4/19-7/4 My BFL journal

  • Hey everyone!

    My name is Wil and I started my BFL challenge this monday 4/19!

    Im a college student at the University of Maryland, and am a Mechanical Engineering major, so needless to say a lot of my life is taken up by academics. Has been since high school, as i went to a special science and math school. I've always played lacrosse and swam, and done pretty well, but i've never really had a body i could be proud of. I've always been pudgy, but over the past 2 years since i've gotten a bit older my body has gotten worse and worse. Its never been a problem of not being strong, its just extra pounds that hide the muscle and make me look a lot weaker than i really am.

    During highschool and my first year of college my life just kind of went downhill, i had emotional issues, and would have crazy mood swings, it brought down my relationships, and helped me to have the lowest self esteem i have in my entire life. I really needed a positive influence in my life. I started working out more, and it has really helped, i feel better, but i never really saw results. After some long thought, it came to me that is was what i ate, at home we would always eat pretty badly, and at college it got even worse, anything healthy was just too expensive, so i opted for the frozen meals and chicken nuggets. Obviously, this didnt help.

    But now, we are here. For the past few weeks i have been going to the gym more and more, being more active and making my life better in every way. Following suit with my dad, i decided to try the body for life challenge, and all the stories, and Bill's writing have inspired me more than anything ever had before! Im so pumped every day to go out and do my best, and i can't wait to see some results!

    The excercise portion won't be a problem for me, its always been enjoyable for me, i just have never really seen any results. But with BFL coupling intense workouts, and a precise diet, I've got extremely high hopes! Possible challenges i see coming up are food while on campus, but i should have ways to go to the actual grocery store, so the types of food i should be able to get. Also, with finals coming up soon, im worried that the stress of my engineering program will make me want to eat more to calm my nerves and do better on my exams. The final thing that may pose a challenge is that I should be moving to the ocean as soon as school is over to work a summer job. What worries me is the change in location when i would have built up habits for excercise and nutrition here at school already.

    Other than all that, im super excited so start this! I cant wait to see the muscles and body that i just know i have in me!

    Im starting at 228 lbs, at 5' 11 (measured 4/15) and am already down 4 pounds!

    I think this is mostly due to me starting jiu jitsu classes, they just beat the crap out of you! Do you all think that taking two classes a week would be a good addition to my morning workouts? i know Bill talks about the issue of working out too much, and not allowing your muscles to recover, so im kind of worried about that, but please leave some feedback!


    Be back to update you all soon!



  • Wil ~

    Congratulations on a great decision! You will LOVE this program. This site is full of energetic, generous, encouraging folks. Post if you ever need anything.

    Now, you listed a few obstacles in your post. Your first assignment is to find answers to those obstacles. You will find out very quickly that your mind will place obstacles in front of you regularly during this challenge...and in life. The ONLY way you can successfully complete this challenge is if you understand that you MUST immediately translate any obstacle that enters your mind into a solution. Your assignment is due by Friday at 10pm :-D

    You will do great! You have already shown that you are an achiever!

    Keep the faith!

    Faithful Renee :0)

  • Congratulations Wil.  I am a 44 year old guy and I started 5 weeks ago with body stats similar to yours.  Please follow the assignment Renee has given you.   You will find I hope that there are really no obstacles in this challenge.  Honestly!  Put that engineering brain to work and you will find solutions.  

    When we talk about obstacles in this challenge, it is my opinion that we are just expressing some kind of resistance we have to doing things that we think are going to be hard.  Well they are hard if those obstacles are based on years of unhealthy mental and physical conditioning.  We have to peel back to what we want and how we are going to get there.

    So my hope for you is that you focus on how you need to change and what new behaviors will get you there.

    With your schedule you will have to do a lot of planning around meals and carry authorized food with you.  Do it.  You don't need to be at the mercy of unhealthy foods that might be available on campus.  Please don't give yourself any excuses.

    Also don't worry right now about how a future move will impact your success, work for today for now and then when you find yourself in a new environment adapt it to fit your needs, not the other way around.  My best wishes for health and discipline to you.


  • I definitely will try to get that assignment in by friday night haha. untill then its study study, unfortunately i have a physics exam friday afternoon. But just as a bit of an update... had lower body today, then tonight i had jiu jitsu class, and man am i beat! feel great though. I definitely have to suggest that to anyone who hasnt tried it and wants to get a great (i mean holy crap great) workout in addition to their BFL workouts. Weighed myself this afternoon and im down to 221 (-7lbs) which completely astounds me! -7 in less than a week?? blew me away, and its only just starting =] And thanks for the support guys, its nice knowing that the people here will be here for me when i hit a bump, or when i just want a few more people to know how excited i am about my progress!

  • Wil ~

    Congrats on your 7 pounds! I bet you have a ton of energy too. Wake up feeling fresher. Feel energized and focused. Probably able to study better. Ahhhh! I love BFL! Wait until you can appreciate ALL the perks the BFL offers. I'm so excited for you to take this journey.

    Oh, we will absolutely be here to celebrate any victory you wish to share! Now...go lift heavy and HIIT it hard! Don't forget ot eat clean. :0)

    Keep the faith!

    Faithful Renee :0)

  • so, i know im late =P but to answer those challenges...

    Food on campus: found a friend with a car to go grocery shopping with, or go home for a weekend and do it there.

    Finals stress: i feel better already. and having more energy and feeling better will actually help me with finals, the workouts wont hinder me =]

    And finally Change in location: the food will be easy to deal with, as there are grocery stores right by where i will be living, and as for excercise, i found a gym close by and will be getting a membership there for the summer =]

    As im writing this the end of my first BFL week is here, and im proud to say im down 9 pounds!

    once again thanks for the encouragement so far guys, its fantastic!


  • Congratulations Wil, keep it up and you will succeed.  Work hard and feed your body good!

  • Hey everyone, just a little check up.

    Went home from school this weekend for one last time this semester, and well, it was a bad idea. went to jiu jitsu saturday, but skipped aerobic thinking this would be enough. hung out with friends after and didnt eat to terribly well, then sunday was free day, and being back home old habits kicked in. So all in all over the weekend i gained back 4 pounds. This really pissed me off, and now im more pumped then ever to kick my body into shape no matter what it takes. Started taking measurements today too, chest biceps waist hips etc, and that was a real shocker. I really just cant wait for tomorrow so i can get another workout. i know that the program says that the planned upper lower aerobic are all you need, but do you all think that throwing in other stuff will hurt? i know one of the big concepts of this program is not overworking the muscles and causing adverse effects. What i want to do is add in some lower intensity aerobics in the afternoons (i do my workouts 7am every day). nothing like the aero for the program, but more long distance lower resistance stuff.

    any input would be greatly appreciated


  • What the Heck Syndrome–Throwing It All Away! by: Michael Harris 2/19/2008 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Many of you are in about this time in your challenges. I think this "rerun" from March 2007 may help. Today, we’re going to briefly deal with what I think is the most dangerous part of the first transformation, the middle weeks.

    About weeks 5 to 8, somewhere in there, you will encounter the "what the heck" syndrome. How you deal with it will determine the course and outcome of the rest of your challenge. Here’s how it works. You’ve seen good results to this point, maybe nothing spectacular, but your clothes fit looser, people have noticed, you feel stronger and lift more, and your diet has been pretty much by the book. You’re feeling confident and more. Then, here it comes: "Honey, you’re looking great, and that big wedding reception is coming up next week. Would you do me a big favor and just try to eat and act normally while we’re there? You deserve a little break–you’ve worked so hard!" A smile, and a "pretty please" squeeze and he or she walks away.

    You bite. At the wedding reception, it’s cake and ice cream, a few beers, a couple of handfuls of nuts, and so on. What the heck–you’ll burn it off in the early morning cardio. And you hit the cardio hard. But you hit free day which comes up very quickly even harder. Sleeping in after free day felt pretty good, and you’ll be back on that routine before they know it. This begins a spin from which some never recover.

    Well, this is just an example, and the what the heck syndrome can take many other forms. A very sad event that just begs you to eat and drink over it. A really joyous event that just has to be celebrated. So, what’s wrong with that? Can’t I enjoy life, you say? WELL, my question to you is, "What does risking all the work you’ve done so far, in exchange for some really unhealthy eating actually have to do with the enjoyment of life?? If this is how the rest of your life after your challenge is going to be, you don’t stand the proverbial snowball’s chance in Hell of keeping your weight off and staying conditioned.

    The appropriate response to the "what the heck" opportunity is simple. Act like you’re enjoying yourself, and you no doubt will. If you can’t handle the peer pressure, grab a glass of diet soda, put a few little food treats on a plate and walk around talking to folks. Mess up the treats, and then at the first opportunity put the plate down, or hand it to a waiter, and walk away. You’ll feel better, and really, no one who matters to you will ever notice the difference. You will, though, because you won’t be waking up the next morning feeling like a bird slept in your mouth!

    Having fun and acting normal at foodfests, without becoming a victim of the gluttony, takes practice but can be done! If you don’t master this, even if your challenge goes smoothly, the rest of your life is going to be a bumpy road! When I was first learning how to be a recovering alcoholic, I worried to death about how to decline a drink when offered one. My sponsor told me to simply say, "No thanks, I’ve had plenty!" And it was certainly no lie either. It worked. The only people who still tried to push drinks on me were people who needed the program I had just been in. It’s no different with food. The ones trying to get you to stuff yourself are doing it due to their own issues, not yours!

  • Thanks Legs! that was an insightful read.

    Im still curious about extra cardio workouts on certain days, i feel like im not doing enough to get the results i want.

    But as an update, i seem to have a lot more energy, at times, but other times i just crash, especially in class, which is kind of bothering me. Im eating every 3 hours, exercise in the morning. Any idea why this is happening? it doesn't really seem to have a pattern, i just get really tired at random times during the day.

    anywho, thanks once again for all the help and encouragement, and as i close my second week im down around 8 pounds and feeling much stronger!


  • Legs-

    Your post is so timely I cried when I read it.  I hit an insane wall at week five from which I haven't recovered.  Now  three weeks later I am still beating myself up, calling myself a quitter, and watching all the time tick by without really living.  Thank you for this insight, I had no idea anyone else experienced it.  In light of this post, I plan to recommit and prepare for the week five wall.  I can't thank you enough!

  • I forgot I posted that and was just browsing again. Geesh! Im so glad it helped kick you back onto the road of success. Funny thing is, I got that feeling about week 7 in all my 3 challenges. Its like you start with such determination, the head is on straight and all is well, then we lose that momentum and we have to find that power within us again. I am glad you didnt say "I want to start over". I am glad you are continuing with your challenge. It is a life journey, and for many of us it goes hard beyond 12 weeks due to our mind not always wanting to stay strong.

    You teared up because it hit home. Now that you know you are not alone, carry on. We have been there and have been picked up by fellow challengers. I myself have fallen on my face many times. :) I am still here and am not leaving any time soon.

  • Wpomplon: as far as the extra cardio - go ahead and do any kind of activity you like, just not a HIIT. If you are doing your HIIT correctly, you should be fighting to keep up with that last minute of so of the 20 minutes and SO happy to be cooling it down at 20 min.

    I switched up from my Gazelle back to stationary bike last week and OMG I am struggling like it was my first day on the bike. I didnt realize I wasnt really hitting my 10 on my Gazelle any longer as my heart is just a pounding and I am red in the face and sweating so much more on the bike again. My body got used the Gazelle and didnt tell me.

    My point is, are you really hitting your 10.

    I play tennis somedays, I bike to work, and take my dogs for walks on top of HIIT days.

    I hope that answers your question.

    Congratulations on the great results so far!

  • Wpomplon: You're doing well. I really like your attitude about the gym. I am actually here to comment about the eating. See if anyone you know has a membership to cosco. They sell EAS premium protein there by the bag for only $30. It's got really awesome amino acids in it. One of those and an apple (or other carb) makes a really quick meal. I know a lot of people love their whole foods, but I am a big fan of the premium proteins and myoplex. The myoplex costs a bit more but its got everything you need including vitamins. But, $30 for a giant bag of awesome protein is within anyones budget.

    And I agree with the earlier posters, you have to plan for the obsticles. Trust me, they will come. But, if you decide not to give in, you can always find time for excercise and following the eating schedule.

    Best of luck!

  • Thanks for all the advice guys, and thanks for the info on the extra cardio legs, i appreciate it.