SGX Journal C4W6D4 (5.5 Week Progress Pics!)

Thoughts: After a week of deliberation, I have decided to purchase a chin-up bar for my apartment. I just need something I can use at home at random moments to reach my pull-up goal. Besides, hopping up from the computer to knock out 20 push-ups periodically has gotten too easy. Beachbody.com has this incredibly nifty one called the Jungle Jam. It shall be mine in a week or two, oh yes it will, and then the pull-up training routine will be ON between the Armstrong Pull-Up Program and The Power & Glory of the Pull-Up.

In other news, here are my progress pics at 5.5 weeks. I was going to wait until Saturday, but I’ll probably be having a cheat meal Friday night that will expand my gut like an overstuffed cream puff, so here they are a few days early. 😎

Click image for the rest of the album

More pics from this morning: http://maggiewang.com/photos/SGX1

I’m such a dork. I can’t get over how much better my shoulders/arms look now. :: gazes at visible deltoids with glee :: πŸ˜†

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Nutrition: SGX Non-Training Day eating pattern
(Details omitted by request)

Regular (Non-SGX) Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, flax seed oil
Water for yesterday: 16 cups

========
Workout:
12:30 PM Yoga break (20 minutes)
10:00 PM Steady-state recumbent bike (Level 3 / 45 minutes)

========
The Awful Truth:
1. Meal 5 was a bit too large, but cut back on portion size in 6 to make up for it.

========
Brownie Points:
1. Tried out the Bar Method DVD workout.
2. Stayed within calorie target for the day.
3. Filed my tax return.
4. Took oodles of progess pics.

========
Short-term Goals:
1. Mail out package for Kyra.
2. Get cardio done tonight.

SGX Journal C4W6D3 (JSF Gear)

Thoughts: I know these aren’t true progress pics, but here are two shots of me in normal work day clothes. (Gotta love the game industry–I don’t need a separate work wardrobe!)

I need bigger biceps.Just need to drop the extra flab again!

I’ve also added a new gallery to my photo area for non-BFL training and nutrition cycles. SGX, BFFM, and LL challenge pics in the future will go there. I figured that it would keep the confusion down to a minimum, since BFL is by far the most popular program I’ve tried. πŸ™‚

http://maggiewang.com/photos/non-bfl

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Workout:
8:20 AM Steady-state treadmill (4 mph / 7-10% incline / 45 minutes)
12:00 PM Lower body workout
10:00 PM Yoga Conditioning for Athletes DVD

========
The Awful Truth:
1. Got home too late for meal 6, so I just munched on some homemade sweet potato chips (one portion).
2. Too tired at 11 pm to do planned exercise vid.

========
Brownie Points:
1. Did 3 loads of laundry!

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Short-term Goals:
1. File my taxes.

SGX Journal C4W6D2 (SGX Update)

Thoughts: Heh…I’m so late now with my 4 week photos that I’m just going to go ahead and shoot for 6 week pics at the end of this week. Progress on SGX has been very slow to be honest. I am going to keep at it though, because a) I said I would (and I’m an extraordinarily stubborn wench–I stuck out four whole years in the US Army because I swore the oath at MEPS, even though I didn’t REALLY mean to go that far, :lol:) and b) the first four weeks haven’t been clean enough for me to make a fair assessment of how effective the program is for me.

Here are my stats for the first four weeks. I’ve only dropped a pound, but the good news is that it was nearly 100% fat instead of the usual mix of lean mass and fat that usually occurs when I cut. Also, my chest, shoulders and arms are actually marginally BIGGER!!!!! Hips and waist are a bit smaller. My knee got bigger (??) but I think I measured in different locations.

Also, here are my caliper readings from February:
Skinfolds from 2/3/2005
Tricep: 11 mm
Suprailiac: 12 mm
Thigh: 15 mm
Ab: 16 mm
Body Fat: 17.467%

I’ll get today’s reading up in a bit. I need to run home, get my towels into the dryer, grab some packaging tape so I can mail some packages off to my sister and a friend in Cali, retrieve an issue of Hers, take a quick pic of my JSF logo shirt, and make myself some cherry Jello, heh.

UPDATED Caliper Readings:
Also, here are my caliper readings from February:
Skinfolds from 3/31/2005
Tricep: 12 mm
Suprailiac: 10 mm
Thigh: 13.5 mm
Ab: 12.5 mm
Body Fat: 16.26 %

Profile
Name
Spring
Cut 2/2/05
SGX
4.5 Weeks
Change
Date
Created
2/2/2005
3/23/2005
49
day(s)
Measurements
Age
30
30
  
Sex
F
F
  
Height
65.98
in

(1.68 m)
65.98
in

(1.68 m)

Weight
136
lbs

(
61.90 kg)
135
lbs

(61.50 kg)

-1 lbs

(-0.40 Kg)
Neck
12.99
in

(
33.00 cm)
12.99
in

(33.00 cm)

Shoulder
41.26
in
(104.80
cm)
41.50
in
(105.40
cm)

0.24 in

(0.60 cm)
Chest
33.74
in
(85.70
cm)
34.02
in
(86.40
cm)

0.28 in (0.70 cm)
Waist
25.51
in

(
64.80 cm)
25.51
in

(64.80 cm)

Abdomen
27.01
in

(
68.60 cm)
26.73
in

(67.90 cm)

-0.28 in

(-0.70 cm)
Hips
37.01
in
(94.00
cm)
36.73
in
(93.30
cm)

-0.28 in

(-0.70 cm)
Thigh
22.52
in
(57.20
cm)
22.52
in
(57.20
cm)

Knee
12.99
in
(33.00
cm)
13.50
in
(34.30
cm)

0.51 in

(1.30 cm)
Calf
14.49
in

(
36.80 cm)
14.76
in

(37.50 cm)

0.28 in

(0.70 cm)
Ankle
7.64
in
(19.40
cm)
7.76
in
(19.70
cm)

0.12 in

(0.30 cm)
Arm
11.65
in
(29.60
cm)
11.73
in
(29.80
cm)

0.08 in (0.20 cm)
Forearm
9.25
in
(23.50
cm)
9.25
in
(23.50
cm)

Wrist
5.75
in

(
14.60 cm)
5.75
in

(14.60 cm)

Lean
Body Mass (LBM)
105
lbs (47.85 kg)
105
lbs (47.81 kg)

-0
lbs (-0.05 kg)
Fat
Mass (FM)
31
lbs (14.05 kg)
30
lbs (13.69 kg)

-1
lbs (-0.35 kg)

Body
Fat Percentage (BF)
22.70
%
22.27
%

-0.43
%

========
Nutrition: SGX Non-Training Day eating pattern
(Details omitted by request)

Regular (Non-SGX) Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, flax seed oil
Water for yesterday: 17 cups

========
Workout:
8:30 AM Steady-state elliptical (Level 5.0 / 45 minutes)
3:00 PM 1 mile walk (4 mph / 0% incline / 15 minutes)
10:30 PM NYC Ballet Workout (60 minutes)

========
The Awful Truth:
1. Erm…meal 5 turned out to be a slice of carrot cake, but that was the last of it. Calories were still on target.

========
Brownie Points:
1. Cooked some sauteed tilapia for the first time last night. Delicious!
2. Almost done with laundry.

========
Short-term Goals:
1. Find some more fish recipes.
2. Find some more recipes in general that work with SGX, particularly snacks/desserts.

The Cost of Eating In vs. Dining Out

This was posted in the Orlando Sentinel’s Money section this weekend. As a long time tightwad, it was good to have my argument that prepping your own healthy meals was WAY cheaper than dining out every day validated!

Anyone who claims that eating healthy costs too much money but still dines out several times a week really needs to read the following articles and get a grip on financial reality.

πŸ™„

=====

Toting A Lunch To Work May Be More Savvy Than You Think

By Carolyn Bigda
Your Money staff reporter

Posted March 27, 2005

For many of us, a packed lunch is a relic of childhood school days, not the appendage of a salary-pulling worker.

The average person age 24 or younger spends 8 percent of his salary on food prepared outside of the home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure is the highest of all age groups even though young workers, on average, draw the lowest income.

In studying these numbers though, a question emerged: Would more homemade meals lower the total food bill (which averages about 16 percent of income), especially considering the variety of ingredients required for just one hungry person?

“It may seem that, even if it’s not harder to cook for one, it’s less worth the effort,” said Gary Foreman, editor of the Dollar Stretcher, an online tip sheet for budgeters (www.stretcher.com). “But the cheapest meal is one you prepare yourself.”

Nonetheless, I decided to conduct an experiment. For five working days, I ordered out breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then for the same length of time I prepared all of my meals at home.

In neither case did I eat extravagantly. Dinner on Friday night of the “out” week, for instance, was two slices of cheese pizza ($4), and Friday of the “in” week was rotini pasta with marinara sauce and a salad ($2.42).

The difference in cost was remarkable. In the first week, I spent $83 for takeout and delivery. I spent only half as much to make food at home the next week.

Part of the reason was sales tax. I paid 8.625 percent on most takeout and delivery food but almost nothing for groceries, which are largely tax exempt in most states.

Also, I could take advantage of sales at the grocery store: A half-gallon of orange juice was only $2.50 the week I went shopping compared to the regular price, $3.39.

And I didn’t have to pay delivery fees or tips when I cooked.

Those extra quarters and dollars were hardly missed at the time, but over the course of a year, they would have added up to hundreds of dollars–a sum more difficult to swallow.

Admittedly, the meals I cooked required only a handful of ingredients. If I had attempted elaborate recipes, I would have spent more on groceries. The same would be true if I insisted on buying organic or specialty products.

Also, eating at home all the time limited opportunities to socialize and became monotonous, with a turkey pita sandwich for lunch every day.

But since food is the third-largest expense in most household budgets (after housing and transportation), it’s worth learning how to moderate the bill, especially considering that reducing the other major expenses would require more dramatic lifestyle changes.

Try bringing your lunch four days a week and eating out only on Friday. Treat yourself to a $2 Starbucks coffee occasionally, but on most other days brew a cup at home for less than 50 cents.

When you do go out for lunch or dinner, save leftovers for another meal. Better yet, set aside a portion of the plate right away to ensure you have something to take home.

Be careful with desserts and drinks, which can easily turn a $10 meal into $15–a 50 percent increase.

At the grocery store, shop sale items and stock up on ingredients you use regularly when they are discounted. Chicken, for instance, can be frozen up to three or four months.

Store brands will also be cheaper than name-brand products. My local supermarket’s standard 24-oz. bottle of ketchup was $1.79 while Heinz was $2.19.

“It’s not that you have to buy inferior ingredients or not have steak once a week,” says the Dollar Stretcher’s Foreman. “Just buy it on sale.”
===========

From the Chicago Tribune
Weekly Cost of Eating In/Eating Out
By Carolyn Bigda
Your Money staff reporter

March 27, 2005

Eating Out

Breakfast:

$3.04 a day for coffee, banana and muffin (Starbucks small coffee $1.79 Banana $0.25 Muffin $1.00)
Total: $15.20

Lunch:

Monday–Tuna sandwich with pickle $4
Tuesday–Panini, pickles and bag of chips $6.46
Wednesday–Fish fillet and small salad $4.96
Thursday–Soup and baguette $4.22
Friday–Large salad with bread $7.88
Total: $27.52

Dinner:

Monday–Vegetable lo mein and egg roll $11, with tip
Tuesday–Salad (with chicken) and bread $8.35
Wednesday–Chicken schwarma sandwich $4
Thursday–Sweet & sour chicken entrée $13, with tip
Friday–Two slices of cheese pizza $4
Total: $40.35

Five-day total: $83.07

Eating In

Breakfast:

$1.39 per day for coffee, orange juice and cereal (with milk) ($0.26 for coffee $0.52 for cereal $0.30 for orange juice $0.31 for milk)
Total: $6.95

Lunch:

$3.01 per day for turkey pita sandwich (with lettuce and mustard), yogurt, crackers and orange
$0.16 pita bread
$0.20 lettuce
$0.52 deli turkey
$0.89 yogurt
$0.74 crackers
$0.50 orange
Total: $15.05

Dinner:

Monday–Progresso vegetable soup ($2.89), roll with butter ($0.60): $3.49
Tuesday–Broiled steak ($4.50), broccoli ($0.32) and egg noodles with butter ($0.43): $5.25
Wednesday–Salmon fillet, with onion ($3.15), baked potato with butter ($0.60), broccoli ($0.32): $4.07
Thursday–Baked eggplant with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese: $2.92
Friday–Rotini pasta with marinara sauce ($1.00), salad with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and dressing ($1.41): $2.41
Total: $18.14

Five-day total: $40.14

E-mail Carolyn Bigda at yourmoney@tribune.com.

Copyright © 2005, The Chicago Tribune

SGX Journal C4W6D1 (Pretty, Pretty Gym)

Thoughts: The renovations at my gym are finally complete! They’ve been puttering away at the free weight floor for the past month behind a huge plastic tarp. When the tarp came down, a whole expanded free weight floor was revealed. There are more benches now than a Greyhound station, and at least two extra racks of dumbbells, including the much-needed 17.5, 22.5, and 27.5 pounders that used to be available only on the Women’s floor.

It was a HUGE pain to have to run upstairs just to (hopefully) use the ONE pair of 17.5 lb dumbbells in the entire gym for my bicep curls, and then run right back down to finish the rest of my exercises. Now that the main floor has all of those middle increments, I won’t ever have to venture back up to the Estrogen Zone again!

Okay, I do have to go back up there just once. I want to test out the resistance bands they keep up there to see if it would be worthwhile to buy a band to keep at my desk at work or in my bag for a quick resistance workout when I’m away from home.

Anyone ever use bands with success? I’m thinking that a medium resistance band would be handy to keep around.

========
Nutrition: SGX Training Day eating pattern
(Details omitted by request)

Regular (Non-SGX) Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D
Water for yesterday: 12 cups

========
Workout:
8:30 AM Steady-state treadmill (4 mph / 7-10% incline / 40 minutes)
9:10 AM Steady-state treadmill (6 mph / 0% incline / 5 minutes)
12:00 PM Upper body/back workout
8:00 PM Yoga Conditioning for Athletes DVD

========
The Awful Truth:
1. Only had three meals yesterday. πŸ™

========
Brownie Points:
1. Increased weight on deadlifts, straight-arm pulldowns, bicep curls, and lying dbell rows.
2. Prepped a bunch of meals Sunday night.
3. Went grocery shopping at Albertson’s AND Publix to hit up the best deals. Got sweet potatoes for only 49 cents a pound (yay!), and frozen pollock and whiting for $3.99 each per 2 lb bag. Also splurged on 2 lbs of tilapia for $5.99 and 4 dozen large eggs at 79 cents a dozen. Extra lean ground beef was $2.39/lb as well…perfect for some chili. Cheap protein comes to those who check sales ads.

========
Short-term Goals (Still need to do these from last week, alas!):
1. Clean the bathroom and vacuum the apartment.
2. Organize my closet again.
3. File bills and receipts.
4. Make a schedule for after work DVD stretching workouts.

SGX Journal C4W5D4 (It’s Raining Brownies!)

Thoughts: Today one of my co-workers brought in four pans of brownies. Apparently his wife felt sorry for us with all of the late nights we’ve been working, so she thoughtfully baked some regular brownies, some peanut butter chocolate, some cheesecake swirl, and some chocolate chunk.

They are sitting on the desk next to mine, and each blast from the arctic A/C vent above me causes the luscious aromas of cocoa, oil, sugar, and baked flour to waft over to me.

Perhaps last week I would have succumbed and had one, reasoning that I could burn off the calories with a bit of extra cardio tonight. This week, though, I just grabbed two squares before lunch and put them into my Freeday Freezer Stash along with the carrot cake from last week, a few coconut macaroons from last night, and an assortment of chocolate-dipped cookies from Tuesday.

I will have you, my pretties…but not during the week. I sacrifice now in order to hit my 15% body fat target by April 30, at which point I will gleefully go back on maintenance at the most awesome 50/30/20 carb/prot/fat ratio.

Every 10 calories I eat equals an extra minute on the treadmill at 6 mph. One brownie would be nearly twenty extra minutes of running. All in all, I think I’d rather have my treadmill time burning off the blubber on my booty versus the brownie in my belly. Even more importantly, I had to move my cardio from the morning to the evening today and still want to get in some yoga, so extra cardio is just not an option. As it stands, I probably won’t get to bed until midnight.

Not worth it.

========
Nutrition: SGX Non-Training Day eating pattern
(Details omitted by request)

Regular (Non-SGX) Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, flax seed oil
Water for yesterday: 17 cups

========
Workout:
10:00 PM Steady-state treadmill (6.0 mph / 0% incline / 20 minutes)
10:20 PM Steady-state treadmill (40 mph / 7% incline / 25 minutes)
10:50 PM Yoga for Athletes DVD

========
The Awful Truth:
1. Had about 1/4 c. of All Bran last night. I don’t know if that should count as a black mark though, as I did need to boost fiber intake for the day. 😯

========
Brownie Points:
1. Met my macronutrient targets and calories for yesterday.

========
Short-term Goals:
1. Locate a tripod for pictures.
2. Start working on pull-ups again!

Weight Loss Spreadsheet V. 3.5

Fiddling around with my Weight Loss Spreadsheet yesterday to see how SGX ratios stacked up against my old BFL totals, I discovered that I’d made an error in the formula to calculate how many grams of protein were recommended for the Unisex > Accelerated > Weight Loss Range. I accidentally based the formula on the carb percentage entered in the yellow section instead of the protein percentage.

Version 3.5 of the spreadsheet below fixes the issue.

http://maggiewang.com/bfl/WeightLossCalculator_v3_5.xls

SGX Journal C4W5D3 (Faith, Disbelief and Dieting)

Thoughts: Something I keep seeing over and over on the BFL women’s boards is an overwhelming lack of faith that BFL, or indeed, any other program, can actually work as written. Everyone wants to tweak the plan or add in extras right from the start instead of giving their program a fair trial for the full 12 weeks.

It’s only 12 weeks. That is nothing in the grand scheme of things. When you have a regular life on top of your meals and workouts, 12 weeks can fly by so fast you won’t even realize you’re at the finish line until you are taking your “After” photos and saying, “Wow…is it time for my one week break already?”

(If you want to experience the longest 8 weeks of your life, I highly recommend doing military boot camp. I believe that drill sergeants have the ability to slow time and make it drag for an eternity.)

So why can’t people just put their faith in a program that has worked for millions of others? The main culprit seems to be the Western insistence on instant gratification. Americans want to click off the “Flubber Show” and switch to “Lifestyles of the Thin and Beach-Ready” with a press of a remote control button.

Alas, one supersize order of burger, fries, and soda didn’t make anyone instantly fat. To expect that one clean meal of cottage cheese and fruit would conversely make one lean and fit is utterly asinine, and yet two out of every three women seem to hold this secret hope in their hearts.

πŸ™„

Let’s ignore the obvious instant gratification angle for now and focus on something else I’ve noticed: Many women have been overweight or ineffectual in their lives when it comes to food and physical activity for so long that they simply don’t BELIEVE they can really change. They wish and dream about being slim, but because they’ve been overweight all of their lives and have resigned themselves to the fallacy that some people were just born to be thin naturally while others were doomed to schlump through life as matronly marshmallows, in their hearts they don’t truly buy into the notion that this healthy eating, regular cardio, and weight lifting junk can really alter their bodies.

This is sad, because as long as they keep telling themselves they can’t do it, they never will.

========
Nutrition: SGX Training Day eating pattern
(Details omitted by request)

Regular (Non-SGX) Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D
Water for yesterday: 18 cups

========
Workout:
8:00 AM Steady-state elliptical (Level 6 / 20 minutes)
8:20 AM Steady-state treadmill (4 mph / 7-10% incline / 20 minutes)
8:40 AM Steady-state treadmill (6 mph / 0% incline / 5 minutes)
12:00 PM Lower body workout

========
The Awful Truth:
1. Nothing. Nada. Zip!

========
Brownie Points:
1. Raised 3 x 20 squats to 115 lbs. 15-20 more pounds before I start squatting my body weight at high reps. Woowoo!
2. 20 lb dbell curls are starting to feel normal. 😯

========
Short-term Goals:
1. Clean the bathroom and vacuum the apartment.
2. Organize my closet again.
3. File bills and receipts.
4. Make a schedule for after work DVD stretching workouts.