RCR W2D2: A Gym Chick’s Best Friend…

…according to my fit fashionista sister, is a pair of Lean Ass Jeans.

These are jeans that have 0% stretch to them, cost enough to give you a minor heart attack at the thought of parting with them before they are tattered rags, make your legs and booty look amazing, and, most importantly, only fit your ass when it is LEAN.

These are the designer denims that tell you when you’ve overindulged in pasta, fries, brownies, ice cream, and beer one too many times and put off your workouts for more than a week or two.

These are the ultimate in-your-face accountability partner because they are without mercy and dissemblance. They leave you with no wiggle room for “Hey, it’s all about progress, not perfection. I’ll do better next week.” Nope–you either fit in them or you don’t.

So make sure you have a pair of LAJs in your closet. And keep up with the clean eating and hard workouts lest that gorgeous piece of denim transform before your eyes into their evil twin sister: the Mean Ass Jeans that will taunt you for the rest of your days.

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TODAY’S EATS
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1. 60 g oats and raisins, 3 egg whites scrambled with 1/4 c. mashed cauliflower
2. 3 pork, leek, and veggie potstickers, 3 oz. silken tofu (~ 40 cal), 1 c. mixed veggies, 1 t. low sodium soy sauce with chili paste
3. 10 almonds, 20 g raisins, 1/2 apple
4. 2 oz. Oriental sesame chicken strips, 6 baby carrots
5. 3 oz. roasted chicken, 1 c. mixed veggies, 1/2 apple
6. 2 chocolate protein fudgsicles, 1/2 oz. walnuts

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil capsules

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
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* Outdoor HIIT Run – RCR Interval 3 (30 min; 260 calories burned)
* Yourself Fitness Cardio (20 min; 130 calories burned)
* 100 Push Ups W5D1 (36/40/30/24/70 max reps)

RCR W2D1: Who is your inner fab girl?

Why is it so hard for people to really buy into a program and commit? They raise their hands and swear that they will do what it takes to succeed, then go out and break their word within a week or two when it comes to exercise and/or diet.

I mean, you know what you need to do, so why don’t you just do it? What does reaching your goal physique really mean to you? Is it just about a pant size, or does it represent job success, social acceptance, the possibility of finding or keeping love, or self-actualization to you? Dig deep and find out why you care about those last 5, 10, 15, or whatever pounds, because after you’ve been working out and eating right for a while, a number on a clothing label or scale is NOT ENOUGH.

This is about self-actualization for me. If you were to pull my psychic archetype out of my head, you’d see a warrior bard or scholar, someone who is as comfortable kicking butt and adventuring as she is rocking out in front of an audience or learning new things from a pile of dusty tomes. I am unhappy and out of sorts when my internal archetype is at odds with my external physical being.

So what’s your fab girl mental image of yourself? Are you truly doing all that you can to bring that inner Movie Star, Warrior Princess, or whatever she may be into being in the real world, or are you just letting the ephemeral impulses of the moment (“Ooh! Pnut M&Ms! I wants!”) kill your chances of ever being all that you COULD be? Remember–you only get the one body no matter what faith you subscribe to. Do you really want to settle for something less than what you really want?

That was my epiphany at the start of my M&F program in August, and it is what is carrying me through these 6 weeks of RCR as well. I am done with being wishy-washy with my commitment. I’m going to do BOTH the workouts AND the nutrition right this time, just like I did four years ago when I was a complete newbie to all of this, not just one or the other like I have been doing far too often in the past two years, because I refuse to look back on my 30s a decade or two from now and say, “Sigh. I wish I’d just buckled down and DONE IT back then when my metabolism was fired up, my responsibilities were manageable, and my body was strong and injury-free. It’s so much harder now.”

And here is my fitness/diet excerpt of the day from Dax Moy’s Mastering the Fat Loss Mind Set. He is referring to the last of the five steps needed to really lock in a successful fat loss mind set.

Quote:

So then you’ve got your final stage, which is the actual handing over the cash. It’s the paying the price stage. Now unfortunately because we live in the societies that most of us live in nowadays, it’s very easy to get things on credit. You buy a car or you buy a TV or we even buy houses with money that we don’t own.

It gives us the false impression that you can have all these things and then eventually pay the price. Unfortunately, in our current reality, the way life is at the moment, you have to pay, certainly when it comes to physical stuff, you have to pay the price in full and up front before you get to see the goods.

I have examined why I want this (because I must be true to my inner vision of myself, and that inner vision includes being lean and strong at 130 lbs and 16% body fat, not fluffy and strong at 150 lbs and 24% body fat), and I have researched the price I have to pay to get what I want (16 full weeks of exercise and diet compliance, early morning workouts, occasional evening gym visits, hard interval cardio on gym machines not “fun” quasi-cardio activities like videos, and no sugary junk food for 4 months). Most importantly, I have decided that I have the will and strength to pay the asking price.

Oh, and, of course, I still ask myself, “Would I fire myself?

On the program front, I got in RCR workout B-1 again this morning using 10 lbs for lateral raises and bicep curls and 15 lbs for single-arm rows. The fire hydrants with kick still work me pretty hard, so I’m digging those along with the donkey kicks, which are almost a relief to perform since they loosen my glutes and hips up after the fire hydrants. I made the lateral step ups more challenging by keeping my arms behind my head in prisoner fashion and avoiding the urge to push off with my non-working leg. This modification also meshes with another little goal of mine: to perform unassisted pistol squats by the end of this contest. I’m following a pistol squat progression plan from Grrlathlete.com for this, and I’m up to prisoner step ups. I slowed down the tempo of my push ups to increase difficulty as well, though I might try them with push up stands or perform them military style on Friday for another variation.

The workout took 58 minutes, and burned just under 440 calories according to my HRM.

I’m getting faster!

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TODAY’S EATS
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1. 60 g oats and raisins, 3 egg whites scrambled with 1/4 c. mashed cauliflower
2. 6 pork, leek, and veggie potstickers, 3 oz. silken tofu (~ 40 cal), 1 c. steamed baby bok choy, 1 t. low sodium soy sauce with chili paste
3. 10 almonds, 20 g raisins, 1/2 apple
4. 1 serving chocolate protein pudding, 15g walnuts
5. 3 oz. roasted chicken, 1 c. mixed veggies, 1/2 apple
6. 3 oz. flounder, 1/2 c. peas

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil capsules

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
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* RCR B-1 (~ 58 min; 437 calories burned)
* 100 Push Ups Week 4 max rep test (76 reps; 2 min)

RCR W1D7: Week 1 Measurements and Photos

Week 1 Measurements
(Starting measurements in parentheses; CHANGES indicated in BOLD)

Height: 5’6″
Weight: 143.6 lbs (146.4 lbs)
BMI: 23.2 (23.7)

BF% (7-Site Skinfold): 16.62% (17.68%)
BF% (Omron): 21.8% (23.0%)
BF% (Tanita scale): 27.2% (26.3%)
BF% (AVERAGE): 21.8% (22.3%)

Neck: 12.75″ (12.75″)
Chest: 35.75″ (36″)
Waist: 26.25″ (26.5″)
Waist – 2″ below belly button: 31.5″ (31.5″)
Hips: 38.75″ (39″)
Thigh: 23.5″ (23.5″)
Calf: 14 7/8″ (15″)
Bicep: 11 7/8″ relaxed / 12.5″ flexed (11 7/8″ relaxed / 12 5/8″ flexed)
Shoulders: 41.5″ (41.75″)

Week 1 Review
So after one week, I have lost almost 3 pounds of scale weight (some of this definitely water weight as this was TOM week and I tend to add about 2 lbs of bloat during those times) and some fractions of inches here and there as well as a wee bit of body fat. I was not afflicted with DOMS performing the workouts, and I have slept pretty well, though I need to get my butt into bed earlier so I have time to do all of my exercises in the morning instead of splitting my cardio sessions up or trying to squeeze them in at night.

Nutrition has been nice and tight this week, which played a big part in my progress. Overall, I feel very good–I’m not starving though my calories fall between 1450-1650 per day, my energy levels are good, and I’m not completely wiped out by my workouts though I am burning a fair number of calories and feeling challenged.

Psychologically, I’m in a good place with my diet; I am committed to keeping it clean until I reach my ultimate goal of 130 lbs (which my Weight Loss Calculator spreadsheet says will be my scale weight target if I want to be at 15% body fat). I like to be at 17-18%, which is maintainable in the long run for me without going nuts with low calories or hours of cardio, but I want to get down to 15% just to have more of a buffer for the holidays and my birthday in January. I know myself well enough to admit that I’ll get lazy for a few weeks here and there throughout the year, so I’d rather have some wiggle room built into my goal so I never wind up looking TOO puffy if I gain 5 lbs.

I don’t feel like too many of these small changes in inches are obvious yet in my photos, but my side view does show a slight decrease in my waist thickness. I plan to take pictures in the same swimsuit and poses every Sunday throughout this challenge and add to my side by side comparison pics as I go along. I figure this will give the best visual record of my changes AND keep me from going nuts on the weekends with my scheduled cheat meals. 😉

(And no, I didn’t suddenly lose my spray tan or anything. I took my starting pics indoors, and the yellowish incandescent lighting gave me a fako tanned look that the natural outdoor lighting in today’s pics does not. I will be sticking with natural lighting for the rest of the contest. I should be seeing some abs again soon, and I’ve found that camera flash tends to make them disappear.)

Front - Week 0 and 1 ComparisonSide - Week 0 and 1 ComparisonBack - Week 0 and 1 Comparison

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TODAY’S EATS
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1. 60 g oats and raisins, 3 egg whites scrambled with 1/4 c. mashed cauliflower
2. 2 oz. Oriental sesame chicken breast strips, 1 c. leftover Pei Wei tofu, veggie, and brown rice stir-fry
3. 10 almonds, 20 g raisins
4. Potluck @ our last Financial Peace University session (1 potsticker and an 8″ plate loaded up with salsa, hummus, eggplant dip, 1 c. raw veggies, 3/4 c. fruit, 1/4 c. glazed pecans, and a 2″x2″ flat bread thingie with veggies on top)
5. 5 pork, leek, and veggie potstickers (~40 calories each) with 1 t. Szechuan chili paste
6. 1 scoop protein, 1/2 c. light soy milk

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil capsules

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
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* YF Flexibility (45 min)

RCR W1D6: My Polar HRM Learns A New Trick!

So I’ve owned my Polar F6 heart rate monitor for almoost two years now, and it wasn’t until today that I learned just how awesome this gadget can be.

Sure, I’ve used it to track the calories burned during my workouts before and even pushed some random buttons and discovered the weekly exercise log within the watch, but I had never followed up on the Polar WebLink capability of the F6.

Polar WebLink is the software you can download for free from [B][url]http://www.polarpersonaltrainer.com[/url][/B] after you register (also free) that will allow you to upload the stored data from your Polar HRM to your online Polar Personal Trainer account. There, you can view a week by week calendar of all of your exercise sessions including duration and calories burned, and edit the data for each session with the type of exercise performed, notes, speed, etc. There are also pre-set workout programs you can choose to follow.

To upload your data, you start up the Polar WebLink software and click a few buttons to put your computer into Listen mode. (You should have a microphone connected to your computer.) Then you navigate to the file Send page on your Polar watch, place your watch near your mic, and hit OK to start sending a series of beeps, clicks, and random staticky noises to your Polar account.

Seriously, I am so in love with this function that I may never take my chest strap off again.

Just kidding.

Mostly.

I was so focused on getting in more minutes on the HRM at the gym (so I could upload more data!) that I didn’t notice they were closing up shop around me until one of the staff members tapped on my recumbent bike and mouthed, “We’re closed.”

Oops.

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TODAY’S EATS
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1. Oatmeal pancakes (60 g ground oatmeal, 1 whole egg, 1 T. powdered low fat buttermilk, 1/2 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/4 t. salt); 3 egg whites scrambled with 1/4 mashed garlic cauliflower, 1 T. clover honey
2. 1 Thai summer roll with shrimp, 1/2 T. dipping sauce, 1.5 oz. curry beef jerky
3. 10 almonds, 20 g raisins
4. 3 oz. Oriental sesame chicken breast strips
5. Planned Cheat Dinner @ Elephant Bar:small Jamaican Mojo salad with almonds, Seared Ahi Tuna salad with roasted tomatoes, bell peppers, mixed field greens, seaweed salad, edamame, and Asian vinaigrette
6. 10 almonds

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil capsules

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
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* RCR 3 HIIT Run (30 min)
* Steady-state recumbent bike (10 min)
* YF Meditation Garden Yoga (15 min)

RCR W1D5: Modification Time

Okay, I know I’m shedding water weight with the end of TOM, and that I’ve been a very good girl with food and exercise for the past two weeks in particular, but this is getting ridiculous.

143.8 lbs this morning, and the Tanita says my lower body is 0.5% less fluffy before.

I was 146.4 on Monday at the start of the RCR program, and 148.5 on September 1 when we started the LMH challenge. And I actually didn’t go up in weight during TOM; I either stayed about the same or dropped slightly each day.

This definitely is not purely the result of switching to RCR. If you want the truth, I think the M&F program and clean eating (even with the Moon Cake Madness and Craisin Craving incidents) restored quite a bit of the strength and lean mass I’d lost over this sloppy summer and burned off much of the fat marbled throughout my muscles. But lifting so frequently and so heavily also kept my muscles swelled up with water as they recovered and readjusted to regular workouts, so I stayed the same for a while. Plus, it takes a while for my systems to switch gears from Fluffy Pants Fat Storage Mode to Lean, Mean Fat Burning Mode.

Now as I move to RCR, you could say that my system was already primed for maximum fat loss results:

* cardiovascular endurance is back up
* lean mass has been rebuilt
* intramuscular and visceral fat have been reduced
* homeostasis has been broken and fat-burning mode has been engaged after 5 weeks of clean(ish) eating
* dairy and wheat (known food allergies for me) have been eliminated
* commitment to regular exercise and clean nutrition has been firmly re-established

I didn’t even have what Skwigg has dubbed the traditional 4-week freak out.

After watching the video Val posted about modifying the baseline RCR program, I’ve decided to keep the leg workouts as-is since I don’t need more in that area and retain lower body lean mass by just imagining myself doing a squat (just kidding–but running intervals actually maintains my legs just fine). I am going to increase upper body weights conservatively to the 10-15 lb range for all exercises and keep them there for the rest of the 6 weeks, increasing reps or modifying tempo to make it more challenging instead of adding more weight.

I don’t want to change the heart of the RCR program; I truly want to see what it can do for my body type with as few tweaks as possible. I just want to increase the weight in the upper body exercises enough to make sure I actually feel some resistance and don’t start shedding too much lean mass from my shoulders and arms while at a caloric deficit. I am trying to wind up with a balanced X silhouette at the end of this contest, but typically when I lean out my genetics push me toward a narrow Hollywood star torso and arms sitting atop muscular, ripped legs that belong on a gymnast or speed skater. (See pic from 2nd BFL challenge in 2004)

Overall, I was pretty happy with my look at that stage and didn’t mind the legs, but I just wanted a little more fullness in my shoulders to balance them out. I mean, come on! I Arnold press 25 lb dumbbells! Why the heck can’t I get some shoulder caps?

😉

I only shaved 4 minutes off of Monday’s completion time, but again, I was taking longer breaks than I normally would to check on the amount of weight to be used for the weighted exercises and adjusting up as needed. It felt just challenging enough with the slightly increased weight and the switch to W shoulder presses and a taller step up. I think I can stick with this one with today’s modifications for the next two weeks as scheduled in the RCR book and get the results I’m looking for. I’ll save the advanced circuit and Super Hero workout for a later date unless things start to feel easy next week, in which case I’ll switch to the weeks 4-6 workouts for 3 weeks and finish off with 2 weeks of those bonus workouts.

With my concurrent 100 Push Ups program going on through week 3 of RCR, I don’t feel like I need to burn my upper body out completely on my RCR workouts–just turn up the intensity enough to hang onto what I have already built.

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TODAY’S EATS
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1. 60 g dried cranberries, raisins, and oatmeal; 3 egg whites
2. Tofu and veggie Korean stir-fry at Pei Wei with 1 c. brown rice
3. 10 almonds, 20 g raisins, 1/2 apple
4. 1 boiled egg, 1/2 apple, 1/2 c. cauliflower mash
5. 4 oz. walnut-crusted salmon, 1.5 c. sauteed broccoli
6. 1 scoop Dymatize Elite whey, 1/2 c. light soy milk

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil capsules

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
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* RCR A-1 (63 min; 478 calories burned)
* 100 Push Ups W4D2 (10 minutes; 25/29/25/25/62 max)
* YF Yoga / Meditation Garden (15 minutes)

RCR W1D4: Would you fire yourself?

144.2 lbs this morning, or around half a pound down from yesterday. Gotta love coming off TOM when you’ve been on target with meals and workouts–the weight just feels like it’s dropping off in chunks overnight. I kicked off the day with 30 minutes of Forza sword drills and have completed my lunch break stroll, but the HIIT run had to wait until after work — actually, it waited until after the 8:30 – 9:40 PM EST Red Carpet Ready Club live chat with Valerie Waters and a dinner of chicken and peas, too.

I did eventually haul my butt back out of the house and to the gym to run, though. I’m already down to 93 out of 100 points on the JSF September 100 Challenge and could not bear to report another -1 point for skipping a workout. By the way, in case anyone is interested, sign ups for the October 100 challenge are open now at John Stone Fitness. Check out the link for more information about what it entails.

And for those wondering about my current caloric intake, I have been averaging between 1450-1700 calories per day on both the Muscle & Fitness plan and Red Carpet Ready. My breakfast is relatively low in calories, but lunch, dinner, and my late evening snack make up for it. I also have one planned cheat item (that can be a single off-plan carb or protein) and one full cheat meal per week.

In line with the bonus mini-challenge this week at Pink Dumbbells where we were asked to assess our performance so far on our September 1-October 31 Lean, Mean Halloween challenge through the eyes of a trainer working with a client, I’m using a new mental trick I borrowed from one of Dave Ramsey’s catchphrases about personal finance to keep myself in line during this cut. Here it is, slightly modified:

“If you were in charge of the operations of a company called You, Inc., and it was your job to make sure You, Inc. followed its business plan (program) and didn’t outspend (eat) more than it earned (exercised), would you fire yourself?”

I think of this every day now when I consider going off plan–usually when I get home from work or the gym at night and feel myself wanting to go for some cereal instead of my planned dinner and snack. I am an excellent planner and manager in every aspect of my life sometimes except my diet, even when I KNOW I need a consistent DAILY deficit to reach my goals.

Looking at this in terms of a business I am running or job responsibility puts it into perspective for me. I cannot win if I keep going into caloric debt every day, and I cannot out-exercise too many days of overspending on shoddy food choices.

Or I think of it this way:

If I were an up-and-coming star hired to play a breakthrough role in a new movie that would require me to be in stellar shape because I would be wearing a bikini, a skintight patent leather outfit, and a slinky, backless evening gown during the course of the filming, would the director fire my workout-skipping, snack-sneaking booty because I wasn’t willing to follow a trainer’s proven nutrition guidelines and exercise plans for just six, short weeks of my 4680 week life?

How stupid would I be if I let that happen?

Now let’s address one of the topic of dietary self-sabotage, my main bugaboo with any plan. Here is something I have to keep telling myself:

Psst! Hey you! Yes, you with the guilty look on your face.

Do you really need to eat that right now?

The mint chocolate chip and Moose Tracks ice cream, the slushy drinks with umbrellas in them, the seasoned curly fries, the big bowls of ethnic noodles (Italian and Asian are my downfall) and the Dove dark chocolates will still be there when you look more like Catwoman than the Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man’s little sister. Say all you want about America’s economic woes, but I have not noticed any shortage of food of any kind out there on the shelves.

If you don’t eat it now, it doesn’t mean you never get to have it EVER. We need to let go of this asinine and completely unfounded subconscious dread that if we can’t have a treat now, it will disappear from our plane of reality forever, leaving us with nothing but plain chicken breasts and steamed broccoli for the rest of our lives.

Sounds ridiculous, right?

But that is how the silly, female brain thinks when it’s facing what it perceives as long period of deprivation on a diet. Recognize that there is a prehistoric part of your psyche that harbors this goofy notion, and you will be much better prepared to fight it.

And to succeed with whatever program you try.

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TODAY’S EATS
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1. 60 g dried cranberries, raisins, and oatmeal; 3 egg whites
2. 4 oz. roasted chicken breast, 1 c. green beans, 1/2 c. garlic cauliflower mash, 1/2 pear
3. 10 almonds, 20 g raisins, 1/2 pear
4. Cranberry walnut protein muffin (8 cranberries, 1 T. chopped walnuts, 1 scoop oatmeal, 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/2 c. water)
5. 3 oz. skinless roast chicken leg, 3/4 c. peas
6. 1/2 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop protein, 1/2 oz. walnuts or almonds

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil capsules

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
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* Forza warmup drills (30 min; 250 calories burned)
* 3/4 mile walk (15 min)
* HIIT Run – BFL style (3.5, 6, 6.7, 7.5, and 9 mph; 30 min)

RCR W1D3: Workout B-1 Assessment

I dropped further down to 144.8 lbs this morning. I know my favorite camo hip huggers are riding lower because the hems are dragging on the ground, and my belt is on the second to last hole. Dear readers, methinks I am melting away from the belly button on outwards again. I might even achieve my goal of 5 lbs of fat loss for September at this rate. Shocking!

Note to self: 90% or greater workout and nutrition compliance plus reducing exposure to known food intolerances like dairy and wheat does actually work if you stick with it for more than 3 days in a row*.

*Indeed, sometimes it will take 3 WEEKS in a row before you see results. It sucks, but there you have it. Welcome to Mature Womanhood. I learned a while ago that you can either whine about this unfairness and dive into a vat of Ben & Jerry’s, or swallow the bitter pill of truth and just DO IT.

I got up at a decent hour today and got through Red Carpet Ready Workout B-1 in 63 minutes, including the movement prep warm up circuit. I did not do the recommended 5-10 minutes of general warm up (bad me, I know), but it didn’t seem to hurt my workout. I liked B-1 better than Monday’s workout despite the fact that it seemed to burn fewer calories (only 444 calories). The leg exercise sequences felt more challenging (I hate fire hydrants and split squats), and I switched to using a folding chair with an 18″ tall seat as my step this time around instead of the lower lock box I used on Monday.

I also, I confess, used 10 lb dumbbells for all of the weighted exercises even though some of them called for lighter loads. Two of them were supposed to be performed with 8 lb weights, but since my Powerblocks only adjust to 5, 7.5, and 10 lbs, I opted to go a little higher instead of 1/2 lb lighter. Anyway, I felt like I got a better workout that way and it didn’t compromise my ability to complete the other exercises in the circuits.

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TODAY’S EATS
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1. 60 g dried cranberries, raisins, and oatmeal; 3 egg whites
2. 1/6 chicken pot pie, 1 c. green beans, 1/2 apple
3. 10 almonds, 20 g raisins, 1/2 apple
4. 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1/2 c. baby carrots
5. 4 oz. lean sirloin steak, 1.5 c. Brussels sprouts
6. 1/2 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop protein, 1/2 c. garlic cauliflower mash

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil capsules

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
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* RCR B-1 (63 min including breaks to check the exercise descriptions to make sure I was doing everything right; 444 calories burned)
* 100 Push Ups W4D1 (15 min; 21/25/21/21/42)
* Incline Walk @ 3.5 mph/6% incline + Run @ 6 mph/0% incline (30 min total)

RCR W1D2: A New Low

Low weight, that is…at least for this month.

I weighed in today at 145.4, which is a pound less than yesterday’s starting weight and 3 pounds less than I weighed on September 1. Of course I’ve been doing an entirely different workout up until this week, but what this tells me is that the clean eating is paying off at last. As I said, my body has a very strong tendency toward homeostasis–call it weight inertia–so it usually takes 2-4 weeks for the scale weight to start sliding downwards when I begin a fat loss cycle after an extended maintenance or muscle gaining period. It’s actually not unusual for me to gain a pound or two in the first two weeks of a cut.

Fortunately, I wake up with that sort of gnawing, caved in feeling in my gut every day which is a clear signal that my body has flipped the switch and is in full fat-burning mode now. It’s about time! I mean, it’s great that I’m running just as fast now as I was four years ago when I was 10 pounds leaner and that I actually seem to have some back and shoulder muscles now, but it is past time for me to shed this jiggle and return to my 18% body fat comfort zone. 😉

This morning’s workout was a HIIT run at the gym using the most advanced interval pattern (#3) from RCR. I got in a good run using 3.5 mph as my resting speed and intervals between 5.5 – 9.2 mph for my sprints. I don’t usually do HIIT for more than 20 minutes, so the variety of speeds in the advanced interval workout was a good way to keep my mind occupied during the horror of cardio. I also squeezed in a brisk 3/4 mile walk during lunch. It actually wasn’t as hot as usual today, which tempted me to get my inlines out and hit the garage roof for a lunch hour skate, but there was enough of a drizzle starting up that I didn’t want to risk slipping and flying off a 4-storey parking garage to my ignominious death.

I still need to do a max rep push up set today for the 100 Push Ups program and some additional steady-state cardio. I’m leaning toward some Forza sword drills. It’s like cardio and a free shoulder and upper back workout all in one.

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TODAY’S EATS
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1. 60 g dried cranberries, raisins, and oatmeal; 3 egg whites
2. 1/6 chicken pot pie, 1 c. green beans, 1/2 microwaved apple
3. 10 almonds, 20 g raisins, 1/2 apple
4. 1 boiled egg, 1 pear
5. 4 oz. chicken breast, 1.5 c. Brussels sprouts
6. 1 scoop Dymatize Elite whey, 1/2 oz. walnuts

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil capsules

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TODAY’S WORKOUT
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* HIIT Run – RCR 3 (30 min; 3.5 mph resting speed; 4.5, 5.5, 6.2, 6.7, 7.2, 7.7, 8.2, 8.7, 9.2, and 7 mph running intervals; 283 calories burned)
* 100 Push Ups Max Test (5 minutes)
* 3/4 mile walk (15 min – optional)
* LISS Cardio (20-30 min – TBD after work)