10/23/07 Log: First Shapeshift workout

Nutrition was good yesterday but on the high end of my carb range. Back up to 139.6 as a result, but that will drop by tomorrow.

I’m nearly caught up on my workouts. I took yesterday off, so I pulled a double today, getting in my missed SS workout from yesterday, intervals, and 25 out of 45 minutes of today’s lower intensity cardio. I will make up the rest during lunch with some extra walking and maybe some stairs in the next building. I’m tempted to take my bokken to work and do a 20 minute Forza workout, but I don’t know if the ceiling is high enough.

I need to get all of my gym workouts done before Saturday since I will be in Cali (yes, in SoCal fire country) for a wedding this weekend. My sister says her apartment complex in Pasadena has a decent gym, but I would rather just do cardio there.

I’m working until 10 tonight so meals 2-5 will all be at work.

But let’s talk about my first Shapeshift workout!

The structure of a Shapeshift strength workout is very similar to Turbulence Training–not too surprising since TT author Craig Ballantyne is one of the people behind the Shapeshift program along with Alwyn Cosgrove of Afterburn and New Rules of Lifting fame. Each workout begins with a bodyweight 3-exercise warm up circuit that is performed twice with 8 reps per exercise, then goes straight into a posterior chain exercise which may or may not be weighted. Today’s workout was a “top effort” posterior chain day, so the Romanian deadlifts I performed used progressively higher weights until the 4th, top effort set. I’m still easing my way back into the program and only did 115 lbs on set 4. The rest of the workout consisted of two pairs of non-competing supersets that also used muscles in the posterior chain. (See my SS Excel log sheet for more details.)

The session wrapped up with 6 sets of intervals which I chose to perform on a treadmill, warming up with an incline walk at 3.5 mph/5% incline for five minutes, then launching into blocks of 9 mph for 60 seconds + 3.5 mph for 90 seconds. My total workout time was 51:28, which wasn’t too shabby. I was already dripping sweat midway through the first complementary superset, so even the lifting was a bit aerobic. I didn’t feel like I’d worked myself to failure during the workout, but those aforementioned posterior chain muscles all felt nice and zingy afterwards, like they were all saying, “Finally! It’s about time we got some attention!”

I think this program is just what I need at this stage in my training.

————————–
WORKOUT
————————–
– SS Top Effort PC + interval run (6 sets 9 mph x 60 sec/3.5 mph x 90 sec.)
– LISS incline walk (3.5 mph @ 7.5% incline, 25 min.)
– Walk (30 min)

My Impulse Buy Savings Plan

One of my unspoken personal vows to myself this year (call it an early New Year’s resolution) was to stop buying so much crap on impulse. More specifically, I am battening down the hatches on gazingus pin spending. I have mentioned before that I have enough frivolous crap acquired throughout my 20’s and even (alas) within the past 2 years as I crossed into my 30’s to entertain me for at least two years without the need to buy newer, shinier crap.

The majority of the crap I have accumulated falls into the following categories:

– Books, non-fiction (usually computer, cooking, craft, exercise, writing, or art instruction)
– Books, fiction (fantasy, sci-fi)
– Magazines (cooking, DIY projects, fitness, gaming)
– Video/Computer games
– Ebook/Audiobook downloads
– Clothing (clever, amusing t-shirts are my particular weakness)
– Fabric
– Clothing patterns
– Art supplies
– Computer stuff (computers, parts, peripherals, software)

While nearly all of these purchases were made at less than retail price since I do love a bargain and make full use of ebates.com, fatwallet.com, slickdeals.net, and google for the best deals on everything I buy, few were actual “needs” versus “wants”, and a good 80% of them probably have not been utilized at all within the past year. I hate to admit this, but I’d further estimate that 75% of the media items (books, magazines, games, and software) probably never got truly used for more than 10-20 minutes total each since I bought them.

I’m sure I would be fighting down nausea if I were to total up all the money I have spent on my underutilized crap.

That’s why I have been cutting back so much on my discretionary spending for the past three months, only allotting myself $20/month for fun money. I transfer this exact amount from my primary Wachovia checking account to my ING Direct Electric Orange checking account, and use the Electric Orange debit Mastercard to make non-essential purchases and to pay for the occasional lunch out with the guys at work. I don’t touch my primary checking account or any credit cards for this sort of stuff anymore, and it’s been amazing how much I haven’t been spending on crap since I switched to this method of enforced economy.

I’m taking this a step further now, however, with my Impulse Buy Savings Plan.

This is how it works:

Anytime I am gripped by a strong and legitimate desire to buy non-essential crap of any sort, I will transfer the full cost of the item including tax and shipping from my primary checking account into my Emigrant Direct personal savings account with a memo in Microsoft Money to remind me what item the money is for and let it sit there for one month. If I STILL want the crap a month later, I can, if I desire, transfer the money to my Electric Orange checking account to buy it. However, if the burning need for the piece of crap in question has subsided, I simply leave the transferred funds in my savings account to accrue more interest.

What exactly counts as a “strong and legitimate” desire to buy?

Though this guideline is subjective, crap that I am not actually serious about buying doesn’t have to be counted in this plan–so the cost of stuff like random Slickdeals.net bargains on Wii or Xbox 360 systems that I might look at but not really intend to buy won’t be transferred into savings. I have to have the crap in my online shopping cart, researched best prices and any savings codes for the merchant, filled in my payment info, and be on the cusp of hitting the “Confirm Order” button in the case of online purchases, or have been toting the item around for at least 20 minutes in a brick and mortar store with the full intent of purchasing it for the purchase price to make it into my savings account.

In this manner I plan to save up enough money to cover the expense of my ticket to the Pink Dumbbells/John Stone Fitness cruise next year.

I am morbidly curious about how long it will take me to build up the $350 needed for the cruise in this way.

I only started this plan two days ago, and already I have scheduled a $33 transfer to the savings account–$10 for NOT buying a copy of Patrones magazine (an imported Spanish pattern magazine) from a fellow sewing enthusiast, $13 for NOT buying two ebooks at Fictionwise.com despite the 100% Micropay rebate on one of them (the 2 ebooks are still sitting in my cart), and $10 for NOT going to see a vampire movie tonight with Chris that I KNOW I would hate. (I debated about the movie for a good 30 minutes, visited Rottentomatoes.com to research it, and seriously considered going just to be social, so I count this as “toting around the store” time.)

I’m almost 10% to my savings goal already!

How scary is that?

PDB Mega Challenge 2007 Progress

This challenge is a bit convoluted as far as workout plans go, so here is a handy chart of my progress with bi-weekly progress photos, notes on the kind of workouts I perform in each phase, and any diet changes I make to my baseline plan (posted below the chart) along the way.

Photo/Week Training/Nutrition Measurements
9/17/07 - Day 0 of the challenge

Week 0 – 9/17/07

N/A

  • WT: 142.0 lb
  • BF%: 21.1%
9/30/07 - Mega Challenge Week 2

Week 2 – 9/30/07

Weeks 1-2 (Body By O + 5K Training)

  • Mon: Back & Abs; Elliptical (30 min)
  • Tue: Legs; Run (10, 15, 20 min); Incline Walk (20, 15, 10 min)
  • Wed: HIIT Bike Sprints (30 min); Recumbent Bike (30 min)
  • Thu: Shoulders & Abs; Run (15, 20, 25 min); Incline Walk (15,
    10, 5 min)
  • Fri: Chest & Arms; Elliptical (30 min)
  • Sat: Forza (60 min)
  • Sun: Outdoor Run (2, 2.5, 3.0 miles)

Nutrition: Baseline

  • Wt: 141.8
  • Bf%: 20.6%
  • Arm: (Flexed)
    • R-12.5"
    • L-12.25"
  • Calf: 15"
  • Chest: 34"
  • Forearm: 9.5:"
  • Hip: 38"
  • Thigh: 23.25"
  • Waist: 26.5"
10/14/07 - Week 4

Week 4 – 10/14/07

Week 3 (Body By O + 5K Training – Same as Weeks 1-2)

Week 4 (Femgenix + Runner’s World 5k Plan )

  • Mon: Upper body – Chest emphasis; Elliptical (30 min)
  • Tue: Run (25, 30 min); Incline Walk (20, 15 min)
  • Wed: Lower body; HIIT Bike Sprints (30 min)
  • Thu: Run (30 min); Incline Walk (15 min)
  • Fri: Upper body – Back emphasis; Elliptical (30 min)
  • Sat: Forza (60 min)
  • Sun: Outdoor Run (3.5 miles and 2-Mile race on 10/21)

Nutrition: Baseline

  • Wt: 139.0
  • Bf%: 20.7%
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-12.5"
    • L-12.25"
  • Calf: 15"
  • Chest: 34"
  • Forearm: 9.33"
  • Hip: 38"
  • Thigh: 23"
  • Waist: 26.25"
  • Shoulders: 42"
Week 6 – 10/28/07

Week 5 (Same as Week 4)

Week 6 (Shapeshift)

  • Mon: Top PC + Intervals (60 min)
  • Tue: Low intensity cardio (45 min)
  • Wed: Relative PC + Intervals (60 min)
  • Thu: Low intensity cardio (45 min)
  • Fri: Repetitive PC + Intervals (60 min)
  • Sat: Low intensity cardio (45 min)
  • Sun: Rest
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders:
Week 8 – 11/11/07 Weeks 7-8 (Same as Week 6)
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders:
Week 10 – 11/25/07 Weeks 9-10 (Shapeshift + Advanced Athletic
Training)

  • Mon: Top PC + Intervals (60 min)
  • Tue: Low intensity cardio (45 min)
  • Wed: Relative PC + Intervals (60 min)
  • Thu: Advanced Athletic Training (60 min)
  • Fri: Repetitive PC (60 min)
  • Sat: Advanced Athletic Training (60 min)
  • Sun: Rest
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders:
Week 12 – 12/9/07

Week 11 (Same as Weeks 9-10)

Week 12 (Turbulence Training + Martial Arts)

  • Mon: Turbulence Training w/Intervals (45-60 min)
  • Tue: Martial Arts or DVD Workout (60 min)
  • Wed: Turbulence Training w/Intervals (45-60 min)
  • Thu: Martial Arts or DVD Workout (60 min)
  • Fri: Turbulence Training w/Intervals (45-60 min)
  • Sat: Martial Arts or DVD Workout (60 min)
  • Sun: Rest
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders
Week 14 – 12/23/07 Weeks 13-14 (Same as Week 12)
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders:
FINAL – 12/31/07 Week 15 (Same as Week 15)
  • Wt:
  • Bf%:
  • Arm (Flexed)
    • R-
    • L-
  • Calf:
  • Chest:
  • Forearm:
  • Hip:
  • Thigh:
  • Waist:
  • Shoulders:
10/14/07 - 4 week back progress

Back comparison Weeks
0, 2, and 4

Baseline Nutrition Plan

(Changes to the baseline plan will be noted in the weekly notes above.)

  • 95% compliance
  • 6 meals/day
  • (Sun-Fri) 1400-1600 calories/day
  • (Sat) 2000 calories/day
  • One complete cheat meal on Saturdays only
  • One other cheat ITEM (this would be a carb or protein portion not on the
    list of clean foods) permitted per week, to be used at any time. Total daily
    calories must still be under 1600 including cheat item.
  • Macros between 50/30/20 and 40/30/30 c/p/f
  • 5 servings of fruits or vegetables per day
  • Processed carbs allowed only in PWO window (boxed cereal), as mid-week
    cheat ITEM, or Saturday cheat meal. No manufactured processed bars at any
    time. They are a waste of a cheat opportunity.
  • 1 gallon of water or green tea per day
  • Supplements: Multivitamin, 1 calcium + D, and 6 fish oil caps daily

10/19/07 Log: Lazy Weekend Plans

139.4 again today. Meals 5 and 6 were a bit carbier than usual, though. I am going to chug water and stick to a late evening meal of a peanut butter protein shake tonight and see what happens in the morning.

I swapped out my Friday and Saturday workouts to give my chest and back a rest after yesterday’s pushup blitz. My ARMPITS are sore after those 225 pushups, if you can believe it! I did do forza this morning with some semblance of competence after a creaky start (who knew you needed muscles in your armpits to raise a wooden bokken over and over?), I am happy to report. I love swinging that sword around!

Meals are packed and there is enough bulk-prepped roasted chicken breast, veggies, and brown rice to get me through the whole weekend.

No major plans this weekend besides the UCF 2-miler on Sunday (one of my goals) and a lot of reading. I have a huge stack of books from the library waiting for me! About 6 of them are fiction (I’m on a dark fantasy kick right now with Laurell K. Hamilton, Lilith Saintcrow, Charlaine Harris, and Simon R. Green, and I also have Terry Pratchett’s latest Discworld novel, Making Money), but the other two are fitness/diet related: The New Rules of Lifting by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgove and You: On a Diet by the authors of You: The Owner’s Manual.

Oh, and I need to finish sewing the two dresses I am planning to wear in LA next weekend. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we won’t have to work this Saturday or Sunday.

While I am on the topic of sewing, I have to own up to a minor slip in my 1-year ban on purchasing any new clothing-related items. I picked up Vogue pattern V8465 from the VoguePatterns.com free pattern promotion for $3.18 (s/h) this week. It’s an extremely dashing asymmetrical coat pattern that would be perfect for one of those two bolts of garishly pink boucle’ suitings I got on clearance earlier this year.

Vogue 8465

Boucle suiting

=================
WORKOUT
=================
– Forza (60 min)
– Walk (15 min)

=================
NUTRITION
=================
M1: 30 g raisins, 30 g oats, 2.5 oz. chicken breast
M2: French toast and scrambled eggs (2 slices Nature’s Own Wheat ‘n’ Fiber bread, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, about 2 T. of light soy milk), 1/2 c. sauteed spinach, and 1 T. honey
M3: Pineapple soy protein smoothie
M4: 3 oz. lime and honey roasted chicken breast, 1/4 c. (dry measure) brown rice, 1 c. mixed veggies
M5: TBD (Might be cheat meal)
M6: Chocolate peanut butter protein shake (Optional. This meal may be skipped if M5 is larger than expected.)

Bittersweet is the day…

…on one’s fat loss journey when the favorite pair of unforgiving, non-stretch AG jeans slides on comfortably with nary a sign of the aesthetically-unpleasing and physically-uncomfortable muffin top when seated…

😀

…But all seven of one’s vitally-necessary size 34B Champion Shape sports bras start to feel distressingly loose in the cup area.

:(

10/18/07 Log: You can call me Ms. Spartan, thank you.

139.4 lbs this morning pre-workout. 138 is just around the corner as long as I stick with my workouts and meals. It’s good to be consistently under 140 again after 6 weeks fluctuating between 141-144. (I have a whole calendar month of weigh-ins to prove it, too!) It’s taken a while, but I am definitely in fat-burning mode now.

I am also back in the saddle with my AM workouts today. This morning I did a combo run and pt workout from Military.com:

Spartan Run
1. Run 1 mile
2. 100 pushups in as few sets as possible
3. 100 crunches
4. Run 1 mile
5. 75 pushups in as few sets as possible
6. 75 crunches
7. Run 1 mile
8. 50 pushups in as few sets as possible
9. 50 crunches

It took me 40:18 minutes, including about two minutes of stretching after the first circuit. No breaks otherwise. I averaged 9:30 for the 1-mile runs, so that was where most of the time went.

Last night I used my cheat item slot on M6 at work. I had 4 chicken wings from the Wing Stop take out order at the office as a protein/fat portion with two potato wedges and 2 celery sticks.

Was it worth it?

Hells yeah!

All other meals were as planned.

Speaking of planned meals, I built and printed out a eDiets 1400-1500 Calorie Eating for Life Menu which I aim to try next week. I chose entrees that appealed to me from a taste standpoint and which used seasonings and ingredients that I already have on hand at home. My eDiets plan is set for 1400-1500 calories per day, and the recipes are automatically calibrated to fit into that range. I originally joined eDiets a few years ago when there was a great annual membership deal going on because I wanted access to the recipe generator, but I confess that I haven’t actually used that feature very much. I primarily hang out on the site’s Ultimate Challenge forum where about two dozen teams compete in 3 week long challenges to meet their stated exercise minute and weight loss goals.

I tend to default to my own collection of recipes from about five different healthy cookbooks, but I’m going to give the eDiets meal plan a fair try starting Sunday. You can download the full menu with recipes and a shopping list if you want to play along.

======================
WORKOUTS
======================
– Spartan Run (40:18 min)
– Walk (15 min)

Spartan Run Workout from Military.com

I found this rather scary run/calisthenics workout in an article on The Best 20 Minute Workouts by Stew Smith on Military.com:

Spartan Run
1. Run 1 mile
2. 100 pushups in as few sets as possible
3. 100 crunches
4. Run 1 mile
5. 75 pushups in as few sets as possible
6. 75 crunches
7. Run 1 mile
8. 50 pushups in as few sets as possible
9. 50 crunches

I have a final, boring 30-minute run from the Runner’s World 5k training plan scheduled for tomorrow. Call me crazy, but I think I will take the opportunity to give this workout a go instead. I’ll still be getting in 30 minutes of running if I do the running at my slow jog pace of 6 mph.

I’ll let you all know if I throw up afterwards.

😉