BFL Journal C2W1D2

Thoughts: Ouch.

My arms are really feeling yesterday’s upper body workout today. I think the switch to dbell flyes is the culprit–I was doing chest presses as my main chest exercise for the last 4 weeks of challenge 1, so the flyes (and the increased weight) are making themselves felt in a major way this morning.

I did pretty well yesterday on nutrition–snuck in some chili-seasoned anchovies with lunch and my final meal, but was on plan for the most part. Dinner turned out to be Pan-Asian grilled chicken with broccoli and grapes from Boston Market. The sauce was probably too high in sugar, but at least I didn’t get the meatloaf, garlic butter corn, and gravy-drenched mashed potatoes!

Overall, thanks to the one mile walk I took in the afternoon around my office complex (around 4 mph pace) and the 5 minute warm up run at 5.5 mph and 5 incline before yesterday’s weight training, I came out with a very nice deficit for the day.

And I’m back down to 134 this morning now that the free day water gain is clearing up. 😉

I felt a little weak this morning during my cardio after a whole week off, so I had to cut the speeds on my intervals by 0.2 mph. Hopefully I’ll be back up to my end of challenge 1 speeds of 4.5, 6.2, 6.7, 7.2, and 7.5 mph by this weekend. I hate backsliding!

I’m on a high calorie day in my zig-zag eating schedule, so please ignore the shakes I have in parentheses in my meal plan if you are going for maximum fat loss and were curious about my meals. They add an additional 400 calories to my base meal plan of 1200-1400 calories so I can average out to 1500-1600 calories a day for the week. My goal for this challenge is to put on 1-3 lbs of muscle while dropping no more than 7 lbs, so I’m aiming for a higher average in order to feed the muscle growth while only losing half a pound or so a week.

Nutrition: (1700-1800 calorie High day)
1: 3 white/1 whole egg veggie omelette with grapes (5 oz PB banana shake)
2: Chicken and spinach salad with grapes (5 oz PB banana shake)
3: Cranberry raisin bar (5 oz PB banana shake)
4: Cottage cheese and blueberries (5 oz PB banana shake)
5: Chicken pita pizza
6: Chocolate cottage cheese with strawberry and oatmeal

Multivitamin, Calcium 500+D, 2 T. Safflower oil in shakes and meals 5 and 6

Calories eaten and deficit for yesterday = 1412 / -574 (target -337)
Water: 12 cups
Ratios: 41% carb / 42% protein / 17% fat

7:45 am cardio at the gym – Treadmill run
3 pm walk around the office complex

Run details:
Warm up: incline 5%, 4 mph (7 minutes)
HIIT: incline 0%, 4.5, 6, 6.5, 7 mph intervals
High: incline 0%, 8.5 mph
Cool down: incline 0%, 4 mph (3 minutes)

Hope I can get back up to 4.5, 6.2, 6.7, and 7.2 for my HIIT intervals by Sunday. I’m annoyed that I had to dial it down this morning.

The Awful Truth:
1. Added about 1 oz. of chili and black bean anchovies to my lunch and dinner last night.
2. Took a bite (maybe 1/8) of the carb/calorie-dense cornbread that came with my Boston Market dinner.

Brownie Points:
1. Walked 1 mile around the office complex in addition to UBWO yesterday
2. Got in all of my meals
3. Didn’t eat any of my co-worker’s chocolate chip cookies.

Short-term Goals:
1. Alter/size down one item of too-large clothing per day.
2. Drive out to the store and pick up some extra weight plates for my bench set.
3. Drink more water before going to sleep on the night before a cardio run. I felt dehydrated this morning.



BFL Journal C2W1D1

Thoughts: I’m off to a rippin’ start to my second challenge. I took some before pics last night and whew! What a difference a week off the wagon will make, even when you eat clean for the most part. The birthday party I attended on Saturday night (cake, Ruffles, Doritos, s’mores, and extra marshmallows just because I’m addicted to them) and my free day yesterday (Asian food complete with rice and salty seasoned seaweed, fish, and mystery sausage, a big bowl of Breyer’s mint chocolate chip ice cream, a big fat frosted sugar cookie, and sugary Chinese haw flake fruit snacks) really blew me up. I couldn’t suck the waist in to last week’s 25.25″ even if I tried…sheesh. I don’t even know why I had the cookie. I didn’t really feel hungry, but was almost trying to get rid of it during my authorized free day/week so I wouldn’t be tempted to nibble on it throughout the week. Oh well…it is gone, and good riddance. I actually tossed out the last quarter of it.

So, I arrive at work today to find that one of my male co-workers had baked some instant chocolate chip cookies (pre-made and cut dough) and left them literally 4 feet away from me on his desk. 🙂 I work at a video game development company with 20-something males who don’t need or don’t care enough to worry about what they eat in order to maintain a healthy weight, so this sort of thing is always happening. Three of them actually walked up and started munching cookies right there in my line of sight, which is fine since I’m stuffed with chocolate banana shake and the thought of eating a cookie makes my fillings hurt, but they also had to make joking comments like, “These aren’t low carb, are they? I won’t eat Atkins cookies.” “Nah, there isn’t a single speck of protein in these. Pure carb!” “Mmmm…carbs!” As if this will bother me. 😉

I don’t think they realize that I don’t EVER feel deprived on BFL. I eat more than they do every day, the foods I select are just as tasty because just about anything can be adapted to meet the BFL nutrient ratios, I spend far less on food, and most importantly, I don’t look like a squishy gamer geek. I can have dessert-like shakes, muffins, cookies, bars, fruit parfaits, huge Thai chicken pasta salads, overstuffed pitas, massive omelettes and hundreds of other foods, and ALL of them are BFL authorized and average $0.50-$1.50 per serving.

Compare that to one of their typical diets of breakfast cereal, juice, fast food lunch ($4-$7), and some kind of quick microwave dinner ($2-$3).

Who do you think is coming out ahead?

Nutrition: (1200-1300 calorie Low day)
1: Chocolate banana shake
2: Chocolate banana shake
3: Chicken breast with broccoli, carrots, and 1 slice rye toast
4: Chocolate banana muffin
5: Healthy take out choice (I’m scheduled for a late night at work)
6: Cottage cheese and grapes

Multivitamin, Calcium 500+D, 2 T. Safflower oil in shakes

Calories eaten and deficit for yesterday = 1977 / +301 (target -337)
Water: 9 cups
Ratios: 53% carb / 27% protein / 20% fat

7:45 am UBWO (upper body workout) at the gym

I switched out a few exercises from my previous routine and bumped up my weights in dbell flyes. I pretty much reached muscle failure in all of my exercises, and my arms are still pleasantly weak. Nice workout!

The Awful Truth:
1. Really overdid it on the carbs yesterday. Horrible. Frosted cookie, ice cream, rice, the works. Good thing it was my free day.
2. No workout. (Rest day)

Brownie Points:
1. Really planned out my challenge–exercise and nutrition general guidelines.
2. Took my “before” photos
3. Took in one skirt and one swim/exercise top.
4. Gave away a skirt, 3 pairs of pants, one shirt, and two dust-collecting exercise videos through Freecycle.

Short-term Goals:
1. Alter/size down one item of too-large clothing per day.
2. Continue to work on moving my websites to the new server.
3. Drive out to the store and pick up some extra weight plates for my bench set.
4. Avoid my co-worker’s chocolate chip cookies.



BFL Journal 8/28/04

Confession time…after some thought, I gave up the fight and ordered a pair of those clearance Asics Gel-Nimbus running shoes from After the 30% off, shipping, and sales tax, I got ’em for $21.98, which is not too shabby for $110 shoes! So what if I won’t need them until next year? I just KNOW I’d be kicking myself 12 months from now when all the shoes in my size are at full price if I didn’t get them today. LOL.

Today is my free day in theory, but it’s also a higher calorie day based on my zig zag schedule, so I’m not sure if I should do the extra shakes or not. I’m at home until 8 pm tonight, but then I have an 80’s themed 30th birthday party to attend for my friend and co-worker Amy, and I’m sure it will be all kinds of dessert and no protein at that point. Because of that, I am tempted to just keep up with my higher calorie plan to make sure I get in my protein now. Also, zigzagging calories really seems to take the edge off of my free day cravings. Because I get extra treats (yummy PB chocolate banana shakes) every other day, free day just doesn’t seem to be as urgent, but my total caloric deficit for the week is the same! I think I’m going to really enjoy this. 🙂

In other news, I’m SO sniffly this week. I don’t know if it’s a cold or allergies, but since I never get nasal allergies, I’m thinking I really did catch something the other week. I almost want to do some running just to clear out my breathing passages so I won’t sound awful at karaoke tonight.

I’ve also examined my goals for this next challenge, and since I really want to gain 2-3 lbs of muscle, I think I’ll have to keep my average calories closer to the 1500-1600 range rather than 1400-1500. I lost 2 lbs of lean mass along with 7 lbs of fat in my first challenge when I was averaging 1350-1500. The Hussman site’s calculator says that my fat loss range is 1100-1510, while my muscle gain range is 1640-2190. My daily calorie burn is between 1794-2060; I’m leaning toward the lower figure because my job is VERY sedentary. If I didn’t have to get up to get my BFL snacks every 2.5 hours or use the restroom, I’d barely move all day!

Today’s Nutrition: (1700 calorie high day)
1: 1/2 c Honey Bunches of Oats cereal + 1/4 c Raisin Brain with vanilla whey in water
2: Half portion of chicken with one BFL choco cupcake
3: 3×1 veggie omelette with spinach (PB banana shake)
4: Chicken w/ broccoli and slice of rye toast (Banana berry smoothie)
5: Free meal
6: Cottage cheese and grapes

Multivitamin, Calcium 500+D, ~2 T. safflower oil used in shakes and 4

Yesterday’s Totals:
Calories eaten and deficit for yesterday = 1361 / -358 (target -437)
Water: 12 cups
Ratios: 41% carb/ 40% protein / 19% fat
10 am: Full LBWO (I never got around to finishing yesterday)
5 pm: NYC ballet workout tape (about to do this now!)

The Awful Truth:
1. Ate 7 crispy M&Ms
2. Didn’t do the rest of my planned LBWO. No more required workouts in the evenings! I don’t have the will to do them.

Brownie Points:
1. Stayed on plan for the most part, despite feeling a bit hungry after a high day.
2. Got to bed early.
3. Fixed my blog site on the new server.

Short-term Goals (Same as yesterday, alas):
1. Alter my gray pin-stripe pants. (Waist/hip needs to be taken in by 2″)
2. Fix the guestbook and store of my primary website.
3. Fix the PHP gallery script on my multi-artist community site.
4. REALLY send in my completion packet…still need to get my pics developed.
5. Take my new “Before” photos for Round 6 and the bonus challenge


Advice for people new to BFL

1. Read the book, yes, but don’t just leave it at that. Get up and DO it the work outs and eat the meals.
2. Schedule your work outs for YOUR peak energy times.
3. Plan your initial 2 weeks of workouts and meals right away before you start.

I dropped out of my first two attempts at this because of some moronic
residual perfectionist streak from my Asian overachiever student days.
If I screwed up more than 2 days in a row, I’d just stop, because I
told myself that if I wasn’t perfect, than what was the point? If I
couldn’t excel at something, I didn’t want to do it at all. Stupid,

I look back on it now and realize that I just wasn’t committed to
going the full distance. I printed out the workout sheets for upper
and lower body weight training and did great with those, but I hated
the cardio and somehow always found reasons to not get my runs
completed, or half-@$$ed them by walking or doing steady-state for 20
minutes at 5 mph instead of the true HIIT. (Bear in mind that I was
running a respectable 9 to 9 1/2 minute mile–between 6.3-6.7
mph–less than 2 years before this when I was in the army and hadn’t
gained any weight since I got out…I had just turned into a lazy,
squishy computer jockey in the interim. I could have easily run
faster, but I just didn’t want to do it! How lame is that?) My
nutrition was all over the place–I read through the information,
didn’t eat much junk food, and tried to stick with the portion
requirements, but I was only eating 3 meals a day, each of them too
high in carbs because breakfast usually included a cup of raisin bran
with milk, and lunch and dinner always included at least one cup of
white rice with some sort of stir fry. I wasn’t giving my body enough
fuel, and I definitely wasn’t getting a 40/40/20 ratio.

I saw some results, but without stated goals, an ongoing plan for
nutrition, and enough focus to make me suck up the cardio and just do
it right, I never made it past week 3.

This time–my third attempt–I looked back on my past mistakes and
attitudes and fixed them. I do all of my required BFL workouts in the
morning, and save optional silly stuff like pilates and a ballet tape
for the evenings when I might or might not have the energy to do them.
I gritted my teeth and hopped back on the treadmill and did the 20
minute cardio solution the way it was meant to be done and just as it
was explained in the book. In 9 weeks my “high point” speed has moved
from 6.0 mph to 7.5 mph, and I expect to be going at 8.0 mph by the
end. I re-read the Eating for Life chapters and stocked up on whey
protein, cottage cheese, and enough veggies to stock my own vegetable
cart. I cleared the junk from my refrigerator and cupboards and said
a sad goodbye to white rice and sugary cereals for 6 days out of the
week. I learned how to modify Chinese recipes to fit the BFL
requirements, and became more open to trying out new recipes.
Finally, I made sure that I had accountability to someone other than
myself. I told friends and family what I was doing and kept them up
to date on my progress.

Week 1, I was horribly sore and sucking wind on the cardio, but I
stuck with it, knowing it would become easier. (Try going from
completely sedentary bookworm who could only do ONE full pushup and
took 30 minutes to get through a 2 mile course to a somewhat reluctant
soldier girl who could do 35+ pushups in 2 minutes and an 18-minute
two-mile run in just 8 weeks sometime while learning how to fire a
rifle accurately at 300 m, march in formation, and pitch a two-man
tent in freezing rain…BFL is NOT that hard in comparison! I had to
keep telling myself that with each labored breath on that treadmill
the first week.)

Week 2, I still dreaded the running, but everything else was going
well and I felt great. I joined a BFL women’s group on MSN and
started posting accountability reports daily to help me stay on track.
I also posted my before photos and told my sister and at least 3
friends what I was doing so I’d *have* to finish in order to save
face. I made it impossible to quit without embarrassing the heck out
of myself in front of the people I respected the most.

Weeks 3 and 4, I just kept plugging away, and things didn’t hurt so
much anymore. I kept up with my accountability posts.

Early in week 5, I had a LEEP procedure (outpatient surgery), but I
actually ran my cardio the night before the Tuesday operation so I
wouldn’t miss a workout. My only question to my doctor before the
operation was “How long will I be out of commission for work outs
after the procedure?” The day after my procedure, I was doing my
lower body weight training, right on schedule. It was at that point
that I realized I was home free. Committed. Dedicated. In ’til the
end. And quite possibly nuts.

From that point on, I was on autopilot. I’m starting week 10
tomorrow, and once I finish up on August 21, I will probably launch
right into a second full challenge at full tilt. I’ve even grown to
almost like the cottage cheese and the running, and those are things
that I swore I’d hate until my dying day in my earliest posts.