Fitness Journal C3W3D3

Thoughts: All right, I can’t stand it anymore. After logging my food, workouts, and thoughts daily for nearly 6 months (I posted daily during my first BFL challenge on the Body for Life Women MSN Group), I just can’t quit cold turkey, it seems. Daily posts are back on as of today. I might skip weekends, though. Read at own risk.

I’m officially ditching the hardcore cutting plan for now due to time constraints at work. I was at the office from 10 am – midnight yesterday, and things aren’t going to change very much for the next two months. Two gym sessions a day just aren’t possible right now unless I want to function on just 5 hours of sleep a night. 馃檨 I’ll give it a go during my week of holiday vacation next week, but after that, I’m doing version 3 of my mini-challenge plan posted last week:

– Maintenance level calories on weight training days (M, W, F) and Saturday (free meal day) at around 1800-2000 calories
– Low calorie days on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 1400-1600 calories.
– Extra cardio only on HIIT days, 30 minutes of steady state in addition to the 20 minute HIIT run and 1 hour tai chi class
– Weight training on M, W, F using Max-OT routines; optional 45-60 minute ballet, yoga, or tai chi workout tape in the evening if time permits (I also picked up a jumprope at Sears this weekend while Christmas shopping, so I might give this a whirl at home.)

I won’t lie; getting to eat 2 or 3 extra portions a day is NICE, especially when I can bask in the happy knowledge that those high calorie days are fueling muscle growth and recovery while not adding a single tenth of a point to my body fat percentage. This morning’s check put me at 132 lbs and still 17.25% body fat. 馃檪 My measurements are holding steady as well, which is pretty good evidence that ~2000 calories, 132 lbs, and 17-18% body fat are maintenance level setpoint stats for me as long as I am lifting weights for 30-50 minutes three times a week and doing 40 minutes of cardio and an hour of low impact tai chi on alternating days.

I can’t even begin to describe how gleeful this makes me feel. When I first started BFL back on May 31, 2004, I couldn’t even stomach my sixth meal. It just seemed like so much food to me, even though the total calories were pretty low at around 1300 a day. After a few weeks, meal 6 became normal. Ever since my month of extra cardio and low calories, though, whew…I am ravenously hungry at night if I drop below 1400 calories. Turkey Week’s 2000-2200 calorie average didn’t help, either. Somehow, I think that the Extra Cardio Experiment and the Turkey Week Debacle have basically put my metabolism into high gear.

Sometimes knowing exactly how many calories are in each of your meals can work against you, because your brain will tell you that you are being deprived on a 1300 calorie/day menu and encourage you to have some extra food even when your stomach is completely satisfied.

馃槢

Anyway, tomorrow is cardio day, and I may just give my new jumprope a try for the steady-state portion of my workout. I haven’t jump-roped (jumped rope?) since elementary school, though, so I might just chicken out of doing it at the gym until I can get some practice in the privacy of my own apartment balcony.

I’ll go back on a cutting diet and workout routine a la Leanness Lifestyle around March 1, 2005. Until then, I’m focusing on maintaining my weight between 128-135 lbs while increasing lean body mass as much as possible. Losing weight is easy; letting go of the irrational fear of getting fat again so one can actually eat enough to gain muscle is oddly difficult.

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Nutrition (1800-2000 calorie high zigzag day)
1: Chocolate banana shake with GNC Creastack (x 2)
2: Hong Kong beef noodles with snow peas, bean sprouts, spinach, and portabella mushrooms (Crispy treat protein bar)
3: Sara Lake芒鈧劉s chocolate cake
4: Blackberry cheesecake bar
5: 1/2 Uno’s house salad with grilled lemon pepper salmon and balsamic vinaigrette; apple
6: 1/2 Uno’s house salad with grilled lemon pepper salmon and balsamic vinaigrette; tangerine

Supplements:
Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil
1/2 t. GNC Creastack

Calories eaten / deficit for yesterday = 1899 / -116 (target -500)
Water: 14 cups
Ratios: 41% carb / 35% protein / 24% fat

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Workout:
8:00 AM Back/Biceps/Abs Max-OT workout

BACK
Cable Pull Downs – Front: 105 lbs, 6 reps/2 sets
Seated Cable Rows – 105 lbs, 6 reps/2 sets
Bent Over Barbell Rows – 40 lbs, 6 reps/2 sets

BICEPS
Alt. Dumbbell Curls – 20 lbs, 6 reps/1 set; 25 lbs, 6 reps/1 set
Straight Bar Curls – 40 lbs, 6 reps/2 sets

ABS
Leg Raises – 12 reps/2 sets
Decline Crunches – 12 reps/2 sets

Push-ups (Regular) – 20 reps just for the hell of it

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The Awful Truth:
1. When am I going to learn that I can’t have any cereal besides All-Bran in my apartment? I dug into some rice crispies last night after I got home from work at 12 am.

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Brownie Points:
1. Ran the 1 mile loop around my office complex today instead of walking. 1 mile time = 6:02 minutes. (New one mile record for me! W00t!)

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Short-term Goals:
1. Prepare a mass quantity of Thai peanut dressing for chicken salads.
2. Bake banana bread from Oxygen Magazine recipe using Atkins low carb bake mix and a few of the scary black bananas on kitchen counter.

(Upside down) Strawberry Cheesecake Bar

My sister’s been tinkering with another bar recipe again. If you like cheesecake, you will LOVE this bar. 馃檪

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(Upside down) Strawberry Cheesecake Bar

Yield 10 bars

Bar:

脗路 8 packets splenda
脗路 1 cup nonfat dry milk
脗路 8 scoops vanilla myopro protein powder
脗路 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
脗路 3/4 cup (dried fruit mix of your choice: cranberries, cherries, strawberries etc. Just remember to chop 芒鈧渆m if you use larger fruit pieces though!)

脗路 1/2 cup Fiber one or All-bran cereal
脗路 1 tsp vanilla extract
脗路 脗录 water (only as needed!)

Topping:

脗路 2 TBSP Sugar Free Strawberry preserves
脗路 2/3 cup Atkins almond crisp cereal, crushed up

Nutritional Stats:

236 cals, 6.7 g fat, 4.1 sat fat, 20.7 g carbs, 2.6 g fiber, 22.6 g protein

Directions:

Line 9×13 or 9×9 square baking dish or 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) or spray pan with cooking spray. Combine dry BAR ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Add cream cheese and cut in thoroughly with pastry mixer, potato masher or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse meal. Add vanilla extract and small amount of water. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, quickly mix until a tacky dough forms. Press into pan using a sheet of wax paper or a spatula sprayed with cooking spray. Spread 2 TBSP preserves evenly across surface of bars and sprinkle crushed Atkins cereal across the top and press down with the wax paper. Refrigerate overnight or freeze for 1 hour and cut into bars/squares. Wrap bars individually in plastic wrap. Keep frozen or refrigerated.

Crispy Treat Bar

My sister is apparently on a roll with her Stella bar tinkering. Here’s another one that uses some “unauthorized” ingredients, but if you aren’t a complete BFL Nazi, the stats are almost dead on for the program even if the recipe includes marshmallows and a bit of butter.

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Crispy Treat (2 layer bar)

Yields 10 bars

Nutritional information per bar: 200 cals, 5g fat (23%), 1.4 g fat, 20. g carb (37%), 1.8g fiber, 20.1g pro (40%)

Base Layer

脗路 4 scoops chocolate Myoplex
脗路 1/2 oz (11 whole) almonds, chopped
脗路 脗录 cup Atkins Almond crisp cereal
脗路 脗陆 cup dry nonfat milk powder
脗路 1 tsp cocoa powder
脗路 2 TBSP natural peanut butter
脗路 脗陆 tsp vanilla extract
脗路 4 packets of splenda
脗路 脗录 cup water (less or more based on your protein powder)

Crispy Treat Layer

脗路 1 cups Atkins almond cereal, crushed up (or leave whole)
脗路 2 cups Keto Crisp Cereal (reg or cocoa flavor)
脗路 18 – 20 large (or 1/2 of 10 oz bag) marshmallows
脗路 1 TBSP butter/margarine

Line large (9 x 13 or at least a 9 x 9) 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).

BASE layer: Combine dry ingredients for BASE layer in a medium bowl and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix – the mixture will be crumbly and dry. Add water & vanilla 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.

CRISPY layer: Combine cereals in bowl. Over stove in non-stick pan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted and sticky. Remove from heat and quickly stir in cereals to coat. Press mixture into pan on top of base layer using wax paper (or spray your spatula with cooking spray) to prevent sticking. Microwave: melt butter in med bowl. Add marshmallows and stir until coated. Microwave for another 30 sec 芒鈧 1 minute or until melted and stir halfway through so that it芒鈧劉s smooth. Quickly stir in cereal mixture and continue as above.

Refrigerate for overnight or freeze for 1 hour and cut into 10 bars. Wrap individually in plastic wrap or store in covered container between sheets of wax paper. Keep refrigerated.

Stella bar 芒鈧 Protein Packed Choco/Vanilla Chip Crisp

Here’s yet another Stella bar variation from my sister Carolyn’s kitchen. Aren’t we all lucky that Miss Caro is a compulsive healthy recipe fiddler?

馃槈

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Stella bar 芒鈧 Protein Packed Choco/Vanilla Chip Crisp

Bar Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp natural peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 脗陆 cup All-Bran with extra fiber, crushed up
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup TJ芒鈧劉s More and less cereal, crushed up (note: this cereal is 12 gs protein, 11 gs carbs per 2/3 cup so you芒鈧劉ll end up with an even BETTER protein 芒鈧 carb ratio w/ atkins since that has even more protein)
  • 6 scoops Myopro whey protein
  • 1.5 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract (and 1 tsp of cocoa if making chocolate version)
  • 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
  • Topping: 1 TBSP Peanut butter, 3/4 cup of TJ芒鈧劉s More and Less cereal (crushed up) and 3 TBSP nestle芒鈧劉s mini morsels

Stats: 207 cals, 7 g fat (32%), 2g sat, 17.1g carbs (28%), 3.5g fiber, 20.5g prot (41%).

Line 9×13 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 BAR ingredients 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 spread 1 TBSP of peanut butter (warmed for 10 secs in microwave) across surface. Sprinkle crushed Cereal and mini morsels across the top and press down firmly again with the wax paper. Refrigerate a few hours and cut into 10 bars/squares. Wrap bars individually (use sandwich bags or plastic wrap) or store in covered container between sheets of wax paper. Keep refrigerated.

Fitness Journal C3W2D4

I think Mr. Murphy is out to get me. My company switched dental insurance providers as of December 1, and lo and behold, guess what happens today?

I’m innocently munching on a chewy chocolate peanut butter Stella bar with Kashi Golean crunchies in the middle, and SNAP! A corner of my beautiful porcelain crown on my lower right rear molar breaks off!

:: sobs ::

I’m not due for another cleaning until April, so I’ve bitten the bullet (carefully, so as not to chip off any more of my once pristine crown) and made an appointment to have the thing checked out in a week. Grrr…good thing my flex spending account also started up again on the 1st of the month. I have a feeling that I’ll need it since I decided to skip the overpriced and lousy dental insurance options from the new company.

No more hard/crunchy foods for this Azn Grrl. Bring on the mushy oatmeal and brown rice porridge!

Anyhow, it’s confession time. I’ve been struck down by the PMS cereal and bread munchies for the past week and a half, and I’d say that while my ratios have been pretty close to 40/40/20 thanks to my stockpile of Atkins cereal and Roman Meal bread (three cheers for balanced carb/protein products!), my calories have definitely not been in cutting range. My average in the past week (oh hell, let’s just say two weeks since Turkey Day kicked it all off) has been in the 1800-2200 range.

I haven’t been able to hit my extra cardio more than 3 times, either.

And guess what?

I haven’t gained a single pound or inch except around my shoulders and arms, which are marginally larger. It’s possible that my chest deflated even more, but I prefer not to think about that.

It makes me wonder if I can actually cut 0.5 lbs/week on as much as 1800 calories a day with extra cardio. Can you imagine being able to eat that much and still lose weight? I’m going to try it out on my week off before Christmas and see what happens.

One last thing…I just tried the EAS Myoplex Carb Sense Apple Cinnamon bar again (half a bar diced up and mixed with my favorite CC, apple, and maple concoction), and OMG…it is STILL the vilest bar I’ve ever tasted in my life. Vomit-inducing NASTY. I am pitching the rest of the box into the trash. I don’t care if my opinion of this product cuts me out of the running for the official challenge.

Do not buy this bar.

You have been warned.

Fitness Journal C3W2D3

:: Sniffle ::

For the first time this year, I think I am coming down with a cold. My throat is scratchy, I feel vaguely congested, and my forearms hurt.

Oh wait, the forearm soreness is from the Max-OT wrist curls I did on Saturday. (Those may have to go. My left wrist tends to be a bit gimpy and prone to injury, and the heavy weights I’m using now are taking their toll on it. Doing wrist curls on top of might bring on more injury than they are worth.)

Over the weekend I’ve been giving some serious thought to altering my original plan through Jan 18 from cutting to maintenance/bulking simply because my work schedule is not going to allow for my regular evening extra cardio sessions for the next two months. I’m also concerned that once I reach my cutting goal of 12-14%, my arms aren’t going to have the amount of muscle mass I’d like. It might make more sense to experiment with my diet now to determine my true maintenance range while allowing the additional calories to fuel that lovely Max-OT muscle growth. Besides, I’d rather get this overwith now when long sleeves are de rigeur than in the spring when it will be tank top time again.

The excesses of my week off and my increased average calories over the last week have already had an impact on my muscle gain. My arms are filling out visibly instead of just hanging there like inert matter. I’d kind of like to encourage more of this, but that means I’ll have to modify the original plan.

I know how cutting works now. Maybe it’s time to see what maintenance and bulking are like.

What to do?

C3 Plan v. 3.0
– Maintenance level calories on weight training days (M, W, F) and Saturday (free meal day) at around 1800-2000 calories
– Low calorie days on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 1400-1600 calories.
– Extra cardio only on HIIT days, 30 minutes of steady state in addition to the 20 minute HIIT run and 1 hour tai chi class
– Weight training on M, W, F using Max-OT routines; 45-60 minute ballet, yoga, or tai chi workout tape in the evening if time permits

With luck, that should give me enough fuel for muscle recovery on my weight training days while still maximizing fat loss on cardio days. Best of all, I won’t kill myself trying to squeeze in two trips to the gym on weight days while working a 10 am-10 pm schedule. 馃槈

Revised Fat Loss Spreadsheet

New! Improved! Now with Super Special Free Day Maximum Calorie Calculator and (optional) manual Daily Calorie Entry!

Yes, it’s a revised version of my old fat loss spreadsheet based on the formulas found in Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle ebook. It does everything the old one does and more. 馃檪

Same instructions apply–fill in your data in the yellow section and the rest of the numbers will be automatically calculated for you.

Let me know if you run into any bugs or have any ideas for additional features.

Download the Excel spreadheet

Fitness Journal C3W1D4

Soreness Status:
Leg pain has died down to a dull roar, but triceps, shoulders, and chest are beginning to clamor for Icy Hot after first Max-OT session. Spiffy!

Workout Update:
Tai chi and cardio went fine this morning. I’m still using the same old interval speeds of 4.5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.5 mph, but I may try a slight increase next week if the Max-OT leg workout doesn’t take my legs out like the Oxygen workout did this week.

Other news:
I finally freed my new baby from its box this morning–It’s a lovely Dell Dimension 8400 with a Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz CPU, 1 GB RAM, 16x DVD+/- RW, and an admittedly lame ATI Radeon X300 128 MB graphics card. Still…I got it with a free 17″ flat panel and combo scanner/printer at a very decent price, so I’m not complaining.

Other women buy themselves a new wardrobe or a spa makeover when they lose weight.

I hook myself up with a kickass new desktop computer system.

馃槢

Whee!

Food Report:
I tried one of the EAS Myoplex Carb Sense Apple Cinnamon bars I got from Vitaglo yesterday, and I must say that I have not had anything quite so very vile since EAS discontinued their incredibly nasty high protein Cookies and Cream bar a while back. Both bars have the same waxy white coating over a particularly barfy protein core that bears absolutely NO resemblance to the flavors in the names of the bars. “Carb Sense Unhardened Epoxy With Sawdust And Unnamed Chemical Binder” would be more apt as a moniker, believe me.

I had to brush my teeth and chug down 4 cups of water to get rid of the lingering flavor in my gullet.

There’s no way that I’m going to give the extra box of these bars to my mother who is trying to revamp her diet. One bite and she’d go right back to eating Rice Krispy Bars from Sam’s.

I hope the Myoplex Lite Blueberry Cobbler is better, or I’m going to be very put out.