Starting 01.21.13 - anyone want to join?

  • Killed my LBWO this morning!  Increased the weight yet again.  Only 5 more workouts left to go and C1 will be complete.  Can't wait to start C2 with all of you on 4/29, and I'm trying to plan what I'll do for my week of active rest.  I'm probably going to do a lot of biking since the weather has warmed up.

  • Congrats to all that have finished C1 already!  I can't wait to see your pics.


    C1 is in the bag for most and we are still here for you Justin cheering you on in your last week.  Hit it hard and finish strong - out of town and all :-)

    Ok - question for you all:  What are you most proud of from C1?

    I'll go first - as you all know, I definitely encountered some obstacles during this challenge.  I didn't stay on track for the whole challenge.  However - I am most proud of the fact that I DID NOT QUIT!  That is a huge milestone for me.  In the past I would have walked away and said "I'll just restart later."  I didn't do that this time and that is major.  Mindset is so important and I am in a really great place going into C2!!!  Your turn...

    I will set up our new group soon.  Do we want it under getting started or my tranformation or week 13 and beyond???  When do we want to transition to the new thread?



    My active rest - adding yoga and swimming into my routine!

  • Congratulations to the all the Gladiators who made it and even those that tried but didn't finish!!!

    While I’m happy with the weight loss, 25lbs total, I’m not satisfied. I’ve still got another 10lbs of fat to lose and I want to replace it with muscle. That last two weeks I hit the weights hard and didn’t lose a single pound but I gained muscle and my waist line was still shrinking.

    So, here are my beginning and end photos.

    For the next challenge, I’m shooting to replace the fat with muscle and actually stay at about 220 only instead of being fat, it will be solid muscle. I could live with that!

    See you all on the next one!

  • Suprise to my gladiator family, I haven't posted near as much as some but I have followed you guys the whole 12 weeks! I tell everyone I see in everyday life our incredible my online family is. I love seeing the pics of all of you. Wow the transformation are wowsers. I am so proud of each and everyone of you. I didn't post before pics but im gonna try to take some in the next few days and post them if I can figure how to. I lost 15 pounds and have been told by lots how different I look. Feels great. I actually inspired 5 girls from the gym to join us on c2. I bought them all journals so hopefully they come before april 29. You guys are all amazing and hold a special place in my heart. My goal is to posts every night next journey. Xoxo

  • ~Vincit qui patitur~

    (he/she conquers who endures)

    Congratulations Gladiators!

    (Justin you're almost there, finish strong)

    I've been following your thread for some time now and have come to the realization ALL of you are truly amazing and unique in your own respective ways, as well as a committed and dedicated team. I would be honored if I could join all of you for C2. I had originally planned to begin my C3 on 4/21 but would like to begin this next round with such an esteemed, like-minded group as yours on 4/29. This will be a departure from the norm for me since I am use to solo workouts and not relying on a partner or team.

    Kat aka Hollywood and Sharon - Both of you possess qualities that are so rare in women these days. Wisdom, strength, courage, determination, nurturing... these are a just a few descriptive terms that come to mind. Kat your insight and depth of metaphor are truly one of a kind. Your Journey up to this point has been in preparation for all the positive and well deserved rewards yet to come. You have certainly earned it! Btw, your Transformation has been phenomenal. Be very proud!

    Sharon your inspiration is only eclipsed by your beautiful spirit. You truly deserve the best life has to offer and then some! Give your wrist the time it needs to heal properly. (Easier said than done) You will come back stronger for it. Trust me, I know all about sports related injuries.

    Melissa - You are a Trooper in every sense of the word! You remind me of the Little Engine That Could (and did)! Be proud of yourself! I'm 45 now and believe me, with age comes new challenges but that 's what makes human beings so resilient.... we're versatile and can adapt. I also wanted to share some information with you and Kat since all of us have a common denominator: Hypothyroidism.

    Around the 10th week on this last challenge I began having a major energy drain. Did some research online and consulted with my doctor. I discovered that certain foods, minerals and supplements will bind with thyroid medications and cause them to NOT be utilized by the body, in essence they don't get absorbed and just get flushed out in your urine. You need at least a 4 hour window from the time you take your thyroid medication BEFORE consuming any "binder" material. (Google "List of foods to avoid with underactive thyroid". You'll find plenty of information and can decide for yourself how to proceed.)

    I use to take my Synthroid an hour before breakfast. I would then take my daily multi-vitamin, calcium supplement, omega-3-6-9 fish oil supplement that also has flaxseed and borage oil. Since calcium is on the list of "binders", I began taking my Synthroid at 1am. This allows plenty of time after my last meal from the previous day and five hours before breakfast the next day for total absorption. I have experienced a marked improvement in all facets of signs and symptoms related to hypothryroidism: increased energy and stamina, improved cognitive function, more tolerant of temperature extremes, just to name a few. I was hoping this would improve my situation without me having to possibly change to Armour since levothyroxin is ineffective for me.

    I hope this information is useful to you and anyone else who struggles with a thyroid condition. We are all different and what works for one person may not work for another. Having an open minded and willing doctor on board is truly essential for anyone with a chronic condition. If dealing with your healthcare professional is like talking to a brick wall, then it is in your best interest to bypass that wall and find your proper niche with an honest and trustworthy doctor.

    David aka Maximus and Justin aka The Machine - Your drive, determination and enthusiasm are contagious! Not to mention your quirky sense of humor is SOOO needed and appreciated. David, I remember you from another thread that was started by Josh on 1/14. Besides JosValdez and Bobby (poor Paul aka TMinus60 suffered a bad shoulder injury) looks like you and I were the only ones left standing. Your progress pics speak volumes of your discipline and dedication. Very impressive! Hopefully your wife will join in the fun this next go around. If not then hey, keep doing what you're doing for yourself, it'll benefit both of you in the long run.

    Justin, sounds like you have a beautiful family. Patience and temperance come with knowledge and age. Not sure I'm one to give marital advice-was married from 1988 until 1997, been divorced ever since. But my gut instinct compels me to share this nugget with you: Trust, communication and compromise are essential building blocks for a firm foundation in ANY relationship, married or not. That being said, approach this no differently than you would your workout. Trust that your commitment and dedication to a healthier lifestyle benefits your entire family. Devising a strategy that works for BOTH of you is feesible while allowing for variations is reasonable and warranted. Communicating with your wife in a calm, neutral setting is conducive for a productive "meeting of the minds". Being flexible is important as long as it doesn't compromise the end result, which is continuing this Journey of Wellness you have begun. Remember, Love in all it's myriad forms has a way of conquering ALL. Think of that when you see your precious little ones smiling at you. : )

    Amy, Laurie and LilCaity - Give yourselves an "Atta Girl" You have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. I have a feeling all of you will shred this next Challenge!

    Mr Guy and Hrdhat77 aka Bartman - What can I say? You are both rock solid pillars for this team. Big High-fives and a HooRah! Bartman, your upper back got HUGE! Excellent work. I look forward to witnessing your progress during the next Challenge.

    I'm now in my second week of "active rest". *sigh* Unlike Maximus, I needed the first week of downtime, could tell I was beginning to have some overtraining stress in my body. My resting heartrate was elevated the 12th week of C2 but has now returned to normal not to mention widespread body aches and fatique though this has now subsided. I'm becoming very restless with daily walks and the rotation of pilates and yoga, though they are challenging in their own right. I'll be the first one to admit my addiction with body building has been a driving force in my exercise habits since I was 18. Have never been crazy about cardio (the exception being boxing, martial arts, contact football, La Crosse or beach volleyball) but give me some weights and MUSIC and I'm in the ZONE!!!

    Since I have outgrown my home gym (need an incline leg press, lat and triceps pull down machines for more challenge not to mention the price of even used 50lb, 60lb + DB's and my failing grip strength even with straps) I joined Snap Fitness near my house, for numerous reasons. 1. Can access 24/7 2. No one under 16 allowed (sorry but I don't like the distractions of parents and their little ones when I'm in the Zone) 3. Their equipment ROCKS!!! Especially the Arc Trainer, it has given me a much needed desire and reason to enjoy cardio on a machine, thanks Mr Guy (if memory serves) for this recommendation a while back

    I also wanted to share with all of you a few things I have discovered the past few weeks. Perhaps during your "active rest" you could take the time to read two books I highly recommend:

    1. "Wheat Belly, Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and find your path back to health" by William Davis, M.D.

    2. "Master Your Metabolism" by Jillian Michaels (Especially Kat and Melissa due to your thyroid condition)

    I was able to read copies of these through my local library. I found them very informative. Any feedback/opinions regarding this material is greatly appreciated.

    Since beginning my C2 in January, I have returned to my old habit of eating clean since the beginning of this challenge. It is essential for optimal results.

    My List of No-No's:

    Processed food of ANY KIND

    Alcohol (yeah I know, stinks but life still goes on though)

    Soda of ANY KIND (use to be a coke and Dr. P junkie, they mixed real well with Jack Daniels, hehehe, so did Ginger Ale now that I think about it mmm.... Jack 'n Ginger, the blurry memories, no wonder I can't shoot pool worth a flip anymore ^-^)


    Wheat or Pasta of any kind

    I drink only purified water or Organic Milk. Thankfully, living in southwest Florida I am privy to alot of locally grown organic fruits and veggies as well as organic dairy, eggs and meat. If you can make a switch of ANY kind to organic you will reap the rewards, trust me I know. After years of chronic pancreatitis and gluten sensitivity, I have no choice but to eat clean. It's better than being in the hospital, bedridden or chained to a bathroom. I also make sleep and rest a priority. I cannot function properly without a good nights rest.

    Was wondering what supplementation any of you may be using. I just switched to "Rawfusion" which is entirely organic and plant based with no soy (bad for thyroid function) fillers or junk. It was highly recommended by Brad (manager and personal trainer at the Snap Fitness gym I joined). He uses it and good God is he built like a Mountain. I will give a review on it in the upcoming weeks.

    Did any of you treat yourselves to a reward for completing C1? I purchased the "Spartacus Workout" DVD (The 30-minute Total-Body Blitz and The 29-minute Triple-Set Scorcher) set from Men's Health. I know I'm on "active rest" but boy am I itchin' to try it. Will also give a review once I give it whirl.

    Well enough for now. Real Life is calling and it's time to return to it. I hope each and everyone of you have a Wonderful, Productive filled day and up coming week. Enjoy your downtime. Your body needs it more than you may realize. Oh, and just so's you know, everytime I see a toilet paper or paper towel roll I smile and often giggle because it reminds me of you guys. Crazy huh? LOL

    'Til next our paths cross...

    ~Aut viam inveniam aut faciam ~

    ( I will either find a way or make one)

    Michele aka SteeleVixen*

    *Was bestowed this moniker from my early body building days

  • Flobee sorry I missed your post. Congratulations on your 15 lb loss! Excellent work! You are certainly an inspiration. What a way to pay-it-forward by having five of your gym buddies commit to the next challenge AND arming them with their own Journals. My hat's off to you! Look forward to seeing you accomplish your goals next challenge.

    ~Omnium Potientor Est Sapientia~

    (The power is in full knowledge)

    Michele aka SteeleVixen

  • I did not want to get out of my bed this morning at all, but I forced myself to do it yet again.  I decided that since it was the last week for me and I'm taking active rest next week that I'd see how far I could push myself with the cardio this morning on the stair climber.  I increased the intensity another level throughout the workout and I thought I was going to die on level 10.  The last 30 seconds or so were insane!  It was an all out blitz, but when it was over I felt great!

    I leave for the steel convention in St. Louis at 5am tomorrow morning, so I won't be able to get my UBWO done before I leave.  I'm hoping the hotel gym has everything I need to get it done right..  I think I've got everything I need to keep most of my diet in check while I'm there, but I'm still worried about those "box lunches".

    Oh yeah...  I weighed in yesterday and my weight hasn't budged, but I pulled the belt another notch tighter yet again, so I'm happy about that.

    Michele- We'd be glad to have you join our group.  Sounds like you're dedicated.  Congrats on outgrowing your home gym!  

    Flobee- Don't be shy.  When you get on here post something.  We'd love to hear from you.

  • Congrats, everyone!!  We made it!  I have to admit that I am struggling, like David.  I know I really need the rest since I was having trouble even week before last with feeling overtrained.  Still, without that workout structure, I'm adrift.  We plan to do some cardio vids (maybe 30 day shred) for our 2 weeks and leave it at that...maybe get a head start on some of this leftover fat.

    Welcome, Michele (my middle name)!  Thank you for the kind words.  I have to say about my thyroid that my issue is a bit different from everyone else's.  I have an enlarged thyroid and multiple thyroid nodules.  I did not actually have a thryoid function/level problem, although I know that the nodules have cause me to have hypo symptoms for years without actually being hypo.  The biopsy of my largest nodule was negative for cancer, but is compound, so they have put me on the levo to SUPPRESS thyroid function.  So as far as T3, T4 counts, etc, and whether my body is converting the levo (T4) to T3, I don't know.  They don't test for that, and they don't care about any of that.  This area is practically devoid of any good endocrinologists, and NONE of them are open to the idea that the way they test the thyroid is insufficient at its very best.  It will keep people alive, but that's it.  They are all slaves to the test, and I have considered stopping the meds outright and trying to find a good open-minded GP that can do my sonograms once a year.  I KNOW that the Levothryoxine is the cause of my problems, as I've done a lot of study on it, but I won't bore you with that.  I know I could lose more fat  if I could stop the meds.

    I went from size 14 to size 10.  It's much less than I was hoping for, and I've been depressed about that, but I know that's "stinkin-thinkin".  I'm a perfectionist, and it gets in the way.  It's way better than where I was 3 months ago, so I will take it, be grateful, and move on to the next challenge.  I'm having trouble getting the organization to get some pictures done since Steve has to help, but I will get it done.

    As far as music goes, I don't listen when I workout, but it's certainly not because I don't love music.  Since I play guitar and sing, I'm particularly serious about it.  I like to play along when I'm listening, and so I'm typically sitting close to my computer so I can pick out every song I want from my list.  I poked around a bit in metal bands in the 80s, so there's a lot of that old school metal in my collection, but I have moved along with music, too.  I'm not as locked into style as I once was.  (I went and saw Iron Maiden play last year and they are, if anything, better than they were back then live).  My current faves are Our Lady Peace and Deathcab for Cutie.  I've been a fan of Counting Crows since they started, and really love Coheed and Cambria.  I have such an ecclectic mix of songs on my mix cd for my car, it would take too long to list them all, but I even have some old Queensryche on there...some Dishwalla.  Anyone ever heard of TNT? Also, David, my ex had a christian rock band called Eloi, so we did a lot of "touring around" with them.  From him I discovered a lot of really good underground christian rock (and some not-so-underground stuff) like the Lost Dogs, Common Children...he even opened for Guardian once.

    One thing I never mentioned on here is that one of my current hobbies that is particularly sedentary is playing online games.  My boyfriend, my daughter and my mother even play, so getting up and moving around is very important for me.  It would be easy to sit around all the time and just get fat.  I have to force myself when I am not at work to get up and do things so that I'm not just sitting all day.  It's a tough thing to balance, especially when my job is sitting around as well.  I need this! I have to keep moving.

    MrGuy!!!  Holy cow, you are built like a tank now!  You must be so proud of yourself!  Flobee!  I wish I could claim that weight loss.  I will by next time, and I'll be in a size 6!  With you guys to cheer me on, I can't lose.

    Sharon, thank you for the encouragement.  It really does help me since we are the same age.  Great picture!  The thing I am most proud of...I guess that is the fact that I didn't get discouraged and quit.  I mean, it's not really my style to quit, but I do have a tendency to skip workouts when I'm too tired or down, or to slack off and not give it my all.  I did NOT do that this time! I like that I wanted to change something about my life, and I took control and did it.  Now I'm looking forward to starting again, rested and fresh, and giving it my all.  The last week of June will be a challenge because we are going on that trip, but I'm not in the official contest, so I won't worry about that.  I had hoped to be size 6 for that...oh, well.  At least I'll have energy!

    Laurie, you're such a sweet person.  Your nickname should reflect that!

    I'm not done, but have to run for a bit...I'll be back later!



  • Melissa- I think that going from a 14 to a 10 is really great progress.  You gotta give yourself a pat on the back for that.

    Mr Guy- Awesome transformation!  Seems like I remember you saying that you were going longer on the cardio.  How long were your cardio sessions?  Were you at a steady pace or doing HIIT.  Again, you look great.  Keep up the great work.

  • Thank you for the compliments... Makes me smile :)

    My choice of cardio equipment is the Arc Trainer. I just seem to get more out of it and it does not hurt my knees. The week my gym was closed they actually installed new updated arc trainers. The first time I got on it, I felt like I had strapped on a jet pack!!

    I really kicked up my cardio. I'm doing HITT for 45 minutes on non lift days which is 4 days. Warm up 10, Hitt for 1, rest 2, then cool down for 8. On lift days, I'm doing 40 minutes of steady pace cardio after lifting and this is 3 times a week. Yes, I'm doing cardio 7 days a week. I think I've become addicted to it. Guess there's worse things to be addicted to.. :)

    Since cardio is so boring, I watch music videos on Youtube with my iPhone. My gym has wi-fi so it' doesn't use my phone bandwidth.

    I'm determined to get abs and be a huge mass of muslce. My goal is for when boys come around to date my daughter, they look at me and think to themselves "I sure would not want to piss him off ". LOL

  • Happy Tuesday Gladiators!

    @MrGuy - WOW!  Look at you "stud muffin".  The muscles in your legs are very impressive.  Awesome results my friend.  Lots to be proud about. Love the "huge mass of muscle" visual image! 

    @Melissa - Terrific finish!  How exciting to go from a size 14 to a 10!!!!  I dropped from a 14 to a 12 but have the same C2 as you - SIZE 6 we come.  You rock!

    @Flobee - 15lbs removed is incredible.  So much for you to celebrate.  Love how you are incorporating the law of reciprocity by gifting friends with the BFL book.  Fabulous jesture :-)  I'm excited that you have a goal of posting every day during C2.  That will give us the opportunity to get to know you better.  Looking forward to that.

    @Michele - thank you for your kinds words and great post above.  I am super excited to have you join our C2 challenge with us.  Such great additions we have picked up along the way.  I love coming here for motiviation, inspiration, and a bit of silliness from our boys.  God love them!

    @Justin - FINISH STRONG!!!!  You've got this!  Way to push yourself up and out of bed even when you really didn't want to.  Sounds like your body and mind rewarded you with a killer workout.  Nicely done!  Be creative in the hotel gym if you need to and don't forget that there are hundreds of exercises you can using your own body weight.  Muscle failure comes quickly for me with push ups, tricep dips, lunges, squats, and calf raises :-)  T-4 days until C1 is a wrap for you.

    @David and Kat - how's it going?  Miss hearing from you both.  I owe you an email Kat - I just thought about that.  I'll go back and find your email address shortly :-)

    Ok - I know this video won't apply directly to our boys out there but it's still an eye-opener. Ladies - this brought tears to my eyes because it is such a sad truth.  We are so hard on ourselves that it really does impact every single aspect of our life.  Goal for C2 - be comfortable in my own skin again.

    Have a great BFL day - going to try out a yoga class after work today ;-)


  • Congrats to everyone on finishing! It felt really weird not heading straight to the gym after work last night. I agree with Melissa that I feel adrift without my regimented schedule of working out daily. I can't wait to C2 to begin and get back to a schedule. I need to work on figuring out what I want my goals to be for C2. I have not taken my after C1/before C2 photos, so I need to do that, but I will share a picture of myself... 

    Sharon--I watched that video earlier today and it was really eye opening. I have to agree that it is the sad truth about the way we feel about ourselves. In my opinion, all of the "stranger" description pictures looked much more like the person than their description of themselves. Thanks for posting.

    Mr Guy--Great pictures! What a change!!

    Justin--Keep up the good work during your last week! Enjoy St. Louis this week. Wish the weather was going to be better!

    Melissa--Congrats on going from size 14 to 10! That is a big change and you should be very proud! 

    Michele--Welcome to our group!

    Flobee--Great job on 15 lbs! 

    Kat--Can't wait to see your 12 week photos!! 

  • Happy Tuesday (and 3rd day of much needed REST!!! ;) to my Wonderful BFL Family! -

    I've only been MIA for a couple days, but it feels like forever because this Forum has become such a big part of my daily routine (I am sooo Happy and feel so blessed BTW that I still get to have you all for another 3+ Months cuz I'd miss you ALL like crazy – we may just have to plan a BFL Family “Union” at the end of C2 – Vegas anyone!?! :)... and Yaaay, my first post on here w/out having to type up the BFL DLFL heheh. Actually it really wasn't that bad, and it really did help me with my daily Engagement and personal Accountability on here. I will be more than happy to do it again tho; cuz I can actually go back through this thread and very easily “copy and paste” the DLFL's for C2  if it was helpful to the Team... Even if only ONE person would like for me to do that, consider it done ;)

    Hah and Wow do we all have some different “Tune Fav's” - besides Metallica maybe!?! Lol. I think makin a “Playlist” that fits everyone's style is gonna be a bit of a Challenge, so if I do end up putting something together for us “Gladiators” it will just have to be a random surprise for everyone ;) Oh and some more great news! I got another Modeling gig this weekend out at Tempe Town Lake for a Salon – again nothing big, however I absolutely LOVE doing stuff like that (especially for “the 220 pound invisible girl on the inside”) It has really felt great to re-connect to that part of my Life, thanks to BFL!!! :) Amazing how much “LIFE” we can tend to miss out on when we are unhappy or don't feel comfortable in our own skin; making this Platform so incredibly Empowering on so many Levels. I am witnessing many great things being “attracted” to me almost effortlessly because of all the Positive Energy and Support that I have created around me... remember Gladiators, like attracts like; and again it works both ways, positive and negative, so set those healthy boundaries to keep the good stuff IN and keep the bad stuff OUT!!!

    Haven't taken my “After Pics” yet, I'm scheduled for a Professional Shoot next Monday!!! Sooo excited :) I may also just take some regular “after photos” in the next couple of days so I'll at least have something for now. Also, need to get myself weighed and go get my BF% calculated, and finish those Essay questions – Hah it never ends! Still have no clue on how to figure out the lean muscle mass weight gain (other than maybe those “random” six pounds that showed up before any weight loss happened IDK; shud prob just call the BFL/EAS hotline and find out) All I know is that my clothes are finally fitting better again and that I'm down somewhere around 8.5 inches (maybe more now) overall.

    I'll check back in tomorrow and read through everyone's posts! Love you ALL Gnight xoxo Kat

    P.S. Laurie – Got ur email and shipping address, so your BFL book and a little extra something special are on their way to you right this second :) Muah

  •    Check this out - This is actually really cool... I was goin through my Storage recently and found my Military Graduation Squadron T-shirt from when I was 18 years old (over 15 years ago!!!) One of the guys in my Element was a Comic Artist and drew the Super Hero Military chick in favor of me :), and then just a random dude. Anyways, I just found it, and the then random "Super Hero Military guy" actually favors my NOW Boyfriend Matt, much more when his shirt is off Lol. Thought that was a kinda cool coincidence tho, 15 years later. And then the four legged one is my Baby, Fendi - the other Love of MY LIFE :) Night Everyone - enjoy your rest!!!

    Oh and Justin - YOU are almost there boyee!!! We are ALL at the Finish Line cheering YOU on!!!

    And Amy - Meeeeoooowww!!! Ur gorgeoug Girl!! xoxo

    xoxo Hollywood