“Progress, AND Perfection”

(Thanks to Kyra from the MSN Body for Life Women Group for making me think about this stuff with her journal post today.)

A woman on the BODYFORLIFEWOMENOFCOLOR Yahoo Group once accused me of being a rigid perfectionist who held others in the BFL support community to unrealistically high standards and myself to even higher, more impossible ones. She meant it as a slur, but in all honesty, I don’t see why it is wrong to expect people to put forth their best efforts when they start a program like BFL and do their damndest to eat on plan and hit their workouts every day. People rise to the standards that are set for them. Place the bar low, and you will perpetuate an atmosphere of low expectations and frequent, hastily-forgiven cheats and incomplete workouts. Raise the bar high and set an example with your own tenacious efforts week after week, and maybe those around you will step their acts up as well. Does anyone remember the 1988 movie Stand And Deliver about the high school math instructor who decides to teach calculus to a classful of delinquents and potential drop-outs? He raised the bar of minimum expectation to “You will all pass the AP Calculus exam,” not “I’ll be happy if I can get half of you to pass Consumer Math with a C-.” That’s what I’m talking about.

Because her own personality and outlook on life was so different from mine, that BFLWOC member couldn’t fathom that someone could actually ENJOY doing things right the first time and every time, and take pride in–not suffer in neurotic misery from–being well-informed, precise, conscientious, and in no need of handholding during the initial BFL process. Perhaps she would have liked me more if I’d kicked off my membership in the community by asking the same repetitive newbie questions that so many others did, gone into a public “Where are my results? This isn’t working!” freak out in weeks four or eight, or screwed up beyond having 10 M&Ms a day during the Great Black and White M&M Invasion at my office last year. Sure, I could have done those things, but oops! I actually READ the BFL book before starting the program, explored the BFL, Hussman, and Skwigg’s websites for more information, lurked and read archives in the various groups long enough to have most of my questions answered, knew how hard I could push myself in the gym thanks to being an ex-Army girl, collected nearly two hundred authorized recipes, hooked up my Palm with two great diet and exercise tracking programs to log my progress, and, oh dear, I didn’t have a single eating disorder in my medical history!

How dare I go into BFL physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared? What gall I had to get through my first 12 weeks so easily with my non-standard calorie tracking instead of playing palm-fist pattycake with the other newbies!

Hehe. Sorry, but that’s who I am and how my brain is wired, and I wasn’t about to fake being an incompetent, clueless dilettante who didn’t have the initiative to do her own research before appearing on the scene. And I wasn’t going to pretend that I was struggling when I actually found the BFL program to be laughably easy to maintain.

“Progress, not perfection” is a valid and true saying when used on the rare occasions when you slip, but it is used as a crutch by so many women who basically don’t have the internal strength and drive to do what needs to be done that I roll my eyes every time some well-meaning BFL’er uses it to console a wheenie (weak-willed whiner) who crawls back to the BFL fold for some touchy-feely coddling and sympathy after they’ve blown yet another meal/day/week/month/year.

BFL in a nutshell–read the book, write down your goals, clean out the junk in your refrigerator and pantry, stock your kitchen with authorized foods, get access to necessary workout equipment, take your starting photos and measurements to reinforce your commitment, and FOLLOW THE RULES. Finis.

That’s all you have to do, and yet somewhere between elementary school and adulthood 75% of the fat-loss hopefuls out there seem to have forgotten that rules apply to BFL as well as things like driving and football.

Maybe my military experience in basic training taught me to trust in the process without looking at results–I spent 8 weeks just trying to survive each day by following the rules set down by the U.S. Army. Was I thinking about how much weight I should be losing every week with all of the exercise I was suddenly getting? Hell no. I just wanted to get through the day without bringing the snarky attention of the cadre on me, and the best way to do that was to do what I was supposed to do and NOT SCREW UP.

Doing the right thing day after day doesn’t bring you the attention and mollycoddling that being a screw-up does on the women’s BFL boards, so maybe that’s why so many serial screw-ups can’t seem to get their acts together.

Ever notice this?

If someone posts about their perfect WEEK, they might get one or two perfunctory “Way to go!” replies from the polite members who are thoughtful enough to read and respond to every writer, but if someone else posts a “Help!!! I’ve fallen face-first into a vat of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and Oreos and have been swimming around in it for the past week taking huge gulps and washing them down with double chocolate chip Frappucinos!” message, a dozen sympathizers will jump in and write long, drawn out “Progress, not perfection” homilies, “You can do it!” pick-me-ups, and other assorted balms to the screw-up’s ego.

Oh please. I’ll make allowances for the complete newbies who have just found the program–you have an allotment of three free whines to use as you please on any given message board as you ease your way into your new lifestyle, but that’s it. Use those begs for support wisely and only when you are in true need, because at some point you will exceed your sympathy quota and be seen merely as an emotionally high-maintenance BFL tourist with no real desire to succeed.

My attitude about it? Call me a bitch, but here it is:

You screwed up. Sorry, but that’s the unvarnished truth at the heart of your cry for help. I don’t care if you screwed up. No one else cares either, no matter what they say. Women are good at automatically doling out the bleeding heart words without investing more than a passing thought to the source of the misery. We do it as easily as we draw breath.

The only one who *should* care is YOU. This is your body. This is your life. This is your health. That is your self-made flab hanging off of your arms, belly, and thighs. You knew the rules, and you chose to ignore them. You could have limited the damage to one messed up meal or missed workout instead of letting it snowball into several. Suck up the knowledge that *you* dropped the ball and move on with your life and your program.

Accumulate as many good rule-following days as you can, because no one else is going to get you to your goal. Here are your choices: Follow the rules and meet or exceed your original goals, or ignore the rules, soak up some more false sympathy, and wonder why at the end of 12 weeks your “after” photos still look like “befores.”

Your life, your choice.

If you decide to follow the rules, realize that plugging away at your workouts and meals day after day and racking up a string of perfect or near perfect days will garner you almost no recognition at all during your challenge. It’s not fair, but that’s how it goes. In an ideal world, the men and women who quietly get their shit DONE would be the ones receiving 15 heartfelt and sincere “Awesome job!” replies to their progress posts, and the attention-seeking wheenies with their umpteenth teary confessions of failure would get a single, well-deserved “Take that Snickers bar out of your mouth and get your lazy, shamming ass to the gym.”

This isn’t an ideal world, however, so be prepared to seek daily perfection in unrecognized anonymity for 12 weeks or more. *You* know you are doing the right thing and following the rules, and that should be enough, but if it’s not…just smirk with well-deserved pride at the end of your challenge when you post your phenomenal 12 week results photos and bask in the waves of praise and envy that will be pouring in from all directions while the wheenies are still reporting their latest round of self-pitying screw-ups.

==============
This post has been reference in the following blogs:

Fitness Journal C3W9D5 (I am going to pop :P)

Thoughts: The whole eDiets interview reminded me that I still have a valid account over there despite an absence of several months. I checked out some of the EFL plan recipes again this week at my new lovely calorie count of 2000-2100, and lo and behold, most of them look pretty good. There is a tendency for the meals to be a bit higher in carb than the 40/40/20 ratio, but that’s fine, too, since I’m willing to go with anything between that and the 50/30/20 recommended by Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle and Eric Shrieves last week. I’ve been eating many of the same meals from my cutting menu and simply doubling portions on three meals a day to get up to my maintenance range, but I think this weekend I will print out a set of In2Nutrition and eDiets menus at the correct maintenance range and make myself a maintenance cookbook folder.

While I’m at it, I might have to create a bulking cookbook, too.

eDiets also has another great side benefit: there are support groups for every diet plan, various challenges, many interest groups (singles, 20s, 30s, moms, working women, etc.), and yes, one for fitness. I posted an injury-related question to the Fitness for You board last year after a freebie training session with one of the staff trainers at Gold’s left me with chronic nerve pain in my upper back/neck. The eDiets fitness expert, Raphael Calzadilla, gave me some very solid advice then, and after reading some of the other posts in the forum, I’ve come to trust his expertise on exercise-related matters.

So…to get yet another take on my bulking plan and goals, I posted my current nutrition plan, workout routine, stats, and January photos on the board to get an opinion on whether I should:
a) Raise my calories even higher than 2000-2200 to gain muscle,
b) Keep going with Max-OT or switch to another routine,
c) Do any particular exercises to reach my one pull-up goal.

The final verdict was that I should try to raise my calories by an additional 300 per day for 21 days if I planned to stick with Max-OT. That’s 2300-2500 calories a day. I don’t know how I’m going to manage that on my current meals; I am so stuffed some days that I can barely stand to look at meal 6. Most of my meals are high bulk with low calorie density because I’m still using my cutting menu recipes where feeling full on very few calories was paramount to my sanity. I think I’ll have to add in more calorie-dense foods like brown rice, WW pasta, nuts, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal, because I flat out can’t put away that much food volume a day without feeling like I’m about to give birth to an alien baby. A shift from the low rep/high weight Max-OT to a high volume/high frequency workout program was recommended, too, but then my calories would have to go up by 400-500 instead of 300.

To build up pull-up skills, he suggested focusing on the negative movement–having someone assist me to the up position, and then controlling the downward movement on my own. Four sets of six negative movements each twice a week. Now I just need to find someone to boost me up, LOL.

After almost two months of Max-OT bulking, I guess I’m due for a change in my workout routine. Starting Monday I’m going to incorporate the suggested changes from Eric Shrieves (PWO shake/new diet ratio) and Raphael Calzadilla (calorie range/workout) for the next 3-4 weeks and see where they take me before I go into another cut for the spring and summer.

I know it sounds crazy, but after this week of the un-hungries, I’m almost looking forward to dropping back down to 1700-1800 calories a day.

========
Nutrition (2000-2200 calorie maintenance/bulking menu – FREE MEAL)
1: 1.5 scoop Myopro whey, 1/2 c. (dry) oatmeal with cinnamon
2: 6 egg white/2 whole egg mega omelette with spinach; 1 slice Nature’s Own WW extra fiber bread with 1/2 T. SF apricot preserves and 1 t. Smart balance spread
3: 3/4 c. FF cottage cheese with 2/3 c. canned pumpkin
4: Still trying to gag down meal 3 (YUCK)
5: WW Kung Pao chicken with broccoli, 1.5 c. fruit salad
6: 2 scoops Edy’s peanut butter cup ice cream and 1/2 Grandma’s peanut butter cookie

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

Calories eaten / deficit for yesterday = 1875 / -104 (target 0)
Water: 14 cups
Ratios: 47% carb / 31% protein / 22% fat

========
Workout:
8:30 am Max-OT chest/shoulders/triceps

========
The Awful Truth:
1. Technically missed meal 4 due to inability to stuff down any more food after pumpkin CC debacle. Was not very hungry at all today!

========
Brownie Points:
1. Did skullcrushers with a 55 lb ez barbell.
2. Got to the grocery store!

========
Short-term Goals:
1. Print out new menus/recipes.
2. Pick up some page dividers to separate cutting/maintenance/bulking recipes in my binder.

Fitness Journal C3W9D4 (*Results Not Typical)

Thoughts: Around September of last year I signed up for a year of eDiets.com access for $19.95 in order to get my hands on their properly-calibrated Eating for Life meal plans and recipes since the EFL book straight up wasn’t precise enough for me with its unprinted nutrition information and oversized portions. I printed out some recipes, tried a handful of meals, hung out for a bit in their EFL support group board, and signed up and participated in two Life’s Odyssey challenges, which combine accountability for staying on your nutrition plan with lots of fun, friendly competition in acquiring points for being active. This coincided with my turbo cutting period, and played a part in my drop to 128 lbs last year. 😉

Nothing like competition to make me actually want to hit the treadmill twice a day.

eDiets posted a request for Eating for Life plan success stories about a month after I joined (having already completed one challenge on my own prior to becoming a member), and I sent in a pretty gushing testimonial about the Body for Life program upon which Eating for Life is based. One of their reps contacted me, asked for more details and photos, and then abruptly disappeared from communication after telling me that she would submit my information and pictures to their marketing team.

Last week I heard back from eDiets–they wanted to run a story about me in one of their newsletters. I was interviewed by Kim Droze this past Monday, and today my rather cheesy interview and before/after photos are plastered across their Success Story section on the site and emailed out to who knows how many eDiets members in a message entitled “How I lost 26 lbs! (super photos).” The article itself has the title, “TEN-SHUN! Ex-Soldier Slims Down, Tones Up!”

One of my eDiets pics

Here’s the email newsletter sent out this morning:
http://www.ediets.com/news/mailer/archive/?id=849

And this is the article itself:
http://www.ediets.com/news/article.cfm?cmi=904957&cid=12&code=24567

Obviously they were digging the ex-Army girl angle. I don’t blame them. How many “stay-at-home-moms-who-lost-300 lbs-on-Atkins” stories can a marketing department write without getting bored out of their minds, really? The “after” photos rarely show fit women with muscle tone, just smaller chicas with poochy bellies that won’t go away or the slim, no-muscles-left look.

The interview is heavily skewed towards promoting the Eating for Life plan at eDiets.com, but I expected nothing less. Hey, they are in business to sign up new people and make money–nothing wrong with that, especially since their service does help many men and women lose unwanted weight. If my story, as goofy as it reads, convinces just ONE wavering patron to choose the Eating for Life/Body for Life over a plan that only involves calorie restriction, cutting out entire food groups, and no solid exercise plan, I will count it as a success even though I come off as a complete EFL puppet in the write-up, hee. (The “* RESULTS NOT TYPICAL” disclaimer beneath each of my photos absolutely cracks me up.)

I’ll be using more of the EFL/eDiets recipes in the near future now that I’ve had them raise my calories to 2000-2100 from 1200-1300 per day. The sizes of my meals now are outrageous. I LOVE maintenance. Ladies and gentlemen, when you hit your goal weight, don’t just keep going with the old palm and fist. You don’t know what you are missing by dropping your metabolism permanently down to cutting levels. Hah.

I actually love that uber-flabby “Before” pic of myself in the cranberry top and my belly hanging out. Anytime someone tells me that I was never fat, I send them to that picture from my Las Vegas trip in May 2003. (This pic is even better! Flabtastico!) But why, oh why, couldn’t they have used my more recent bikini “after” photo instead of the one from August? I look much better at 17.5% body fat than I did at 22%!

Wah!

========
Nutrition (2000-2200 calorie maintenance/bulking menu)
1: 1 cup peas, 5.5 oz. tuna, and 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal with cinnamon and Equal
2: 5.5 oz tuna, 1 c. mushroom penna pasta, 1 c. spinach
3: Coconut banana crunch bar
4: Catered dinner at work
5: 1 scoop whey and apple
6: Nutty vanilla pudding (eDiets EFL)

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

Calories eaten / deficit for yesterday = 1775 / -204 (target 0)
Water: 17 cups
Ratios: 39% carb / 44% protein / 17% fat

========
Workout:
10 pm cardio – Steady state treadmill run (6-7 mph / 30 mins)

========
The Awful Truth:
1. I’m still out of groceries, as you can probably tell by my meal plan. Heh.
2. Still need to fold last of laundry.

========
Brownie Points:
1. Drank a ton of water yesterday due to post-blood donation dehydration.

========
Short-term Goals:
1. Got to the grocery store!
2. Fold laundry.
3. Create some 50/30/20 versions of my favorite In2nutrition recipes.

Fitness Journal C3W9D3 (Pull-Up Pretensions)

Thoughts: Okay, so by now you all probably know that I can do push-ups. Lots and lots of them, in fact. Four years of military conditioning tends to do that to a gal with my type of build.

Push-ups are trifles. Forget push-ups.

I want to be able to do a pull-up.

Ever since I was a chubby 3rd grader I’ve been completely humiliated by the pull-up bar. I was never even able to hang with my chin above the stupid bar for more than a split second.

Along with the 16 minute 2-mile run, the pull-up has been my fitness goal nemesis. Short, muscular legs and a comparatively weak upper body do not make for a good distance runner OR a kickass pull-up princess.

So on top of my “get bigger arms” macro-goal for this challenge, I am going to set a “one good unassisted pull-up” micro-goal for March 1. I’ll be adding some extra pull-up specific exercises that, like my extra push-ups, are in addition to my Max-OT splits.

I figure if I can do just ONE pull-up while at my bulking weight of 134-136 lbs, I should be able to do a couple more once I cut down to maintenance weight at around 125 lbs. Running got easier when I became less tubby; pull-ups will hopefully do the same.

========
Nutrition (2000-2200 calorie maintenance/bulking menu)
1: 1 packet Nature’s Best PerfectRX chocolate shake (Coconut banana crunch bar)
2: 4 oz. grilled chicken breast, 3 c. raw spinach, 2 T. Just 2 Good Honey Dijon dressing, 3/4 c. baked sweet potato slices
3: Coconut banana crunch bar
4: Catered dinner at work: 4 oz. Mediterranean chicken breast, 1 c. assorted fruit, 2/3 c. mushroom penne pasta, 1/2 c. quiche (Counts as double portion)
5: 4 oz grilled chicken with low-carb BBQ sauce and 1/2 c. garlic herb couscous
6: Nutty vanilla pudding (eDiets EFL)

Supplements:
Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil
1 t. GNC Creastack (5 g creatine, 2 g l-glutamine, and phosphates)

Calories eaten / deficit for yesterday = 2193 (target +433)
Water: 16 cups
Ratios: 43% carb / 40% protein / 17% fat

========
Workout:
9:00 am Max-OT back/biceps and 100 push-ups at Gold’s
3:00 pm 1 mile walk (4 mph / 15 mins)
========
The Awful Truth:
1. I’m out of groceries. I am now limited to healthy foods I can make with oatmeal, protein powder, and canned tuna.
2. There’s a huge pile of dark and white laundry on my bed slowly acquiring permanent wrinkles as it cools.

========
Brownie Points:
1. Had a great workout this morning. I don’t think the blood donation yesterday is affecting me too much.
2. Didn’t re-open my vein by accident while lifting.

========
Short-term Goals: (Same as yesterday’s goals…)
1. Restock cottage cheese and fruit supply.
2. Fold laundry.
3. Make vet appointments for Slinky and Neville.

Fitness Journal C3W9D2 (Back on the Bloodmobile A+ List)

Thoughts: Back in July 2004 I tried to donate blood as usual when the Florida Blood Center Bloodmobile made its usual monthly stop at my office complex. I figured that I’d just go through the motions of filling out the questionnaire, answering the verbal questions from the technician, getting my temperature, blood pressure, and pulse checked, and then pump out my two cups of ichor, collect my cookies and go on my merry way just like I’d done 8 weeks earlier. No such luck–they pricked my finger to obtain a drop of blood to test for iron count, and I failed. My little blob of pale, thin blood refused to sink to the bottom of the vial. Talk about mortifying!

I was in my 5th or 6th week of BFL, I was eating SO healthy I would probably vomit chicken feathers, egg whites, and blueberries if you poked my stomach, I worked out 6 days a week, and yet I was getting dissed by the Bloodmobile in favor of tubby office workers who habitually chugged three 36 oz Cokes from Nature’s Table a day? That just wasn’t right.

I sank into a grouchy mope for the next seven months with the specter of BFL-induced iron-deficiency hovering over my head.

The Bloodmobile was back again this morning, however, and I decided to test my luck (and iron count) again.

My chances weren’t going to get any better than they were today: I’d had a nice, juicy, rare steak on Saturday and leftovers from it on Sunday. I was singlehandedly responsible for the complete decimation of four big bags of washed spinach in the past seven days. I haven’t missed a multivitamin with iron in 7 months. If I got rejected again, I’d have have no choice but to go get myself checked out for anemia.

I hopped into the bus around 10:30, filled out the paperwork and waited nervously for the fateful finger pricking.

I got a bit worried when it looked like my stupid finger wouldn’t give up enough blood for the test. Low blood pressure on top of anemia…just what I needed. I wanted to shout, “Squeeze harder, dammit!” but restrained myself. No need to throw off my blood pressure and pulse count later, right?

Finally, the tech got enough blood in the minipipette for the test and THANK GOODNESS my blood drop sank like a stone to the bottom of the test vial.

It looks like I’m back on the A (positive) list for the blood bank, and safely out of iron deficiency territory. 😀

I leaked out my pint of blood, drank a free cup of cranberry juice, and picked out a pack of Grandma’s Peanut Butter cookies to foist on one of my co-workers. The blood bank folks also punched the final pip in my Club Red card, so I should be receiving a $15 gift certificate to use at Olive Garden, Red Lobster, or Smokey Bones BBQ next week. Guess where my next free day meal will be?

Even better, I just hit my gallon mark for donations, so I got a darling little brass keychain with “A Positive” engraved on the back in case I should get into a horrible car accident and require an emergency blood transfusion into my mangled body. Nifty!

========
Nutrition (2000-2200 calorie maintenance/bulking menu)
1: 3 slices French toast with high fiber WW bread and SF maple syrup (Chocolate banana shake)
2: BBQ chicken breast with couscous, sweet potato, and spinach (Chocolate banana shake)
3: Coconut banana bar
4: Catered dinner at work
5: BBQ chicken breast with sweet potato chips
6: Nutty vanilla pudding (eDiets EFL)

Supplements:
Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil
1 t. GNC Creastack (5 g creatine, 2 g l-glutamine, and phosphates)

Calories eaten / deficit for yesterday = TBD (target 0)
Water: 12 cups
Ratios: 50% carb / 30% protein / 20% fat

========
Workout:
10:30 pm Bar Method DVD workout

Max-OT back/biceps/abs postponed until tomorrow due to blood donation restrictions

========
The Awful Truth:
1. Didn’t make it to the grocery store and am out of bananas, eggs, spinach, and Kashi. :: sobs ::
2. Had about 7 pieces of candy/chocolate coated dried fruit yesterday.

========
Brownie Points:
1. Finished setting up the Athlon 1100 and will ship it out tomorrow at lunch.
2. Donated blood today!
3. Grilled up some chicken breast, baked some sweet potato chips, and cooked some garlic herb couscous last night.
4. Got both loads of laundry started this morning.

========
Short-term Goals: (Same as yesterday’s goals…)
1. Make another batch of bars.
2. Go grocery shopping (again).
3. Pack the Athlon for UPS shipment tomorrow.
4. Set up the Dell.
5. Finish laundry and organize closet

Fitness Journal C3W9D1 (Running Shoe Junkie)

Thoughts: It’s time for me to come to grips with the possibility that this new healthy lifestyle of mine has turned me into a running shoe junkie. Last week I joined Road Runner Sports’ Run America Club so I could get an additional 5% off of their merchandise for a full year (I’m splitting the membership with my sister, who with an average mileage of 15 miles per week is also showing signs of athletic shoe whoredom). Friday, I finally stopped waffling and ordered two more pairs of Mizuno running shoes from the RRS clearance area just because they were too cheap to pass up. I think this brings my total for the past year up to, um…five pairs of running shoes. Two pairs of Asics, and three Mizunos.

The craziest thing is that I would NEVER EVER pay the kind of money I’m willing to throw down for athletic shoes for a pair of regular street shoes that I wear all friggin’ day! Why is that? I probably spend 60% of my life right now in a pair of $13 clearance stack-heel black loafers I bought from a shoe warehouse type store in California when my trusty Doc Martens from Darmstadt unexpectedly fell apart on me before E3 last May. I’m not kidding…most of my waking hours outside of my home are spent in these kicks…but there’s no way that I’d shell out $55 for them like I just did for a pair of Mizuno Wave Mercury running shoes that I’ll only wear three times a week for around 45 minutes at a time.

I don’t even like to run.

Truly.

That was one of the main reasons I didn’t want to go green to gold while I was enlisted. If I became an officer, I’d have to keep on running! I ran because I had to (part of the job), hated every minute of it, and only pushed hard enough to squeak by on my 2 mile run time.

Nowadays, I run because I have to (if I want to keep my ass in my size 4 cords), still hate every minute of it, but push myself so hard on my HIIT sessions that I want to yak up my entire respiratory system afterwards. And somewhere along the way I developed this thing about running shoes.

Old shoes + Running = Tedium and Hardship

New shoes + Running = Sudden impulse to throw on sports bra and running shorts and go for a 5-mile treadmill run at the gym shouting, “Whee! Running is fun! I like to run! Oooh wow! This thing goes up to 12 mph! Wheeeeeeeee!” like a real-world incarnation of Legolas from Cassieclaire’s LOTR “Very Secret Diaries” spoof

I’m done now, I swear. No more until 2006. I’m not even going to LOOK at the Roadrunnersports.com site again until January 2006. Well, maybe if I’m in the market for some crosstrainers…

========
Nutrition (2000-2200 calorie maintenance/bulking menu)
1: Coconut banana bar
2: 3×1 veggie omelette with 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal (Chocolate banana shake)
3: 5.5 oz Oatmeal tuna snack with tangerine
4: 5.5 oz Oatmeal tuna snack with 2 tangerines
5: Kung Pao chicken with broccoli and garlic herb couscous
6: Undecided eDiets EFL meal

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

Calories eaten / deficit for yesterday = TBD (target 0)
Water: 12 cups
Ratios: 50% carb / 30% protein / 20% fat

========
Workout:
8:30 pm HIIT and steady state treadmill run at the fitness center

(Flipflopped with planned Max-OT Back/biceps so I can test drive the new shoes, hehe)

========
The Awful Truth:
1. Stayed up too late fiddling with my sister’s computer, and slept through gym time this morning. Will go after work.

========
Brownie Points:
1. Am almost finished setting up the Athlon 1100 for my sister.
2. Ordered several yoga DVDs from the library for home delivery instead of spending actual $$ on them.

========
Short-term Goals: (Same as yesterday’s goals…)
1. Prep a few meals for lunch this week.
2. Make another batch of bars.
3. Go grocery shopping (again).
4. Pack the Athlon for UPS shipment tomorrow.
5. Fix the Pbell.
6. Set up the Dell.
7. Organize closet.

PDA Diet and Fitness Software

I’ve been getting some queries recently about the type of software I use to track my meals and workouts. Since there is a super deal on one of the programs I’ve been using from the start right now, I’m going to post the relevant link and a brief review here.

Keyoe’s Diet and Exercise Assistant
This program is available for Palm OS, Pocket PC, and Windows. It’s main strength is as a portable calorie counter/food log. It includes a very big food database that works much like the one at Fitday.com. You can customize the database by adding your own favorite ingredients and meals to it. Tracking your intake can be done with a few taps of your stylus, and if you are a gadget dork like me, you will always have your PDA handy with you so there are no excuses for not logging.

There’s also an exercise log (no customizable exercise database, alas, but a good selection of popular activities are included and you can enter unlisted activites in a “User defined activity” entry).

Other features include a measurement log, daily weight log/chart, and a built-in goal calculator that will let you enter your desired weight and deadline and then automatically calculate your target calories per day for you. The cheesy little water tracker has come in handy for me, too.

Something else that makes the program very useful for even non-number crunchers is the macronutrient ratio tracker. Not sure if you are hitting your desired ratio of 40/40/20 or whatever else you are using? Plug in your target ratios under the Goal area, and the program will show you in four different graphs if you are meeting your stated targets for calories, carbs, protein, and fat. And yes, it will give you your daily percentages for these things as well.

How do you think I’ve been getting my daily stats for calories eaten, +/- calorie target, and nutrient ratios every day? Surely you didn’t think that I actually logged into Fitday daily or wrote everything down in an archaic notebook to calculate by hand, did you?

The two PDA versions are normally around $20 each, and the desktop program (which can sync with your PDA version) is usually $10. You can get the programs at half price with the following code if you order directly through http://www.keyoe.com

Discount Code: 32FAAA1

Fitness Journal C3W8D7 (I am not alone…)

Thoughts: Karaoke was a bust last night since Ed was sick, but I did make it to the BFL seminar. I was 30 minutes late due to the vagaries of Saturday night Orlando traffic on Interstate 4, but I did get there before the end. I missed Lynn Ogleby’s presentation, but got some great information and motivation from Porter Freeman and Eric Shrieves. A lot of the discussions centered around accountability, personal responsibility, and nutrition.

Many of the clients there brought up accountability as a key to success. They said that it was oftentimes too easy to just blow off workouts or cheat on the planned meals when they didn’t have someone double-checking on them.

Porter added that another key was to remove the negative influences (including people) from your life if they were holding you back from becoming all that you could be. “If there is someone in your life who is trying to sabotage you, you need to find out how much that person weighs, because THAT’S how much weight you need to lose by tomorrow morning.” LOL! This could be kind of tough if the person in question is a boss or spouse, but you get his point.

He summarized by saying that everyone is born with three things:
CLASS – Who you choose to associate with (Good influences or bad ones?)
CHARACTER – What you choose to do (Sit in front of the TV eating chips, or take action to get fit?
SELF-RESPECT – What you refuse to do (Eat that co-worker’s birthday cake, or say no thanks and eat your planned healthy snack?

Eric covered some of the more nonsensical questions he’s received via email in the past, then glossed over some points about nutrition (e.g. Workouts alone won’t cause a transformation without proper nutrition) and the effectiveness of brief, intense workouts with proper recovery time. In the long-standing debate of HIIT vs. steady-state cardio, he is definitely on the side of HIIT.

I did get a chance to speak with him for a few minutes after the presentation. He’d seen my progress pictures before and knew my name via the Bodyforlifenflorida Yahoo group, I think. Based on my current bulking goal, he recommended that I depart from the BFL 40/40/20 ratio and raise my carbs up a bit to 50/30/20. It was also suggested that I switch my post-workout shake from my current In2nutrition 40/40/20, 200 calorie, fruit/whey-based shakes to a 3:1 dextrose/whey mix to shuttle nutrients to my muscles faster. I checked the stats on dextrose…that’s 11 g of sugar per scoop at 40 calories each. If I use 1 scoop of whey at 22 g protein and 120 calories, I’d need to mix it with 6 scoops of dextrose to meet that ratio for a total of 360 calories in one giddy sugar hit. I’m game to try it, but I think I will be conservative and go with 2:1 for now, LOL. After all of the sugar deprivation I’ve been going through since May, that much sugar at once might cause my head to pop off.

I also got to meet Bluestreak (Roger) and 1FastGTX (Chris) from the Johnstonefitness.com forums in person last night, which was a fantastic bonus. Roger and his wife Tanisha (hope I spelled that right) were former clients of Eric’s with a huge amount of knowledge about fitness and nutrition between them. We went out for a post-seminar cheat meal at the Roadhouse Grill afterwards and hung out for two hours talking about the pitfalls of leading a healthy lifestyle with ethnic families (Asian of course in my case, and Italian in theirs), what caused each of us to re-evaluate our lives and decide to make drastic changes in our diets and exercise, and gym dork stuff like meal plans, fitness routines (Tanisha trained for a figure competition not too long ago), and body fat measurement. Kind of ironic considering that we were chowing down on some serious quantities of steak and potatoes at the time, eh? We might make the dinners a regular Orlando area JSF/BFLer thing every month if there’s enough interest. I didn’t realize how much fun it would be to be able to talk about all of this fitness stuff with others who understood it and were living the same lifestyle. If I try to bring these things up with the unenlightened masses, I usually just get blank stares, defensive comments, pathetic excuses, or snippy sarcasm.

Now, to prove that I was really there, here’s a pic of me with Porter Freeman after the seminar. He signed a huge Body-for-Life poster for me, too, since my copy of BFL is still in the custody of one of my co-workers.

Porter Freeman and me at the 1/22 Orlando BFL Seminar

========
Nutrition (2000-2200 calorie maintenance/bulking menu)
1: 3×1 spinach and omelette with 1/2 c. (dry) oatmeal and raisins (3/4 c. cottage cheese and 1/2 c. puffed kamut and millet)
2: 2 oz. NY strip steak, 1 oz. shrimp, and 2 tangerines (3 slices high-fiber bread with one egg–French toast)
3: Apricot cheesecake bar
4: Chocolate banana shake
5: Turkey pepperoni WW pita pizza
6: Chinese chicken salad

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

Calories eaten / deficit for yesterday = 2435 / +501 (target 0)
Water: 15 cups
Ratios: 40% carb / 30% protein / 30% fat

========
Workout:
Rest day

(Optional) Might try out the Bar Method DVD later tonight if I get my planned chores and tasks done.

========
The Awful Truth:
1. Probably shouldn’t have had so much of my steak and shrimp dinner last night, but oh well…free day!

========
Brownie Points:
1. Went to the BFL seminar!

========
Short-term Goals: (Same as yesterday’s goals…)
1. Cook the chicken breasts and broccoli in my fridge.
2. Make another batch of bars.
3. Go grocery shopping (again).
4. Fix the Athlon.
5. Fix the Pbell.
6. Set up the Dell.
7. Organize closet.