Starting (again) Monday February 27!

  • When I did the Challenge last year, I noticed changes as early as Week 3, particularly in my extremities (arms were bigger, calves tightened up, quads and hams felt more solid). I also noticed a jump in my strength and speed. That continued pretty steadily through Week 8 when I stopped. By Week 4 I had a flatter stomach and I was able to slip on pants that hadn't fit me in for 4 years!

    By the way is anyone else keeping what I call "optimism clothing"? I have a couple pairs of jeans that are too tight for me right now, but will hopefully fit great in a few weeks. I can't wait for that day to come!

    I've gotta be honest though, I am TIRED. All the time. I drink a double Americano every morning at 8:30 and around my noon meal I take a performance energy & metabolism supplement that has gingko, B vitamins, green tea, ginseng, L-Luecine and other things. I'm sleeping 8-9 hours a night and tracking everything I eat through MyFitnessPal to make sure I am getting balanced, adequate nutrition. But I'm still totally wiped out and just want to take a nap all day (it doesn't help that I work from home and my bed is right downstairs!). Hopefully by next week I will feel better.

  • I'm tired all the time too. Seems like no matter how much sleep I get, waking up at 4:45 keeps me tired all day.

    Does anyone else feel dizzy, fainty, like you're going to die feeling after HIIT? LOL...I felt that way this morning. It took me a good 20 min. just to get my heart rate down and feel normal.

  • 4:45?! Wow... I commend you on that alone. I sometimes get up around there when I have race days (car races specifically), but that is few and far between. Wow.

    I do get dizzy after and sometimes during HIIT cardio, and occasionally during weights. It's most likely your blood glucose levels dropping, especially if you are working out while fasting. Once your body begins burning fat for energy, your blood sugar levels will begin to restore. It takes a long time for me to get my heart rate down too... usually 5 minutes to get down to 140bpm (I'm usually around 190 when I hit my "10") and then another 20 to get down to resting rate. I always leave the gym a sweaty hot mess. I can't even take a shower for 30 minutes after cardio because I'm still sweating. A good sweat feels great though!

  • I have to be at work at 7:30 so I need to be at the gym when it opens at 5am. I've tried the after work thing on weight days, but it's so crowded, and when I get off work I just want to go home. If I go early in the morning it's done and I have no excuses. However, I have been going after work this week (cardio still in the morning) just because I injured my neck/shoulder/trap area and it feels better in the evening than it does in the morning.

    Ok, I am so glad I'm not the only one feeling the dizziness. That makes sense about the blood glucose levels. It doesn't help that I have hypoglycemia and low blood pressure. My doctor said anything I do will wipe me out. LOL

    I'm not sure if I told everyone, but I did BFL back in 2005. My results weren't dramatic like some of the other people on here, but I was definitely more toned. If anyone cares, I'm on BFL tracker under SweetGAgirl. I actually didn't lose any weight, just toned, but my endurance was out the roof. I hope I have better results this time around.

    Is anyone else on BFL Tracker?


  • I am going to do the BFL tracker today.

    Last night was REALLY tough...I had an oreo and a mini bagel----I felt famished!

    Today I am feeling better---I just need to stop thinking about food!

  • Good morning!

    Dizziness/lightheaded/tired  - I started adding another meal/snack to my day.  After I workout/cardio - I have a shake and even with this I still wake-up in the middle of the night (3am) and have a 1/4 cup of nuts & water.  I know that I have cut my calorie intake doing BFL, but I don't like the weak/tired feeling that I have after I work out.  I hope this helps.  Also, I do workout in the evenings.

    My 2 year old was up coughing at 1:30am & I didn't get much sleep - it will be an interesting day/workout this evening.  I hope my energy level stays up.

    I'm going to have to find the crockpot recipe too.  I would love to come home to dinner.

    Keep it up!

  • I'm doing the shake-after-workout too. I mix a couple frozen strawberries and peaches with protein powder and add a little water and unsweetened almond milk to smooth it out. That has been great for muscle recovery (I'm using a powder with whey protein isolate) and the small amounts of sugar in the fruit keep me from craving sugar later in the day.

    Last night I kind of cheated and had a single sheet of cinnamon graham cracker smeared lightly with peanut butter. My daily totals were still within range, but I couldn't help but laugh at myself, thinking "Wow, I'm really spoiling myself here... with a graham cracker and peanut butter!" Thankfully it's just me and my husband and we've never really gone overboard with unhealthy food, but it was still funny. I'm going to try to nail down a good muffin recipe using protein powder, whole wheat flour, applesauce, unsweetened almond milk and honey with maybe a tablespoon of sugar. I've completely gone off artificial sweeteners which makes baking during the Challenge almost impossible.

    Cooking in a crock pot shouldn't be too challenging, should it, as long as the cut of meat is lean? I am thinking something like chuck roast or bison roast, both of those are fairy lean. I think brisket may work also. I usually line the bottom of the pot with veggies and potatoes along with 1 cup of water and vegetable both mixed together, then I season and aggressively sear my meat on the stove to hold in the flavors and place it on top of the vegetables.

  • I've been chatting with akamamma on e-mail trying to figure how the heck she ended up looking so good and here are some recipes she gave me. Thought I'd share:

    Protein pancakes, or Litecakes (can make into waffle iron too, lotsa PAM though!) I eat these for Meal 1 still to this day.

    1/2 cup or 40g dry oats

    2-3 egg whites

    1/2 cup LF or FF cottage cheese

    vanilla, splenda/stevia/truvia

    blend all up in a magic bullet or blender,

    pour in 3 inch circles (or make one huge one) on a pre heated skillet and flip when ready.

    (one whole meal)

    Pumpkin protein pancakes

    1/2 cup oats

    1/4 cup pumpkin

    1/4 cup ff cottage cheese

    1 scoop vanilla protein powder

    3-4 egg whites


    vanilla, cinnamon

    blend in blender and pour little circles on skillet. SO YUMMY!!!

    (1 whole meal)


    1 egg

    1/2 cup oats

    1/3 cup diced onion

    1/2 cup chopped spinach

    1 lb ground beef

    2 Tbsp shredded reduced fat Cheddar cheese

    Salt and pepper to taste

    whole wheat buns

    tomatoes, avocado, condiments (your choice)

    1. In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Add the next six ingredients and

    mix with your hands until well blended.

    2. Form four patties. Place them on george foreman cook for 7-10 minutes or to your desired level of doneness. Or on the stove top about 6mins each side.

    3. Place the burgers on buns and top with sliced tomato, avocado & condiments of your liking

    I also do a chicken "fried rice" dish.. I would just throw one of those veggie steamers in the microwave (corn, peas, snap peas,

    carrots)...then on stove sautee onion & garlic, add an egg + 2 egg whites whisked in a bowl first with light soy sauce...when scrambled remove from pan. Then add cubed chicken breast & light soy sauce coating, when done add the eggs mix back in, and dump the done veggie bag in, stir it all the meantime you've made brown rice. You can either dump the brown rice in with it all, or just dish it up on a plate and put the chicken mix on top. So yummy!

    Protein banana bread

    5 egg whites

    1 whole egg

    15g banana

    30g oats

    3g SF FF Banana flavored pudding mix

    splenda/stevia/truvia, cinnamon

    Mix all in blender. Pour into mini loaf pan

    Bake 350 for 40-45 minutes

    (one whole meal)

    Blueberry muffins

    40g (1/2 cup) old fashioned oats

    5 egg whites

    1 whole egg

    76 grams blueberries

    splenda/stevia/truvia , cinnamon

    blend together in blender. pour into pam sprayed muffin pan

    bake 350 for 30 minutes Makes 4 muffins

    (I eat three of these as a meal, so triple recipe and get more servings!)

    I rec buying a magic bullet. They are so convenient, quick clean up & portable. I've had mine since I did BFL and still works great! I do my smoothies, pancakes, muffins, breads in it...even boiled swt potatos to make mashed sweet can make deviled eggs, salsas, sauces, smooth out your cottage cheese, yogurt smoothies for the kiddos (or you!), blended cauliflower....they're awesome!

  • Thanks for the recipes they sound yummy! Hey, wanna ask you guys, what exactly are you eating on your free day? This weekend I was invited to a smorgasbord (he treated, so I didn't voluntarily go lol) so I ended up eating quite a bit of sugar (crispy cookies, lemon meringue filling) and some bad fat (fried chicken, breaded crab cake).  I didn't pig out as much as I thought, and the rest of the day was healthy for the most part. What limitations are there for free day (i.e. number of calories or types of foods?) If anyone knows, thanks in advance...

  • The book basically says the free day is open to direct interpretation: Anything you want, as much as you want.

    I've seen Champions who actually never took a free day and always ate clean, and got great results. And I've seen Champions who did take the free day, and also got great results.

    Having said that, I think as you go along it gets easier to simply not "want" a deep-dish pizza with everything, or 6 beers, or a bacon cheeseburger with fries. When I last did the Challenge, I found that after a couple of weeks of eating clean, I got severe headaches on my free days from the fat and sugar intake. So I downgraded to a free meal (sometimes brunch, sometimes dinner). I also found that if I drank too many carbonated drinks (beer, wine, soda) I would suffer for it by being extra sore the following couple of days. I also found out if I had too much sugar I would spend the next day kind of down emotionally and mentally. Crashes are no fun for sure.

    In my opinion this all ties back into the Challenge making you view food as fuel, not just something you put in your face until you're no longer hungry.

    For me personally, my free day yesterday was this:

    Breakfast - Bowl of bran flakes in almond milk, with half a Tofurky sausage

    Snack - 2% cheddar with Kashi TLC 7 grain crackers

    Lunch - Grilled bison burgers with red onion on an entire kaiser roll with ketchup, yellow mustard, Hellman's mayo and lettuce, with potato chips from World Market on the side

    Snack - Half a dozen Hint of Salt Ritz crackers and a China Cola (this is the tastiest cola ever made, BTW)

    Dinner - My husband made chicken legs with sliced red potatoes and green beans in a "gravy" made from salsa, lime juice, olive and canola oil, red pepper flakes, and a little corn flour for consistency. All broiled in the oven in a cast iron skillet. It was all kinds of delicious.

    Dessert - I made vegan chocolate chip cookies. Ate three. Immediately wanted to pass out.

    Back on the wagon today! Missed working out this morning because Daylight Savings Time just completely derailed my sleep patterns like everyone else. I'm going to do my measurements next Monday (week 4). Excited to see what they are.

  • My free day was disappointing. I'm always so busy on the weekends that I barely have time to eat, so that's one way I use my free day. Free of having to think about eating every 3 hours. With that being said, my free day consisted of the following:

    1 plain doughnut, 1 cinnamon twist doughnut

    5 guys - little bacon cheeseburger, regular fry (couldn't finish them all)

    At this point I was beyond stuffed and it was only 4:45. I had to stuff my face once more before the night was over so around 9 pm I had the following:

    Wine, about 10 store bought doughnuts (powder and plain).

    Can you tell I love doughnuts. LOL...I have reminded everyone around me never to have Five Guys again. It wasn't enjoyable at all. My stomache start cramping before I was even finished.

    I kind of think Bill Phillips tricked us on the free day. LOL...he knows that after one humongous meal we are so stuffed, there is no way we can eat anything else.

  • Oh, I also had to share that after my workout on Friday (HIIT), my neck, shoulder, arm, and back were in severe pain. I couldn't take it anymore and went to the doctor. He said my muscles were inflamed and prescribed me anti-inflammatory pills and muscle relaxers. He also said to ice the area when I fill pain coming on. All this time I've been using heat! No wonder! Anyways, I had to miss two workouts last week because of it and used today as my free working out day for this week to rest it one more day. I was so bummed.

  • That is a lot of doughnuts! I love doughnuts but there is really nowhere around here to get good ones. I got spoiled on Fractured Prune when I lived out east and nothing else comes close... sigh.

    I love 5 Guys! Don't ruin it for me! I only eat there once every couple of months though. Now with the whole media pink slime craze, I don't know if I can keep eating burgers anyway.

    Sorry to hear about the muscle inflammation. I hope it gets remedied soon! I had a weird incident with my first Challenge last Spring, where after my first day of lifting my left arm got really swollen from just above my elbow to my wrist. Nothing hurt; it felt like it was waterlogged or something. It was completely bizarre. No one was able to explain it. After about five days it was back to normal and it hasn't happened since. Our bodies do funny things when we ask new things of it, and when it begins detoxing. Hang in there!

  • mwseahorse- I really couldn't find any good doughnut shops either. Only the big name chains, which I hate. But I found a little mom and pop doughnuts shop about 6months ago and I go there every now and again.

    Sorry if I ruined the 5 guys experience for you. LOL...My stomach hurts if I have Italian and Mexican food too, so it may just be that I have weak stomach. I hardly ever go there, but I read something (can't remember if it was on this site or in the book) and it said when you have your free day, go all out with the good stuff. If you're going to have a burger, have the best burger in town. I'm more of a snacker though, so I think I'm going to stick to snacks on my free days. I love little things that I can just pop in my mouth like animal crackers or popcorn.

    Thank you for the words of encouragement about the inflammation. You're right, my body was probably like "what the he** are you doing to me"? LOL...I did LBWO this morning and everything is copacetic. A little tired from staying up watching The Bachelor and then waking up at 4 am. Tonight, straight to bed for me. No biggest loser, No Real Housewives of OC. I'm going to be strong. LOL

    Hope everyone has a great day!

  • I am getting worried about my upcoming cruise---we leave this Saturday.  I am excited about the gym and all of the fun things to do----but the rich foods and alcohol have me scared!!!  Any words of wisdom?  

    Also, I am a little disappointed that I only lost 1 lb. last week :(