I got a stitch in my side around min 16. All and all a good start to week 10. Hoping for sub 220lb weigh in at the end of this week.

Week 9

Week 9

Busy week and I sadly didn't have time to keep up to date on my blog. Overall was a good week. All my weights were very good. Switched up a couple exercises. My cardios were good but not great, seem to be plateauing a little in my distances. All were still good runs and I was sweating a ton and felt like I was pushing hard, just didn't see any improvement in my distances.

Eating was spot on the whole week. Free day was controlled and I didn't go over board. End of week 9 weigh in was 222.4 lbs. Down 23 lbs so far. Waist was 41". Down 7 inches there. Tried on a pair of size 36 jeans at the store. They did up, but tight in the waist. Size 34 a no go but still 3 weeks till the end of the challenge to hit that goal which is the last one to hit on my original list.

The BFL lifestyle has really become second nature to me now. When I started it seemed like BFL was consuming all of my thoughts. Constantly thinking about eating, training etc. Now it just happens. I don't have to spend hrs planning my meals, I just make sure the house is stocked with the foods I need and eating clean just is just what i do. Same with workouts. I longer think in terms of , its week 9 day 4. Its more, oh, its Monday, that means UBWO this week. Going to the gym is just what I do.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Days 54 and 55

Week 8 days 5 & 6

Well today is day 56 and my free day. Given the trip down to see the family tomorrow I am making this week 9 day 1 and taking my free day tomorrow. So eating clean today and heading to the gym for my UBWO this afternoon. Not sure how that will affect the week, but seems like a reasonable way to make sure I don't miss any workouts and frees myself up to enjoy myself tomorrow.

Did my normal weekly weigh in today. 224lbs. Down 21.5 net lbs so far. Will be doing my measurements and pics tomorrow before we hit the road.

Day 55 Cardio. Had a nagging headache all day but still went and did my run. Wasn't my best effort, but surprisingly wasn't to far off my best pace. Wouldn't say I hit my 10 today, which is a first for me on cardio. But, given the headache it was the best I could do under the circumstances.

Day 54 LWBO. Had a good lower body workout. Hit my 10 on quads but only a good 9 on hammys and calves. Due to timing reasons was the first time going without Cathy who went later on in the evening. Really felt odd not having her there with me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 53

Week 8 day 4

Cardio day. Our workout session got delayed by a little crisis. Stepped on Cathy's glasses so we had to hunt around to find a store open that could straighten then out for her. Finally did but ended up not getting to the gym till after 7pm.

Still got a great run in, right on my top pace to date. Noticing a little plateau in my running the last week. Still right on pace but not really improving as fast as I was. I guess that's to be expected considering the massive gains I had made in the last 2 months over where I started. Going to have to dig deeper and push myself harder to keep improving.

Due to the glasses issue my eating got a bit screwed up in the timing. Went 4hrs between meal 4 and 5 and ended up eating my 6th just 20mins before bed instead of 1hr or more. Not a biggie as meal 6 is mostly protein with very little carbs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 52

Week 8 day 3

Upper Body today. Had a very good workout. Weights up in all exercises. Getting closer to what I used to lift back in my 20's.

Found out I have some family flying out from Ontario this week. Heading down to the coast for the weekend to see them. Looking forward to seeing everyone, but at the same time kinda bummed as I had kinda planned on not seeing my sisters until Thanksgiving in the last week of the challenge. Really wanted to surprise everyone as I haven't told them I was doing BFL.

The changes I have experienced are very noticeable now, and I'm sure everyone will be happy for me, just not quite where I was hoping to be when I saw then. Oh well, just have to keep working hard to shock them even more at Thanksgiving then continue on working my butt off to be in top shape for Christmas.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 50 and 51

Week 8 Days 1 & 2

Eating back on track for both days after free day. I kept free day in check very well this week. Small meal of Chinese food (nothing deep fried) little bit of ice cream and some popcorn. Oh and my 2 Molson 67's. I swear, those 2 beers on Friday every week are the best beer I have ever had.

Really amazing the difference keeping free in check makes. I weighed in on Free day morning at 226.4lbs. After a mostly clean free day 229. As opposed to the 6+ lbs I have seen on other free days. I know that every week the "free day" weight is usually gone in a day or two as it's mostly water retention from sodium. Still, especially now that I am in the finishing stretch, I begrudge every day that free day takes to get back to losing pounds.

Day 51. Cardio Day. Had a good run. Right on my best pace.I am still amazed at what your mind can do, even when your body is saying stop. Min 18 and 19 every time is a mental gut check to finish strong.

Day 50 - Start of week 8 . Did our weekly measurements. Down another 1"on the belly and hips. Everything else pretty much the same. At an interesting point in this with certain body areas. Places like my arms, shoulders and chest are no longer shrinking in net inches, yet at the same time they are definitely changing in appearance.

Take my upper arms for instance. They have been at 15.75-16 inches the entire time, yet at the start I could pinch a good amount of fat both on the top and in Tricep area. Now, not so much. Seems like most of the inches disappearing now is the the "trouble spots". Around the abdomen for the most part.

LBWO after the weekly session with the measuring tape. Had a great work out. Upped my squat weight to 170lbs for my 6 rep and 90lbs for my 12 rep super set. Followed with 240lbs on the leg press for the second 1/2 of the super set, up from 180.

In between sets I jumped on the incline sit up bench as it was right beside the smith machine. I tried doing incline sit ups in week 3 I think it was and could barely do 1. Hurt my lower back and I just didn't have the ab strength to do full sit ups. It was a big pump to get on it and pump out my sets of abs. It was still challenging but I could and did do it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 49!

Day 49! 7 weeks done.

Above is a picture I took of myself this morning wearing the size 42 jeans I was wearing when I started my challenge on July 24th. At that time they were not super tight but tight enough I didn't need a belt to keep them up.

Some quick stats from this mornings weigh in.

Weight 226lbs -19lbs net
Body Fat 27.33% down from 34.76% -7.43% BF
Body Composition : Fat 61.68 lbs down from 85.3lbs -23.62 lbs of fat.
Lean Muscles 164.5 up from 160lbs. +4.5lbs of lean muscle.

All and all I am very pumped with my results so far.

Its free day today again. But no plans for anything to outrageous. Going to go have a couple Molson 67's with a buddy then pick up a sub or something for dinner. Have some yummy chocolate ice cream as my treat for the day. Other than that normal meal plan. Eggs and oatmeal, mid morning and afternoon shake and some chicken and veggies for lunch. No workout, but i will take the dogs for a nice long walk tonight weather permitting.

Days 47 and 48

Week 7 Days 5 & 6

Day 48 Last cardio of the week. Had a good run, just slightly off my best pace to date. Did an extra abs workout afterwards, which I have been doing on weeks with only one LWBO. Good day at the gym. Got up a very good sweat.

Eating has been fine. I feel like I have got my portions and food choices just right. Not getting hungry in between meals. Have lots of energy. Getting good sleep at night.

Day 47 Had a very good upper body work out. Really tried to hit that 10 on all my body pasts. Didn't get it on everything but for an odd reason. Weights were to light! Using the same weights as Saturday which provided me with a very tough workout they were two light to really have that 10 feeling on chest, biceps and shoulders. Still a very good workout though.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Days 45 and 46

Week 7 days 3 and 4

Day 46. Cardio day once again. Had a fantastic run. I was really in the zone today. Broke 3.00km in 20 mins for the first time. Ended at 3.05. Sweating buckets from min 5 to the end. In 7 weeks I have added a full KM in the 20min time frame.

Eating was clean for both days. Had my weekly salmon last night. Very tasty. Have cut out the WW pasta so far this week. Having a portion of fruit instead with my evening meal. Cantalope or Strawberries. Trying to cut out the starchy carbs in my evening meal and it seems to be working. I seem to be falling into a bad habit of weighing myself every morning. I've been happy this week to see a daily drop on the scale but I should probably try and break that habit and go back to weekly.

Day 45 was LBWO day. Got to the gym at our normal time only to find it closed early for the Labor Day holiday. Total bummer, 44 days without a missed workout and I was damned if we were going to miss one now.

So, we headed back home to try and figure out how to get our Leg workout in with no weights at all at home. Hamstrings were no problem, we did walking lunges and dead lifts with some water jugs. Quads and calves though were an issue. Need more weight than a couple water jugs are going to give me. I ended up tossing Cathy over my shoulders in a fireman's carry and squatting her holding various items to increase the weight. It was a good workout but her constant laughter made it a little hard to focus ;). Piggy backed her for my Calf raises. Not quite as good a workout as at the gym, but did we ever have fun. Good for the soul.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 43 and 44

Week 7 Day 1 and 2

Started out Week 7 with a bang. Great UBWO. Hit 10's in chest,shoulders and back. We have been doing wide grip pull ups on the assist tower for a couple weeks now for back. That thing is the devil, but man what a great back workout it gives.

Day 44 was Cardio. Had my best run to date. Hit 2.94 in 20 minutes. Looks like we are picking up a used treadmill for home so I am considering doing cardio daily and twice on cardio day for the last 6 weeks. Probably not a full on HIIT everyday, but getting in a 30min jog anyways.

Back to eating my normal 6 meals. Its kinda funny how that is what feels normal to me now and free day seems abnormal. While I feel like I have done a good job on keeping free day under control, but Friday evening I am still looking forward to Saturday and getting back into the routine. Where as before I used food for comfort, I am finding that comfort in my routine and workouts.

After study of my food intake for the last 2 weeks I am making some adjustments. Over all I'm not getting quite enough calories daily. Running around 1500-1600 per day and should be around 1800. Upped my breakfast a bit from 1/2c of egg whites to 2/3c and 1 whole egg. Brings the calories closer to 300 and the protein closer to the 30gms I am looking for. Keeping the oatmeal portion the same. Other than that I'm going to add some higher carb value veggies to lunch and dinner, carrots, corn etc.

I have also added a bit of good fat to my diet. In the first 6 weeks I was averaging sub 20g of fat daily. My breakdowns were 53% protein 36% carbs 13%fat. So I have added things like 1tsp of olive oil to the vinager I put on my salad. Some ground flax seeds to my oatmeal in the morning. Making sure I get Salmon at least once per week.

I'll track these changes over the next 2 weeks and see how the results pan out.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 42. 6 Weeks done and why I am loving the BFL lifestyle.

Last day today of my 6th week on BFL. I can honestly say I have given it 100%+ and that feels great. Zero missed workouts and Zero cheating on non free days.

Here is why I am loving BFL.

2 years ago I joined a program called Sure Slim. First off it was $800.00 freakin dollars for this program. They give you a meal plan supposedly based on blood work and tests but in reality is just another very low carb diet. Once a week you went in to see a councilor and weight in. There was no exercise component. That was actually one of their selling points, lose weight without exercise.

Now, I did lose weight on this program. Close to 30lbs in 4 months. After 4months I just could not take the low carbs, I was weak, tired and hungry the whole 4 months. After going off the program I gained all the weight plus more back over the next couple years to my BFL starting point of 245.6lbs.

Fast forward to now.

After 6 weeks of BFL I am fitting into clothes that fit me after 4 months on the other program. The incredible thing is, these clothes are fitting me at 228lbs when before they fit at 210-215lbs. So even though scale weight I am still about 15 lbs above my previous low, the same clothes fit.

I SHUDDER to think of how much muscle loss was associated with the other program. Based on how my clothes are fitting, the only conclusion I can reach is that at least 1/2 of the weight loss on that program was muscle if not more.

With BFL I have exponentially more energy, even on days like today after a hard week and I feel a little beat up, I still have a ton of energy. With the 6 meals a day I'm not hungry between meal times. Yes some days it is very hard to look at another Chicken *** or portion of cottage cheese, but it is sooo worth it.

Half way done and half way to go. Time to step it up even more and really kill these last 6 weeks.

Day 41

Week 6 Day 6

Last day of the week and officially 1/2 way through the 12 week challenge.

Had a decent run for my Cardio day. Bit of a gut ache before I went to the gym but manged to push out a good pace in spite of it. Hit 2.84 for the 20 mins.

Ate my 6 clean but was a bit disappointed with dinner. Chicken breasts I bought were very tough after cooking, couldn't even much of it so had a protein shake (no carbs) to go along with my veggies and sweet potato.

Looking forward to free day and a day of rest from the gym. Haven't figure out what I want for my free meal on Friday night yet. No real cravings for anything right now.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 39 and 40

Week 6 days 4 and 5

Cardio day on Tuesday. Had a great run and really pushed myself. New distance of 2.89.

LBWO yesterday on Day 40. Was pretty good. Upped my weights a touch squats and calf raises. Squats are still killers but really seeing my quads start to pop out now and feeling the workour more that leg press or leg extensions.

Eating was good for both days. Getting kinda tired of chicken so switched up a bit and had a lean steak on tuesday and some baby shrimp yesterday on a salad for my dinners. Starting to slip back into drinking diet pepsi. Need to put a full halt on that again and go back to my iced green tea with meals.

Last day of week six today. Time is a flying.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 38

Week 6 day 3

Upper Body workout. Had a very good UBWO. Gym was kinda busy so went back to Dumb Bell press and flys for my chest work out. Very pumped by the strength gains I have seen in the last 5+ weeks. My super set was with the same weight I used to do for my 6 rep set.

Last time I did dumb bell press (which was only 2 weeks ago) on my 6 rep set I used 50lbs dumbbells and only got 5 in with a supreme effort. Yesterday I pumped out 6x55lb with no issues. When I started this challenge my 6 rep set for lying tricep extensions was 12.5 lbs per hand. Yesterday after 5 sets of Dips I did extensions for my second exercise of the super set for 12x 15lbs per hand.

Seeing the visual changes in my body is great, but seeing the weights go up and myself getting stronger and stronger each week is equally as motivating. It is allowing me to push myself harder and with more focus in the gym. To really test my mental strength to push past what my mind thinks I can do and prove to myself there are no limitations. To really reach for that elusive 10 and be honest with myself if I haven't reached it that session. To try even harder the next day.

Ate my 6 clean meals, but the timing was a bit screwy. I was called for jury duty selection starting at 9:30 with no food or drink allowed in the court room. So I ate breakfast a bit earlier than normal and my 2nd meal MRS Shake at 9:15. I wasn't selected for the jury and was out around 11:30. But eating early threw the rest of the day off. I ended up with a 4.5hr gap between meal 4 (3:00pm) and meal 5 (7:30pm) as we do our gym session at 6pm due to Cathy's schedule this week.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 36 & 37

Week 6 days 1 and 2.

Did our measurements on Sat morning as we always do. Waist down another 1/2 inch, man boobs down another inch.

Had a great leg work out. Squats are still killers. Upped the weight on my calves a bit. It was another UFC night. Went down to a different pub this time. Was very nice to see a grilled salmon dinner with salad and steamed veggies on the menu. Had that with 1 light beer. Another great night for my motivation level to select the right foods even when out instead of saying screw it and ordering a burger and fries or something deep fried.

Cardio yesterday. Legs were still sore from Saturday but unlike last time they warmed up nicely and didn't cause me any problems. Pounded out a new distance at 2.79 hitting 14 as my high point in min 19.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 33 and Day 34

Week 5 days 5 and 6

Been a busy but good couple days. Had a good UBWO on Wednesday. Feeling the switch in exercises for sure. Very good Cardio yesteday. Legs felt much better after a couple days rest and was able to push out a new distance record for myself.

Eating has been good and clean. Lots of Chicken breast. Had my weekly Salmon dinner. Need to eat more veggies though. With the hot weather of late I tend to be getting most of my veggies from green salads. Peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumber that kinda stuff. Need to get more leafy veggies like spinach and things like broccoli and cauliflower. Starting to cool down now so hopefully that helps me make the change.

Week 5 in the books. Looking back, maybe not my best week but still a pretty good one. Need to find that next level of intensity in the gym next week. Almost 1/2 way done. Time is really flying.

Free Day time. After last weeks big lasagna dinner out on free day need to really keep this one down to a dull roar. Stay away from the sweets, a reasonable dinner, thinking Sushi as I have been kinda craving it all week. I'm going to try for the next 6 weeks to really curtail free day. Even though I am seeing weight and inches loss every week and gains in strength, the 2 forward one back I saw last week shows what over doing a free day really does. Been backsliding on the Diet Soda a bit as well, not crazy but 1 can a day with dinner. Going to go back to iced green tea and try and cut it out completely again.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 32

Week 5 Day 4

Cardio time again. My legs were still very sore from the changes to my LBWO. Quads were screaming at me almost right away when I got on the treadmill. Major gut check but I got my 20 mins in and was not far off my record pace. Fo9r all the pain, it was a big mental boost to push through it and still get in a good run.

Ate my 6 clean again. Not much to report on that front. Pretty routine now. Don't even need to look at the clock anymore. My body tells me when its time and usually it is right.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 31

Week 5 Day 3

Lower Body today. Was a great workout. Switched up some exercises, went to Squats on the Smith Machine for quads. Lunges for Hamstrings and standing raises for Calves. Really felt the change especially in my quads. First time since week one my legs were really sore afterwards and into the next day. Cardio is going to be a killer the way my legs feel right now.

Ate my 6 clean. Very proud of myself that through 4.5 weeks I have stuck with the nutrition plan and authorized foods. No cheating so far other than my free day. Could be interesting next week as I have been called to jury duty. It I get picked for the trial it could be challenging to get my proper meals in on time. Pretty sure I'm not allowed to break out a protein shake mid trial.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 30

Week 5 Day 2

Had a very good cardio session. Pushed my Distance to 2.75

Went over to my Mom's house on Sunday afternoon as my nieces and nephews were up visiting. Had a nice BBQ with the family. Stayed away from the wine, which normally me and my Mom would kill a bottle or more between us. Had 2 Molson 67's the whole night. One nice thing about being an ex chef is I do the cooking for the family gatherings. We had roasted sweet potatoes, BBQ Chicken and green salad with lots of veggies in it, green beans and some Sauteed prawns as an appy. All cooked with minimal oil, no butter or anything. Skipped desert and special coffee. The nice thing was even though I changed how I would normally cook for the family (without telling them), everyone still loved the food.

I haven't told the family that I am doing the BFL challenge. Most of my family lives about 3 hrs away so I only see them every couple months at best. I want it to be a surprise when I walk into my sister's place in Oct for thanksgiving and blow them all away with the new me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 28 and 29

Week 5 Day 1

After free day I was very happy to start week 5. What a weird thought, I was excited to get back to eating clean and working out after only 1 day off. Started the day like we do every Saturday. Took our Measurements and as it was end of the first month took our pictures again.

First the measurements.

Day 1 Day 28
Weight 245.4 232.4
Neck 17.75 17
Shoulders 53.5 50
Chest 48 46
Waist 48 43.5
Hips 46.5 44.5
Thigh 25 23.5

Hit the gym for UBWO. Good workout. Changed some exercises and really felt it. Ate my 6 clean and got all my water. Was feeling much better by then end of the day, flushed out the rich food from free day. All in all a great start to week 5. Seeing the improvements in my pictures and measurements really helps with the motivation.

Week 4 Day 7.

1 Month complete. 1/3 of the way done. Had a good free day. Went out for Dinner and a movie with Cathy. Went to an Italian place, enjoyed some of the yummy bread, a ceasar salad and lasagna for dinner with a glass of red wine. Didn't eat all the lasagna but made up for that with the bread for sure. Had some popcorn and chocolate at the movies. Felt like a bloated whale by the time we got home!

My god I don't miss that feeling. Finding rich food affects me much more than it used to. My body does NOT react well to it after only 1 month of eating clean. But then, that was part of the reason I wanted to go out and partake this free day. To remind myself of how shitty I used to feel all the time. It was a good lesson for me and one I will be remembering next Friday on free day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 25 and Day 26

Week 4 Day 4 & 5

Next couple days are going to be pretty short entries. On holidays this week so not much time to spend on the computer.

Cardio Day. Had a great run. Upped interval speeds again. Total Distance 2.68
LWBO Yesterday. Good workout. Pushed my leg press to 270 and leg ext to 240. Switching things up next week to Squats with leg press for super set.

Ate my 6 clean on both days. Going to track my calorie intact closely next week. I don't think I am eating enough calories each day. I have a feeling I am hovering around 1500ish.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 24

Week 4 day 3

UBWO. It didn't feel like it was a great workout.. Wasn't quite as focused as previous ones.

I didn't feel like I hit my 10s this time. Did up my weights on chest,back and triceps. Pushed out 50lbss for my 6 rep dumb bell press for my chest. Slowly but surely working my way back to what I could life in my 20s. Still a long way to go but getting closer. Did pull ups again for the back. Man those are killer. I like it though, feels like it works more of the back than rows or pull downs.

Ate my 6 clean meals. Switched it up a bit and had a Protein Shake for my post gym meal instead of whole food as we where running behind schedule .Cathy had a doc's appointment after work and we didn't get home from the gym until 7:30pm.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 23

Week 4 day 2

Cardio day. Not a whole lot to talk about. Upped by speeds again by .1 or .2 for each step of the intervals and focused on really pushing through each minute to get the most of out the work out. Ended with a 2.63 distance and sweated buckets.

Ate my 6 clean, got my water. Starting to feel much more fit. While I can see the changes happen I actually feel better than I look quite yet. I feel and move like I'm down 25 or 30 lbs not 12. I compare it to how I felt when I was on the low carb diet I did 2 years ago with no exercise component. The magic of weight lifting and intense cardio is just so amazing. Ya I lost weight on that other diet, but my body didn't feel any stronger or more fit. If anything I felt weak and kinda washed out.

With BFL, every day my body feels stronger and more conditioned. Combined with a proper nutrition plan, it truly is like turning back the clock.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 21 and Day 22

Week 4 Day 1

My body felt a million times better after have a day off from the gym. Its more like about 40hrs off when you get right down to it. Got to bed early on Thursday and Friday and got lots of sleep, which helped as well.

Lower Body Workout this day. Hit my legs harder than I previously had. Not more babying the legs. Quads especially were great. With the weight of the machine did 370lbs on leg press for my 6 rep set and 300lbs leg press + 140lb leg extension for my super set. Really felt the burn in them for the first time.

Ate my 6 clean meals and did my mental exercises. Its funny, in a weird way eating my clean meals is easier than free day. It is so routine now that I don't even think about it. I find I have toi think more about eating on free day, what do I feel like etc than my normal days. While it may get boring further on eating pretty much the same food every day takes guess work out of it.

Took our measurements this morning. Going to save posting all the stats till end of week 4 is done but so far down a total of 14.5 inches off my body. Lost another inch off my belly last week! Taking our pictures again at the end of this week. Really looking forward to see if the changes are visible. Cathy says she can easily see the changes just looking at me. More importantly she sees the changes in my attitude.

Week 3 day 7 Free Day.
Free day on Friday. Went pretty well. Kept the "free stuff" under control. Ate my normal meals in the am. Had a turkey sandwich on a bagel for lunch, couple slices of pizza for dinner and 1 light beer. Kept that under control much better than last time. As well I bought thin crust which surprisingly had 120 fewer calories per slice than normal pizza. Lttle bit of ice cream for dessert and some popcorn.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 20

Week 3 Day 6

Last day of week 3. Cardio day! Prior to a little pep talk from the wife I was not fired up as I have been. As I said yesterday the body is a bit sore and beat up. That said I got my ass to the gym and gave it my all once I was there. Upped my intervals and over all distance again finishing at 2.61 miles.

But more than the new distance, this was a mental victory for me. Yesterday was the first time so far that I got the "i don't feel like going to the gym" feeling. In the past that would mean skipping a work out. This time with a little help from Cathy, I looked that feeling in the face and beat it down.

Tried on the 6 week size 38 goal pants this morning. Not nearly as tight as they were even last week and pretty close to fitting right. Weighed in this morning. 234.3 lbs. Not quite as big a drop on the scale as the first two weeks, but just trying on those pants first lets me know the scale doesn't tell the whole tale.

Down 11 lbs in 3 weeks is nothing to sneeze at and with the changes I am starting to see in my body its been great! My traps and shoulders are starting to show up again as well as my triceps. Noticing a big improvement in the chest area. Starting to see the underlying muscle and lose the "man boobs".

Free day today. As with the last 2 the only goal of the day is keep it to a dull roar. One free meal, a light beer or two and maybe some popcorn while watching a movie. Cathy asked me yesterday what I wanted for my free meal tonight and I couldn't tell her. Not from being overwhelmed by wants but the exact opposite. I'm not having a special craving for anything in particular like OMG I need some Pizza tonight or a big juicy burger with all the trimmings.

Well that's week 3 in the bag. Motivation level 9 from seeing changes start to show up! On ward into week 4!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 19

Week 3 day 5.

Upper Body day. My favorite! The gym was very busy for some reason so had to adjust on the fly from the routine we had panned. Switched to Pull-Ups and Dips on the assist tower or what ever you call it. Was a great burn and really showed me after next week I need to switch up the routine. My muscles have definitely started to adapt to the exercises I was doing. My arms were jello after wards as I really pushed from some 10's today.

Ate my 6 clean. It is really just becoming normal routine now. Not really even thinking about it. For the most part I can make my meals tasty and enjoyable, but even when they aren't it's becoming no biggie. I seem to be moving to a place where food is fuel for my body not a security blanket. If it doesn't taste fantastic, oh well. Is it a portion of quality protein and carbs, with some veggie. Ok, good, eat it.

Cardio tonight then a much needed day off. It's not even the food freedom so much as giving my body a good day of rest. Feeling a little beat up after this week. Still have lots of energy but having really focused on reaching for 10's in my training the body is sore. Two good nights sleep with no workout will do me great.

Hard to believe 3 weeks are up. 1/4 of the way through already.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 18

Week 3 Day 4

Cardio time again. Had a good run, sweating buckets by the time it was over. Really feeling great after a good run now. Pushed my distance to 2.58 miles.

Ate my 6 clean and got all my water in again. Feeling very good about the food part of this challenge. Almost 3 weeks done and no cheating at all. Feeling energetic and not hungry between meals. Not craving sweets nearly as much as I thought I would. Mixing in a chocolate meal replacement shake in the afternoon has helped with that I think but more so I am coming to realize the sweets were more habit than anything. Once I detoxed off the sugar I find I don't miss them. A little ice cream is a nice treat on free day, but not something I need on a daily basis.

Overall Week 3 has been a great week so far. My workouts have all been top notch, really looking forward to the gym and Upper Body today.

A shout out to any of the BFL forum goers than may drop by. You guys are great!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 17

Week 3 Day 3

Lower Body day. Had a good work out but still struggling to find my "10" doing legs. I think I am still holding back and under estimating how much my legs can actually lift. I know part of it is not wanting sore legs to affect my Cardio days, but I need to get past that. Went back to the Captain's Chair for my main ab work. That thing is the Devil, but man it is a huge mental pump when I can get the sets in. Finished my superset with crunchs on the swiss ball.

Ate my 6 clean again today. Food cravings at a minimal. The internal changes are really happening for me. I feel much better than my outer body shows yet. Tons of energy. Feeling much stronger and my muscles are starting to firm up. It doesn't show a lot yet but when I flex a muscle I can feel it is much harder than it was previously.

Noticed a big change while doing yard work this last weekend. No sore back after trimming and cutting the lawn. Can't wait for the outer me to catch up with the inner me.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 16

Week 3 Day 2.

Cardio day! Back when I tried and failed at the 12 week challenge years ago I dreaded cardio day. Hated it. Cardio was the first days that I started to skip on the way to stopping altogether.

Flash forward to now. I am really starting to get into Cardio day. I'm loving pushing myself to run farther and faster each time I get on the treadmill. Yesterday was a great run. Busted through the 2.5 mil mark in 20 mins! My BPM was lower again despite the increase in speed for each interval. Overall a great 20 mins on the treadmill.

Have to make an effort to get to bed earlier on work nights. Was after 11pm last night and despite my best intentions did not get up in time to take Sadie for her walk before work.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Random Thoughts about this journey.

UFC117 was last night and I am a big UFC fan. Normally I head down to the casino sports bar to watch the fights as paying $50.00 for a PPV is kinda steep. I almost decided to rent it at home to remove myself from the temptations. But after thinking about it for the whole day I decided that's a bad move. This is Body-For-Life, not Body-Remove yourself from life.

So I headed down to to watch the fights. I was a bit dismayed when I looked at the menu as it was pretty limited. Mostly all my old favs and not much in the way of a healthy choice. In the end I ordered the grilled Chicken Burger, minus the ham and swiss mayo etc they put on it and a tossed salad. Took off the top bun and ate the chicken with the bun bottom and my salad. Had 1 Molson 67 then diet cola and water after that.

One thing I am finding is for BFL to be successful for me long term, I need to challenge my old self imposed boundaries and habits. To place myself in challenging circumstances and summon the mental strength to meet those challenges. Be it eating right, getting to the gym or pushing for that 10.

Years ago when I attempted and did not finish the 12 week challenge I looked at it primarily as a physical challenge. Maybe age has finally blessed me with the wisdom I lacked back then, but I realize now, this Challenge is 90% (or more) mental.

While every meal I choose to eat clean, every rep on the weight bench and ever mile I run on the treadmill is obviously good for my body, The real benefit is in my mind. Every one of those things builds my confidence just a little more that I can do this.

I feel like somewhere, deep inside, my mind is the proverbial 98lb weakling that used to fold under pressure and make a lot of bad choices. Well, he's no Arnold yet, but it sure feels like he has put on some muscle in the last couple weeks


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 14 and 15

Day 15. Week 3 day 1.

Did our measurements this morning. down 2" in waist. Pretty much everything else the same. Shoulders are up a little bit, starting to see some muscle growth there.Took some 2 week pics. No huge changes but definitely some changes. Stomach and love handles smaller for sure.

Did our normal Sat morning running around. Shopping and misc errands. Restocked on good nutritious food. Lots of chicken as always, cottage cheese, yogurt etc.

Hit the gym around 1:30 for upper body workout. Had a great workout. Pushing 45's for my dumb bell press 6 rep set. Shoulders up to 27.5. Triceps and Biceps the same as last week but felt a bit easier today. Should be able to up the weight on them next week.

Felt good to get back to clean eating even though I didn't go crazy yesterday. Going out to watch UFC117 tonight at the pub. Good test of my will power. Feeling pretty confident that I can pass up on the crap.

Day 14 Free Day #2

Stuck to pretty normal eating through the day. Had some Chinese food and a couple Molson 67's for dinner but kept it in control better than with the pizza last week. Filled up mostly on Won Ton soup and stayed away from deep fried food. Had a little ice cream later in the evening and some light popcorn while watching a movie. Felt good. Ate enough to quiet any cravings but not so much I had a belly ache or felt like crap in the morning.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 13

WoW, end of week 2 already. Time she is a flyin'. At the start of this 12 weeks sounds like a long time, but once I wrapped my head around the fact that time is going to pass no matter what I am doing, why not invest that 12 weeks in the best way possible for my health.

Cardio yesterday was fantastic. New highs in speed for each interval and overall distance for the 20 mins. 2.48 miles. Closing in on my 12 week goal of 2.5 miles already. Is 3 miles in 20 reachable? Don't know until I try!

236lbs this morning. Down 9 lbs so far. We will bust out the calipers and tape measure on Sat morning again. Doing measurements on the day AFTER free day is a little extra motivation for me not to over indulge on free day. Keep things clean during the day with a small free meal tonight.

Overall a great week. Hit all my workouts and ate clean all week. Onto week 3!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 12

Things trucking along nicely this week. Ate my 6 clean again, drank lots of water. Stopped in to see my Mom yesterday and walked into a house smelling oh so heavenly of freshly baked buns. They had just come out of the oven and looked and smelled oh so good. Talk about childhood memories rushing into my head. I resisted, but had to sit outside on the patio while I visited, the smell was breaking down my walls!

Note to self, only visit Mom on Fridays when I can have a nice warm bun fresh from the oven!

Lower Body yesterday. Had a good but not great workout. Time to up the weights a bit on quads and calves.

Working on getting up 1hr earlier to take Sadie for a walk every morning. She loves it and we do half walking, half light jogging for about 45mins. Maybe a mile, mile and a half of light cardio. Gets my heart rate up a bit and kinda stokes the inner engine for the day. Weather is just so beautiful seems a shame not to get out and enjoy it before work.

That's all for today. Motivation rating 8.5. Resisting those fresh buns gave me a lot of self confidence that I can control the food not the other way around!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 11

Week 2 Day 4

Cardio day today. Another great run. Pushed my last set to 8.5 9.5 and finished with 11mph. It feels like with every session it gets shorter. No longer counting the seconds at the top end of every interval.

Ate 6 (well 5 at the time of this post, 1 more at 9:30) clean meals today. Feeling great, lots of energy. Starting to notice small changes. My size 42 pants fall down without a belt and the size 40 are feeling more comfortable. Face starting to slim a bit.

All and all motivation very high. No bad food craving this week so far. Even starting to like the taste of salmon. Down 7 lbs so far. 235lbs is in site for end of this week or sometime next week. Looking forward to taking some end of week 2 pictures to see if there is any difference noticable.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 10

Week 2 Day 3

Upper Body Work Out Day. Always my favorite day at the gym working the upper body. Starting to see my strength improve. Last week on my dumb bell press I had to have some help from Cathy to finish my last 2 reps of the 6x 40lb rep. Today pounded it out with no help and followed it with 12x30 then 12x20 for the dumb bell fly. Both up 5 lbs from last week! Biceps up 2.5lbs on the 8 and 6 rep sets and 2.5 lbs on the super set reps as well.

So far so good with eating clean today. Just finished my MRS for my 4th meal. I am really feeling so much more energetic now eating clean and hitting the gym. Almost to the point of stir crazy if I don't have something to do. Food cravings are pretty much nothing so far this week. My desire for hitting this program hard is much much greater than my desire for sweets.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 9

Day 9

Cardio day today. Cardio is another much talked about topic on the BFL forums. Is 20 mins enough, should I do more, can I do 40mins of slow instead of 20 mins of HIIT and on and on. At least one new topic a day about cardio shows up.

I personally don't get the confusion. The 20min HIIT cardio is well laid out and easy to understand in the BFL book. How to do it and reason for doing it this way. I think where people struggle is the "Intensity" factor. They think they are hitting a 8 or 9 but in reality they aren't pushing themselves. I know when I get done I don't want to even look at the treadmill until its time for another session.

Every session I am pushing myself harder and faster and farther. Today's "10" was a 9.5mph min 18 followed by a 10.5mph min 19. Up another .5 from Thursday which was up .5 from Tuesday. Total distance was 2.42 up from 2.34. I think I experienced for the first time "runners high" around 17.5 mins today. I fell into my tunes and the rhythm of my breathing, it was like nothing existed but me, and the treadmill a part of me was kinda disappointed when min 19 ended. But only a small part, the rest of me was covered in sweat!

The amazing thing was when I was done not only had I run farther again this session, but when min 19 was done and I went into cool down my heart rate was 163BPM. Last week at the end of the set I was 175ish. So not only farther and faster but more efficient as well.

Finally tracked down a set of body fat calipers so Cathy and I will do that this evening. Another day of eating clean and drinkin my water. Feeling very energetic and pretty damn pumped after the Cardio today.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Free Day and Day 1 Week 2

Random Thought: What is it about Jimi Hendrix that makes me want to smoke a joint? I hear one of his songs come on the Ipod while mowing the lawn and I just want to spark one up and float in his guitar solos.

Anyways, Free Day was good. Stuck to the plan. Ate clean until dinner. Had probably one more slice of Pizza than I should have washed down with a couple Molson 67's, small piece of cherry pie and some frozen yogurt. Had some light popcorn with while watching a flick.

Fraking heaven let me tell you. Until about 45mins later and my stomach was upset.

It's amazing when you aren't loading the body down continuously with junk how it will let you know it doesn't like it. Normally I'm eating so much crap that my body always feels that way, after 6 days of fueling up on good food it let me know.

Start of week 2 today. Cathy and I took our measurements this morning. Nothing really of note except my belly is down 2"! Down over all the spots about 3.5".

Did our shopping for the week and some running around then hit the gym for our LBWO. AGAIN I couldn't get on the leg press machine and had to switch to Leg extensions for my quads. So quads were a bit bleh. The Extension machine from the circuit training section just doesn't have enough weight me for me. Doing my set of 6 on the heaviest setting and I could have done 12 easy. Squats for the super set was good though.

Abs OMG Abs. We did our ab sets today on the Captain's Chair with the super set incline sit ups. See the picture above. Designed by the devil! I don't think I have ever felt my abs burn like that before! After the 6 rep set I thought there was no way in hell I could get back up and do 12.

Felt good to get back to eating clean. Meals are a bit off time wise due to Sat morning errands but I'll get all 6 in.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jul 29th - End of Week 1

Day 6 Done!

WoW, first week in the books. Man the time flew. Just getting in the routine of eating clean and getting to the gym soaked up 90% of my free time this week. I think grand total of TV hrs from Sat to Last night was 1/2hr a night watching the Daily Show plus a couple episodes of Entourage on DVD. Top end 4hrs of TV...for an entire week! That was one nights worth easily before. Used to sit on my ass from 6pm to 10-10:30 almost every night.

Had a great Cardio yesterday. Pushed my speed up a notch for every min included the dreaded min 19. Topped out at 10mph for min 19. New distance record for me of 2.34. Around min 10 I thought I had bitten off a bit to much but its was just dig deep time, focus, breathe and push the pace. Felt amazing doing my cool down and looking at the distance covered and the pool of sweat beneath me.

Free day has arrived with all the apprehension of going over board and feeling like shit tomorrow. Need to be strong and stick to the planned free-day I laid out. So far so good, had my normal breaky and its almost shake time. I know I can do this, I have Pizza and light beer to look forward to tonight so no need to blow it during the day. I want to feel good tomorrow for the start of week 2, not stumble into it with a food hangover and upset stomach.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 28th

Day 5 Upper Body Workout.

Where the hell are my days going? Because Cathy starts work so early (5:30am) we are doing our gym sessions in the evening after work. Work all day, get off work go to the gym, do some running around come home, shower, eat and bam its almost or after 8:00pm already. Watch a bit of TV, eat my 9:00pm meal and in bed by 10:00pm.

Its only been a week but I wonder what I did to fill up that time before. Watch TV for hrs or play on the computer I guess. One thing is for sure I am sleeping like a log at night. Sorry for all the snoring Cathy, but I am like REALLY tired come bed time now. A good tired but tired all the same.

Hit the gym on schedule at 5:30pm. Work out was good but not great. Parts of it were great, Chest and back in particular but shoulders and triceps were a struggle. Oh well just have to keep pushing it, won't get stronger any other way.

Wondering if I am getting enough protein. Need to really monitor it next week.

Ate clean for all 6 again yesterday. Had a small hiccup in the meal plan. Cathy wanted to go to the Casino for a weekly draw, which was at 7pm. We finished the Gym at 6:40pm so no time to go home and cook the chicken I had planned. Instead we bought a MRS at the shake bar at the gym. No biggie but hopefully a sign of the times. Would have been pretty easy to just order dinner at the Casino and blow the days eating.

Physically I am feeling great. Noticed that I haven't needed a Tums all week instead of the 1-2 I would chew a day for heartburn. I feel much more focused all day, no afternoon blahs (which I am sure was coming down from a sugar spike after lunch). REally looking forward to doing my first week measurements tomorrow night.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July 27

Day 4

Day4 went really well. Cardio was HARD! after the lower body work out the day before. 5 mins in my calves were screaming at me to stop. I pushed through it and really felt like I hit a 10 in min 19. Covered 2.2 (kilometers? Miles? not sure what he machine calculates) in my 20 mins on the treadmill. Pumped for the Upper Body workout today, by far my favorite day at the gym.

Followed my meal plan and got my 6 clean meals in. Surprisingly few cravings for sweets so far this week and not feeling hungry in between meals.. As that has always been my Achilles heel I expected it to be much harder than it has been so far. I'm sure will come though. Just have to be prepared.

Couldn't resist stepping the scale this morning even though I know I shouldn't look until end of week 4. 241.2lbs Down 4lbs already! Water weight or true weight loss not sure but either way was very motivating to see. I know I need to NOT get to high as the scale won't move like that every week. Taking measurements Thursday night before "free-day".

Hmm free day. The much talked about subject on the BFL forums. I know me and I know if I just give myself free reign things will go to hell. I'll skip meals, eat to much junk and hit the skids mentally.

So, I have decided to Plan my free day. Is a planned free day really a free day? In my mind yes it is. I am "free" to decide what I want to eat and do on the free day. As much as I try to deny it, I make the choices for what I eat not the food. It's me and only me that got me to where I am today.

So I am going to exercise my freedom and not pig out. The day is planned and on paper. I am going to follow my normal meal plan for most of the day with the except of having some pizza and beer for dinner. I know mentally if I get to strict I will quit on this so I have to be realistic. A few slices of Pizza and a beer will give my body and mind what it needs (for now) to know I'm not starving and give me the will power to see another positive week.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 26th

Day 3 is in the bag.

Had a great lower body workout and ate 6 clean meals. Was wondering how sore my legs would be in the morning but so far feel pretty good. Cathy was watching her reality TV show last night so I spent a good hour on the deck re-reading some BFL success stories and just wrapping my head around my goals.

Really need to work on the visualization process and get my head on straight that this needs to be a Lifestyle change not just a 12 week program to lose weight. If I don't, it will be like all the other times. Lose weight only to gain it back over the next year again.

Having Cathy do this with me is just so great for our relationship. Spending lots of quality time together and really talking about stuff for what seems like the first time in years. It has shook up the routine that settles in after being together for over 12 years now.

Looking forward to Cardio today.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 2 July 25th.

Day 2.

Downloaded some pics for my inspiration poster. LOL, seeing Cathy drooling over them was motivating!

Eating clean was no problem again. Got in all 6 meals on schedule. Didn't feel hungry or that I was stinting myself.

Hit the gym at 12:30 for our Cardio day. Cathy thought she would have trouble doing the 20 mins but the rock star she is she pushed it out no problems. I was nervous as well before we got going. Can I still do 20 mins of HIIT cardio and not keel over? Turned out I can. Had a great run and was sweating buckets by the time it was done.

Looking forward to the lower body work out tomorrow.

July 24th

Day 1!

So pumped to get started. Sat down with Cathy and planned out our meals for the weekend and the workouts for the week. We then took our pictures and measurements.

Looking at my "before" pictures was both depressing and motivating at the same time.

Day 1 measurements.

Neck 17.5"
Chest 47.25"
Shoulder (girth) 53.5
Bicep 14.5
Forearm 12.25
Waist 48" Le gasp!
Hips 46.25"
Thigh 24.5"
Calves 16"
Height 71"
Weight 245.4lbs

Using the Body Fat F Calculator here :
34.76% BF
159.84lbs lean Mucles
85.16lbs Fat

I just did the tape measure as I don't have calipers but I figure its good for a Ball Park est. and as long as I use the same one every week it will give me consistent results.

I was kinda shocked at how out of shape and frankly fat I had gotten again.

After some running around this morning, grocery shopping and such we got to the gym and got started with our Upper Body workout at 1:55 finishing up around 2:50. Egads I am so weak compared to my 20's. Still, was a great workout and felt amazing afterwards.

Cathy is so great. After all my previous half hearted attempts to get to the gym and get in shape, she is still backing me. So much so she is doing the entire program with me. Just knowing she is in it 100% with me is giving me the fire to really keep my self promises this time.

Was a good day on the eating front. No problems sticking to the, hmm I won't call it a diet because it's not. Let call it eating clean. I had no problems eating clean yesterday. Because of all the running around only got 5 of the six planned meals in. Have to do better!