BFL and Budgeting–Maggie’s Cheapass Challenge 2006

My posts for the rest of the year will be spotty since I’ll be on vacation for the next week and a half, but once January 1 hits, be ready for twelve solid weeks of detailed workout and meal plan write ups…on a strict budget.

Oh yes, it will soon be time for my Cheapass Challenge 2006, a real-world experiment with myself as the guinea pig to prove that you don’t need to spend buckets of money to get into shape following a plan like Body-for-Life. I still need to work on the details of the challenge because I plan to post the exact recipes, shopping lists, equipment, tightwad strategies, workout sets, and resource links needed to participate right along with yours truly from January 1, 2006 through March 25, 2006.

Some of the basic guidelines will be:
– Spend $25 or less each week on groceries per person
– No supplements besides a daily multivitamin and whey or soy protein powder
– Weekly grocery receipts will be posted
– Final 12 week total for all food, gym fees, and equipment used will be posted by April 1.
– Progress photos and measurements every two weeks
– Workouts will be 6 days a week using the BFL exercise plan (with extra cardio sessions)
– Meals will follow macronutrient ratios of carbohydrates/proteins/fats between 50/30/20 to 40/40/20.
– Five to six meals a day will be eaten.
– One free day or two free meals (to be taken at any time during the week) each week, which count toward both my calorie and budget totals

I think that the addition of the budget constraints will help control free meals and the urge to have extra portions because, darn it, food is money. :tongue:

Be warned: There will be quite a bit of monotony in the diet. Sorry, but them’s the breaks when you want to keep the food bill low. The positive side of the monotony will be the fact that my daily intake will be pretty standardized, which should create a consistent daily caloric deficit as long as I don’t sneak in any extras from the company candy jar. It will also make it a lot easier to adjust my diet for faster or slower fat loss.

Any readers who share my dual interests in fitness and tightwaddery are welcome to check out my progress over the next three months. (Disclaimer: Given the level of detail I plan to employ in my posts, I realize that some of you will be tempted to follow my diet and routines. Do so at your own risk. I am not a doctor, dietician, or exercise physiologist. If you have any health issues or special dietary needs which might affect your ability to follow my plan as written, please, please PLEASE consult with your doctor before diving in and use your own common sense when it comes to your own body.)

Speaking of challenges, Kyra will be posting a new challenge on January 1 at PinkDumbbells.com that will be open to the public. I doubt that the PDB challenge will require you tally up your grocery receipts, so those of you who don’t exactly rub your hands together with glee at the thought of tracking both calories AND dollars might want to keep an eye out for the Pink Dumbbells New Year’s challenge over the next week or so.

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Nutrition: Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: SGX Meal, 1/2 c. Fiber One
2: Free meal (2 slices pizza), 1/2 c. Fiber One
3: SGX Meal
4: SGX Meal
5: Father’s birthday dinner free meal
6: None

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter

Water: 16 cups minimum

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Workout:
Rest

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The Awful Truth:
1. Overslept this morning. Blargh.

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Brownie Points:
1. Finished Xmas shopping and wrapping.
2. Staked and tied plants.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Work on paper doll book.
3. Work on holiday cards.
4. Get gym ID card.
5. Work through pile of mending and alterations in my sewing box.
6. Plan spring veggie garden.
7. Finish moving out of apartment.
8. Clean apartment.

SGX C3W1D3: Kongfession

My friend and former co-worker Adam once accused me of not liking movies very much.

After the initial moment of indignation I felt, I realized that he was probably right.

“What?!” you exclaim. “Everyone likes movies! Not liking movies is like not liking music!”

Well, yes and no.

I do like some movies, but we are talking about a very narrow selection that almost exclusively falls into the following genres: animated, fantasy, sci-fi (as long as it isn’t Star Wars Episodes 1-3), Shakespearean comedies, musicals, and Jane Austen-era historical flicks. I like my cinematic experiences to be pure escapist experiences with happy endings. If I wanted bad news and a depressing denouement, I could just turn on the national news for free, which is why I won’t pay to see big budget dramas, disaster movies, horror movies, pure action flicks, artsy small-budget films, B-movie cult classics, biographies, war movies, dysfunctional family dramas, and Tarantino movies. I don’t care much for moronic comedies like the Naked Gun/Airplane/Hotshot movies either and cringe through what I call humiliation-based comedies that ride on the repeated embarrassment or debasement of one character to bring on the laughs.

When it comes to emotional upheavals, I prefer mine to come in print form.

Anyway, this whole train of thought was brought on by today’s company-subsidized movie outing to see King Kong at Disney-MGM. I went in with no expectations because I have no particular love for the KK story or genre and came out just thinking the movie was OK. The special effects were well-done, but really, there were moments where I felt like I was trapped in Matrix 2 during the endless fight scene on top of the semi-truck. Yes, yes, King Kong can kick ass, but could we puh-leeeeaaase get on with the plot now? If you are an animal lover, you might want to bring a Kleenex or two because there are a few tear-jerking moments (Hey, I always cry when a fuzzy-face dies; the Lion King always gets me). If you are prone to noise-induced headaches like me, you might also want to bring a pair of earplugs because there is a LOT of roaring, crashing, crunching, and more roaring (simian, reptilian, human, you name it) at top volume in this movie. It is Jurassic Park loud, and I did indeed have a raging migraine by the time I left after over three hours of giant monkeyshines.

Oh yeah–that’s the other thing. The movie is just a bit over three hours long. If you or your kiddies can’t make it through 187 minutes without hitting the restroom, I suggest that you go during the first hour when the movie is mostly (slooooowly) introducing you to the characters and nothing of import happens. Once hour number two begins, it is pretty much nonstop action until the end, and there isn’t much point to seeing this one if you miss out on the good bits.

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Nutrition: Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: PWO Dextrose/whey shake
2: SGX PWO Meal
3: SGX Meal
4: 1 slice banana protein bread
5: SGX Meal
6: SGX Meal

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter

Water: 16 cups minimum

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Workout:
8:00 AM Back/Biceps/Abs
12:00 PM LISS Run/Walk (4.0 mph/10% incline and 6.0 mph/0% incline; 45 minutes total)

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The Awful Truth:
1. Ugh…Too much dessert at the holiday party last night.

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Brownie Points:
1. Went grocery shopping.
2. Started to teach myself how to knit using Stitch ‘n’ Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook by Debbie Stoller
3. Cleared scary leftovers from the fridge.
4. Did the dishes.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Work on paper doll book.
3. Work on holiday cards.
4. Get gym ID card.
5. Work through pile of mending and alterations in my sewing box.
6. Plan spring veggie garden.
7. Finish moving out of apartment.
8. Clean apartment.

SGX C3W1D2: Bally Ho!

After a few weeks of lackadaisical, sporadic home workouts while leaving behind the settled routine I had established at my apartment, I ventured back into the Bally Total Fitness near my new place this morning to see if my gym card was ready. As it turns out, it was not, but the staff let me check in with my driver’s license anyhow.

I was hoping to get in an upper body workout and some cardio, but I only had time for one or the other. Knowing that I’d probably need extra time to get through my resistance workout with new (to me) equipment, I opted for some time on the elliptical machine. I confess that I did miss the big Wall O’ Media at my old gym a little bit, but it isn’t worth an extra $16 a month to get it back.

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, I’m going back on SGX for the next few weeks. This whole month is going to be uber busy and expensive, and two of the primary benefits of SGX as long as one is not doing all of the extra supplements are simplicity and economy. I’ll have nearly two weeks of vacation coming up right after Christmas as well. That should give me a chance to try out some new workout routines before work starts up again. This is a good thing, as I am feeling distinctly fluffy this week.

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Nutrition: Non-Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: 1/2 slice banana protein bread, 1 scoop whey
2: SGX Meal
3: SGX Meal
4: SGX Meal
5: Free meal (Annual office complex holiday party–yippee!)
6: SGX Meal

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter

Water: 16 cups minimum

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Workout:
8:00 AM Elliptical (30 minutes)
4:00 PM 1-Mile Walk (4 mph/ 15 minutes)
8:00 PM Yourself Fitness (30 minutes)

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The Awful Truth:
1. Missed strength workout yesterday; will do extra YF workout tonight and get back on schedule Wednesday.

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Brownie Points:
1. Did the laundry.
2. Planned new morning workout/breakfast/get to work schedule.
3. Planted next batch of veggies for the spring.
4. Got to Bally for a cardio workout.
5. Finished shelving/organizing books.
6. Finished organizing clothes closet.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Work on paper doll book.
3. Work on holiday cards.
4. Get gym ID card.

Moving Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

Sorry for the break between posts. I had an unfortunate moving incident on Sunday afternoon involving a 7 foot wooden bookcase that strained my right knee, and I’ve been giving it a rest the past two days. I can finally straighten my leg fully again now and, with luck, I will be able to get back to HIIT runs and killer squat sets soon. No doubt Chris is praying for that day because I am an unabashed whiner when I am sick or injured. Both states are pretty rare for me, so I am uber grumpy when I *am* stricken.

Most of my (many, many) books have been shelved at the new house. I still need to grab some odds and ends from the apartment and clean up, but the move is almost complete. My futon and mattress are still at the apartment, along with some paper lanterns, hangers, light cords, a lamp, bed linens, and a small book case full of assorted office supplies. There are also big piles of magazines, clothes, and unwanted books that I need to cart over to the Salvation Army.

It’s odd having to share a pantry and fridge again after these past few years of solo kitchen ownership. I’m in charge of most of the meals, which ensures that just about everything we eat is healthy, but I have to admit that I’m not quite used to calculating how much to cook and buy for two people versus one. I cook enough in one session to last me for an entire week, but with another mouth chowing down on the meals, I wind up having to cook again mid-week.

Hrm…

I think it is time to hit Costco for some bulk frozen meat and staples at this rate.

We had a Bake-A-Thon potluck at work on Monday that was quite good, but absolutely not approved for any bodybuilding diet in the world. I brought in baked spicy chicken fingers from the Stella’s Kitchen cookbook, fat free pineapple right side up cake from a Weight Watcher’s recipe, and some full fat, sticky, gooey Betty Crocker turtle brownies. The other employees rose up to the occasion with enough cookies to feed a platoon, fudge, homemade ice cream, chips, cheesy sausage balls, and a sweet potato casserole.

Obviously I set aside Monday as a free day. 😉

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Nutrition: Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: 3×1 veggie omelette with salsa, 1 slice banana protein bread
2: Curry chicken with sweet potato and carrots, 1 orange
3: 1/2 c. fat free ricotta cheese with 1.5 T. sugar free blackberry preserves
4: Free meal
5: 1 scoop whey/1 scoop dextrose PWO shake
6: 2 veggie burger patties, 4 oz. sweet potato chips, 1 c. veggies

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter

Water: 16 cups minimum

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Workout:
8:00 PM Shoulders/Tris/Chest (40 minutes)
9:00 PM Stationary bike (45 minutes)

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The Awful Truth:
1. Leg still hurt yesterday. 🙁

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Brownie Points:
1. Baked banana bread with Myopro banana creme flavored whey.
2. Drop off library book.
3. Pay rent and phone bills.
4. Cook other half of thawed chicken tonight.

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Short-term Goals:
1. Update HandBase workout module.
2. Work on paper doll book.
3. Work on holiday cards.
4. Get gym ID card.
5. Finish shelving/organizing books.