Fitness Journal C3W1D2

You know, being hardcore can be rather painful at times.

Remember that high rep lower body workout from Oxygen Magazine that I did yesterday?

When I finished it yesterday morning, my legs were wobbly but functional. By 9 pm last night, I could feel the stiffness move in. By 6 am this morning, I literally had to roll myself out of my bed because I felt like someone had stuck my lower body into a batting cage and then proceeded to use it as a target for batting practice. I don’t even want to think about what I’m going to feel like tomorrow if I’m this sore today.

Being the stubborn ex-Army wench that I am, I sucked up the pain, limped down four flights of stairs, got in my car, drove to the gym, did my 20-minute HIIT run on the treadmill at my full interval speeds, snuck in and finished the last 30 minutes of tai chi class, and then hopped on the elliptical crosstrainer for another half hour. Abs and arms will be done after I get off work at 9 pm tonight.

It’s not quite 3 hours of exercise, but hey, I tried my best. I don’t think I will do this again, LOL. I’m officially cutting out extra cardio on tai chi days. I will probably reassess my training split after this week, too. After digging into the Max-OT documents a bit more, I found some more compressed training splits that will fit my work and cardio schedule better. Five days of lifting with six days of cardio and two days of tai chi is a bit much when one has a full-time job and time-consuming hobbies like gaming and illustration.

My new Dell desktop arrived today, too, so not only will I not be getting back to my apartment until around 10:30 pm, I probably won’t be able to resist tearing open the three Dell boxes that are waiting for me and installing Everquest 2. I may not get to bed until the wee hours of the morning. I’m pretty strong-willed when it comes to food and exercise, but dangle anything computer or gadget-related in front of me, and I turn into a complete marshmallow of nerdiness.

Fitness Journal C3W1D1

THOUGHTS: Here I go again! I’ve had a very lazy week off from weight training and interval runs, and I’m itching to get back into the fitness groove. A whole week of moderate, steady-state cardio is about as close to death by boredom as I’ve come in a long, long time. Bleah.

I know it’s ridiculous, but I felt like my muscle fibers were atrophying all week long because I wasn’t lifting. Joining in the Wang Family Munch-o-Rama at my parents’ house for a couple of days didn’t help much, either. πŸ˜‰

I’ve set up my workout schedule for the next 4 weeks, but I suspect it will still require a bit of tweaking since it is a complete departure from the familiar BFL routine. With my company about to go into another crunch period involving 10 am-9 pm work days, evening extra cardio is going to be somewhat iffy, especially since the Max-OT split breaks up weight training workouts into 5 days. I don’t really want to combine my weight training and cardio workouts in the same session, but I probably won’t have much choice on my late work days. This essentially means that I’ll be spending nearly 2 hours every morning in the gym, not counting tai chi classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which would tack on another hour on those days if I choose to continue with them.

Now I admit that I can be pretty hardcore at times, but THREE HOURS of exercise in one session is a bit much, even for me. πŸ˜›

(I might give it a try anyway tomorrow because I’m a pigheaded masochist, but I think I will end up cutting out the extra 30 minutes of steady-state cardio on Tues/Thurs and just do my Max-OT sets, HIIT cardio, and tai chi.)

Nutrition isn’t changing from the Challenge 2 plan for now since I’m still cutting. No more carb tapering as long as I’m doing extra cardio, however. Cutting out the carbs in the evening was turning me into the Abominable Cereal Monster at 11 pm every night. I figure it’s better to just stick with the 40/40/20 ratios recommended by both BFL and Leanness Lifestyle for now.

I do want to mention that the high rep/low weight LBWO I did this morning from the most recent issue of Oxygen completely kicked my ass. I thought I was going to fall down the stairs to the locker room afterwards because my quads were so twitchy after 90 Smith machine sumo squats, 90 Smith machine regular squats, 90 Smith machine close footed squats, 90 single leg split squats on each leg, 60 stationary Smith machine lunges with knee ups on each leg, 90 deep squat bench over-and-back, and 90 calf raises. I’m going to alternate this workout with the regular low rep/heavy weight Max-OT LBWO on a weekly basis. Between the two workouts, I should be able to maintain and strengthen my legs without adding excessive bulk.


1200-1400 calorie low zigzag days M/T/Th/F/Su
Breakfast: 3×1 veggie omelette and 1/2 serving fruit with 1/2 berry banana smoothie or 1/2 chocolate peanut butter banana shake

Lunch: Oatmeal tuna spinach salad with fruit, or Thai chicken salad with fruit

Snack 1: Sara LakeÒ€ℒs chocolate cake or strawberry raisin crunch bar

Snack 2: Cottage cheese and fruit

Dinner: Healthy take out option at work, spicy cottage cheese patties with veggies, 3×1 veggie omelette with sweet potato, or Thai chicken salad with fruit or sweet potato

6: Cottage cheese and fruit or microwave muffin

1700-1900 calorie high zigzag days W/Sa
Same as low zig zag days, with these two modifications:

Breakfast: Add full shake/smoothie or muffin
Snack 1: Add full shake/smoothie or muffin

Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil
1/2 t. GNC Creastack (M-F)


Monday: Oxygen Magazine high rep/low weight leg workout; 50 minutes steady state cardio
Tuesday: Max-OT Arms and Abs; 20 minute HIIT run; 60 minute tai chi class
Wednesday: Max-OT Shoulders and Traps; 50 minutes steady state cardio
Thursday: Max-OT Back; 20 minute HIIT run; 60 minute tai chi class
Friday: Max-OT Chest and Abs; 50 minutes steady state cardio
Saturday: 20 minute HIIT run; 30 minutes steady state cardio
Sunday: Rest day

End of Challenge 2 Results

Here are my much delayed photos from the end of Challenge 2 on November 21, 2004. I’ll get my measurements up when I’m not bloated like a water balloon, LOL. I don’t think there are too many changes since Week 10 since I’ve been enjoying a few extra maintenance level calorie days, but c’est la vie. I’m in this for keeps whether or not EAS is impressed with my progress.

Click on the images and thumbnails to get to the full size versions of the photos, or head over here for the main album.

Challenge 2 Final composite

Challenge 2 Progress (front)Challenge 2 Progress (back)

Nice comparison, eh?  Go to the other Challenge 2 photos by clicking here.

Magic BFL Transformation Machine Survey

Okay, here’s a frivolous little survey in lieu of a daily journal of my food and workout.

Imagine that there is a magic Body-for-Life Transformation machine that you can walk into and pop out on the other side fully-transformed into a new, buff version of yourself. There’s just one catch–you have four areas which can be improved, but they can’t all be improved to maximum levels. You have to decide which areas are more important to you, and each level can only be applied to one body area.

The four areas:

  • Arms
  • Chest
  • Abs
  • Legs/Glutes

The four levels (from highest to lowest)

  • World-Class
  • Great
  • Good
  • Okay

What would you choose?

(For the record, I’d want World-Class Legs, Great Arms, Good Abs, and an Okay Chest, ;).)

8 Week Mini-Challenge Plans

I turn 30 on January 18, 2005.

This gives me about 8 weeks including my week “off” between BFL Challenge 2 (Aug. 30-Nov. 21, 2004) and my next cycle to reach my new goals.

I will be changing the frequency of my journal posts a bit, too. I wanted to have a full 84 days journaled to help out anyone just starting with BFL by showing my experience with it from day to day, but now that I’ve got that project completed, I’m going to cut down to once or twice a week updates on my progress so I’ll have more times to devote to other projects–learning PHP, working on some new art, and renovating my Magyss Studios and Illuminators’ Guild websites. Both are in need of some major TLC at the moment. πŸ™‚ My blog will revert to a more normal journal/commentary/projects page instead of a “What Maggie ate and did at the gym today” page. I think there is only so much one can say about a set nutrition and workout plan once everything becomes routine and about a dozen healthy meal staples are chosen.

I’ll be sure to post any tasty new recipes I try each week, though!

My new program is more of a hybrid of Leanness Lifestyle, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, and Max-OT anyhow, so the “BFL Journal” moniker no longer fits it in any case.

Here is my current status as of 11/20/04:

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’6″
  • Weight: 129 lbs
  • Body Fat: 17% (Subcutaneous fat still a little too thick for my taste)
  • Clothing sizes: S/M tops, size 3/4 Misses pants, size 5/6 Juniors pants, size 2-4 skirts depending on manufacturer

Where I’d like to be by my birthday on 1/18/05:

  • Age: 30
  • Weight: 120-125 lbs
  • Body Fat: 12%
  • Clothing sizes: Who cares, as long as I’m lean and ripped!

Week 1 (Interim rest period), 11/22-11/28/04

  • Daily moderate, steady-state cardio M-Sat, 50-60 minutes
  • Daily tai chi, yoga, or pilates M-Sat, 30-60 minutes
  • No weight lifting
  • No HIIT runs
  • 1250-1400 low calorie zig zag days on M/T/Th/F/Su
  • 1700-2000 high calorie zig zag days on W/Sa
  • 40/40/20 nutrient ratios
  • Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 500 + D, and flax oil

Weeks 2-8 (11/29/04-1/18/05)

(Continued cutting phase–until I reach 12% body fat or ~120-122 lbs)

  • 50-60 minutes of cardio per day M-Sat
  • T/Th/Sa 20 minute HIIT runs (counted as part of the above cardio requirement)
  • Max-OT strength training program and split instead of BFL pyramids
  • Tai chi on T/Th
  • 1250-1400 low calorie zig zag days on M/T/Th/F/Su
  • 1600-1800 high calorie zig zag days on W/Sa
  • 40/40/20 nutrient ratios
  • Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 500 + D, GNC Creastack and flax oil

(Maintenance/muscle gain phase–if I reach 12% body fat before 1/18)

  • T/Th/Sa 20 minute HIIT runs (Back to BFL’s core 60 minutes of cardio/week)
  • Max-OT strength training program and split instead of BFL pyramids
  • Tai chi on T/Th
  • 1700-2000 maintenance calorie level every day.
  • 35/45/20 nutrient ratios
  • Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 500 + D, GNC Creastack and flax oil

BFL Journal C2/C3 Interim Day 1

Thoughts: It’s interim week for me, so my workouts and nutrition are going to be a bit more relaxed than in previous weeks. I’m going to stick to my usual nutrition plan of high and low zigzag days, but I’m not going to be a complete stickler about everything. I’m taking a complete break from weight training and HIIT cardio this week, but I am going to keep up with the 50 minutes of daily steady-state cardio. Instead of HIIT and weightlifting, I am going to take a stab at doing tai chi, yoga, and (argh!) even pilates for 45-60 minutes a day on top of cardio. I’d much rather lift weights than do pilates (bleah), but I do want to be fully recovered when I start up again next week.

I went a bit overboard with free day this past Saturday with my sister in town and wasn’t particularly careful yesterday either (Can we say Bennigan’s burgers/fries, loaded plates at a Chinese buffet, and half a mega-bucket of movie theater popcorn?) , so I expect that it will take 2 or 3 days for my scale weight to come down to it’s real value. I have never been so glad to be eating on plan again as I am today! I don’t feel guilty or sick from the food excesses of this weekend. I’m just annoyed that I’m retaining water from it.

I still haven’t had a chance to download the photos from this Saturday to my computer since I was out of the apartment for most of the weekend, but I will get them up soon. πŸ™‚

Nutrition (1200-1400 calorie low zigzag day)
1: 1 BFL mini-cheesecake, 3×1 veggie omelette, spinach, and orange
2: Oatmeal tuna spinach salad with apple
3: 3 BFL mini-cheesecakes with SF chocolate syrup
4: Cottage cheese and apples
5: Healthy take out option at work
6: Cottage cheese and strawberries

Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil

Calories eaten and deficit for yesterday = 1713 / -409 (target -700)
Water: 16 cups
Ratios: 56% carb / 29% protein / 15% fat

8:20 am steady-state cardio – treadmill (6 mph / 30 mins)
8:50 am steady-state cardio – recumbent bike (level 2 / 20 mins)
9:30 pm Mat pilates level 4 DVD

The Awful Truth:
1. Whew…didn’t track meals yesterday.
2. Ate movie theater popcorn.
3. Meals were spaced too far apart.

Brownie Points:
1. 100% workout attendance since May 31, 2004!
2. Got my cardio done this morning.
3. Made some BFL cheesecakes for snack meals.

Short-term Goals:
1. Do laundry.
2. Stay on plan with meals this week.
3. Prep some more lunch meals.

Cran-Raisin Strawberry Crunch Bars

My sister Carolyn came up with this nutrition bar recipe last week. She was trying to come up with something delicious that would be a bit more filling as a breakfast meal replacement, and tweaked the basic Stella’s Kitchen no-bake bar recipe to make this incredibly yummy bar. The ratios are closer to the Zone than BFL, but it’s not a bad split–40-30-30, just like a Balance Bar, which usually tastes like complete kaka in my opinion.

Give this one a try!

Cran-Raisin Strawberry Crunch Bars


6 tbsp natural peanut butter (chunky or smooth)

1.25 cup dry oats or whole grain hot cereal (uncooked)

5 scoops strawberry Myopro whey protein

1.5 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract

1 cup non-fat dry milk

1/2 cup water (depending on what type of protein you use, you may need to add more)

8 packets splenda

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 oz (22 whole almonds) chopped or crushed

Topping: 2/3 cup of Kashi Go Lean crunch cereal (crushed up)

Nutritional info: 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat

For (10 bar batch) 256 cals, 8.4g fat, 1.8g sf, 28.3g carbs, 18.6g pro, 3.2g fiber

For (9 bar batch) 284 cals, 9.33g fat, 2g sf, 31.45 carbs, 20.66g pro, 3.55g fiber


Line 8×8 baking dish of loaf pan with wax paper (let the paper be over size on two opposite ends so that you can use them to pull out the bars after setting). Combine dry ingredients EXCEPT Kashi Go Lean in a large bowl and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix – the mixture will be crumbly and dry. Add water & vanilla/almond extract. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix everything until dough forms. The dough will be sticky. Spread dough into pan and press down using a sheet a wax paper and a spatula. Pull up paper and sprinkle crushed Kashi across the top and press down firmly again with the wax paper. Refrigerate a few hours (or freeze for an hour) and cut into bars/squares. Wrap bars individually (use sandwich bags or plastic wrap) or store in covered container between sheets of wax paper. Keep refrigerated.

BFL Journal C2W12D6

Thoughts: WHEE! I did my last cardio run for challenge 2 this morning. πŸ™‚ Woohoo! My week off starts NOW.

My sister Carolyn went to the gym with me this morning for our pre-photo cardio and pump up, LOL. She was suitably impressed by the Dr. Phillips Gold’s Gym. Apparently neither of the gyms she’s used in Boston are as posh. I also noticed something pretty funny while we were there: She looks just as pissed off as I do when working out. No wonder no one ever bothers either of us!

We took a few rounds of “after” photos, but haven’t had time to check them out yet. We might end up taking a second set later this week since these were so rushed. (I’m working today, and had to be in at 11.) Too bad we can’t really enter as a couple. πŸ˜›

I’ll post final progress photos and stats tomorrow.

Nutrition (1800-2000 free meal day)
1: Crunchy strawberry raisin bar
2: Free meal (1/2 Bennigan’s American burger with fries)
3: Free meal (1/2 Bennigan’s American burger with fries)
4: Cottage cheese and apple with SF maple syrup
5: Free meal or 3×1 veggie omelette with oatmeal
6: Cottage cheese and strawberries

Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil

Calories eaten and deficit for yesterday = 1766 / -279 (target -700)
Water: 14 cups
Ratios: 46% carb / 37% protein / 17% fat

8:00 am HIIT – treadmill (4.5, 6, 7, 8 mph / 9.5 mph max / 0% incline / 25 minutes)
8:25 am elliptical (level 3 / 7.5-8.5 mph / 25 minutes)
8:50 am partial UBWO

The Awful Truth:
1. Skipped extra cardio because hair cut appointment ran over by an hour.
2. Ate at maintenance level again.

Brownie Points:
1. 100% workout attendance!
2. Finished Challenge 2! Yes!

Short-term Goals:
1. Start up another round of laundry.
2. Visit family in Casselberry.