2013 Summer Challengers

  • Evenin' all,

    Thought I'd just check in and say hello from The Land of Day Two. Today's been good, got my workout in first thing in the morning and eating has been good. Drinking chocolate whey protein shakes has helped a lot with the sugary cravings.

    I'm splitting my Free Day into three Free meals, the first of which will be lunch tomorrow with a coworker and the second meal for a monthly Happy Hour with some coworkers a few hours later. I'm not a drinker, but we tend to split plates of appetizers as a group and then split the bill too. I'm not going to sit in a bar eating salmon and rice out of a plastic container while everyone around me eats nachos and knocks back beer, though that might change as I get further into the Challenge! Then I'm planning my third free meal for Sunday when I am taking a friend to visit her elderly grandmother - we always take a take 'n bake pizza so she won't have to cook for us.  Does anyone else split up their Free Day like this?

    I'm in Sacramento and we have our fair share of hot weather. It got up to 110 for a few days a few weeks ago. This weekend will be 103 and 104. I've been hoping that the Mailbox Monster will eat my utility bill and I just won't get one this month.

    Hope everyone's staying cool.


  • Happy Thursday everyone!  Hope everyone is doing well.  Had a good cardio and abs workout to start my morning.  The good week continues for me.  Someone broke into my wife's car yesterday, which shook things up as far as my nice, routine schedule goes, but I was able to maintain schedule on my meals.  Only because I was prepared with food and shakes.  The importance of planning shines through again!  

    Caity, I don't think legs are my most challenging.  Most hated, yes, but probably not most challenging.  I don't know why I hate them so much other than I have to put so much weight on my legs in order to get an effective workout, and leg soreness is worse to me than any other soreness.  Now, I do know that my legs have excelled since beginning in January, probably more than any other body part, and in order to get them better, I need to continue to lift the heavy weight.  I simply refuse to sell myself short because I don't like that body part.  I just tough through it and deal with the soreness (okay, I probably whine to my wife quite a bit, but she's a good sport about consoling me).  

    Funny that you mention the importance of sleep Caity.  I just wrote in my journal yesterday morning that I didn't think I was getting enough sleep this week, and I needed to try to focus more on getting to bed earlier, to allow my body to maximize in growth and recovery.  I always think sleep and water are two things that don't get mentioned enough by people, as something that is critically important to your development.  

    Anyway, hope everyone is having a great day!!!


  • Good morning Folks!  Day 4 and feeling good.  My lats were sore for the first time in a long while, so proves to me how important it is to change it up and keep a weight journal.  I've had an eternal quest to do chin ups (unassisted-not there yet) so backed off dumbbell rows in favor of specificity training for quite some time.  Good reminder for me!  Eating has been easy this week...I'm enjoying the ride because I know challenges lie ahead.

    Laura-the answer to your question depends on who is doing the answering :).  Personally, I try to stick to one free day during a challenge and then after I'm through, I allow for more flexibility (not too much though, unless I want to start back at square one).  That helps for me so I don't get too lax.  There are some who never sway and advise you to do it by the book...period.  All or nothing thinking can get some folks discouraged and they quit.  If your 3 free meals per week works (meaning you stop at 3) and you like the results you are seeing I personally don't see a problem.  If you find it hard to get back on plan after the tweak or you just aren't seeing results, then I'd keep it to one free day.  I do tweak my cardio days and do cardio in the afternoon in a semi-fasted state.  But I begin work at 6 a.m. most days and am not willing to give up precious sleep.  My body responds positively to this tweak, so I can live with it.  

    Mike, I hear you on the lower body.  When my legs and butt are sore, that next day of cardio can feel like I'm carrying cinderblocks!

    Hope everyone is feeling good!

  • Hi all,

    Day Three here!

    Didn't get my full workout at the gym this morning - was very late in arriving because at 4:45am I came down the stairs to get into the car and there was a domestic violence situation going on with my downstairs neighbor (again.) At the request of the wife, I called 911 and spent a while on the phone with dispatch. Not the best start to the day. Still made it to the gym, came home, and I think they were arresting the husband, I'm not sure. I hope they did.

    Turned down amazing chocolate chip cookies at work today without a second thought, eating has been good. Body is sore - especially my triceps!! I'm about to go make myself my evening protein shake.

    My dear fiance tells me that he is doing well on his program, as we are doing this together but he is out of town for now, and I am so proud of him.

    Check in with you tomorrow.


  • I love checking in and seeing how everyone is doing. It is day 4 for me and doing well so far!  Glad to be back in the BFL saddle ;) My schedule is a little nuts (nights-12 hour shifts),  so my posting may be inconsistent. But I will check in on my days off. The support here makes all the difference!

  • I do wish the forum was a little like Facebook. There were several posts I wanted to 'like' LOL

  • Hi all!  So nice to read everyones commits and how you all are doing.  I am almost finished with week 2!  Still loving my workouts and I have been eating great.  I haven't wanted anything off the list of foods.  NExt week I am going to bump up the weight on my LBWO.  I only have 1 next week so I figured that be good time to bump it up and see how it goes.  I have NO upper body strength so I think I am still good on that.  It is killer to even do bicep curls with 15 pounds 6 x's.  So, tomorrow is my free day and again I am so afraid to eat anything none healthy because I do not want to have to spend the whole week working it off.  I would rather be working off the weight that I already have.  BUT...I have a wine tasting that I need to go to.  I guess I could be one of those experienced wine tasting people that actually spit it out after tasting.  I have never done this because I feel like whats the point if you aren't going to enjoy it.  Even if I don't care for the wine I'm drinking it!  I mean come on people the wine tasting is "free".  Well I hope everyone has a great weekend!  Try to stay cool.

  • Happy Friday everyone!  Since I'm a 5 day worker, I'm especially glad to see it come and almost go!  My sincere aplogies for those of you who have to work this weekend.  :)  Started out the day with a pretty intense LBWO.  However, I'm afraid I have to move up on weight on my squats.  That hurts me to even think about it.  However, I sensed today that my quads could lift even more than they did today, so we'll load it on next Wednesday and hope I don't cave while I have all that weight on my shoulders!!!  Eating today has gone well.  No major problems.  All meals have gone as planned, and I'm about an hour away from my last meal, so I'm excited, because I want real food and my last meal was a Myoplex.  Almost to the end of Week 2.  Things are going well, however, I can tell it's Friday, because I'm starting to crave unauthorized foods.  Only one more day of authorized eating and then I can cheat a tad...or a lot...who knows!  Hope everyone has a great day!!!


  • Hi all,

    Day 4 here. Just wanted to report things are good, for the most part.

    I think I have come down with a serious case of runner's knee - I have never experienced this pain in my knee before, although it has hurt frequently over the years. May effect my cardio! Ack! Maybe I can put some ice on it and see if it helps? I've been rubbing Icy Hot all over it too. It looks normal, it just feels like there's something wrong with my range of motion.

    Eating's good, right on target!

    I'm happy to report my fiance is on plan too, so proud of him. So proud we're doing this together. It really is a team effort.

    Check in with you tomorrow! Glad to read about everyone else's week and upcoming weekend!


  • Happy Saturday everyone!!!  Hope everyone is having a great day!  Just finished my last workout for the day, and I have to report, that of all the times of done this challenge (I believe this is my 6th), I feel like this week was my best overall week I've ever had.  Not sure how it will pay off on the scale, but mentally, I don't ever remember feeling like I have this week, after each workout.  I literally put everything I had into each workout and walked out of the gym thinking..."That was a great workout!"  There's always been a day when I've thought, "I probably could've done better on ???" with ??? being whatever for that workout.  So, I'm pretty happy.  I slept in today, as I felt my body needed some good rest after a long week of work.  Felt great.  Delayed the workout by quite a bit, which will of course delay meals, but that's okay, it's the weekend for me.  Tomorrow's free day, and life is good right now. :)

    Laura, not sure if you have access to an elliptical, but you may want to try that for your knee.  I hurt my knee running back in March and I went to elliptical.  It didn't bother me really on that, and I was able to do workouts to max capacity.  I just had to take time off running for a while.  Personally, for me, I think I still had too much weight on my frame at that time, and all that weight impacted my knee.  I hurt my knee a few years back on leg day, and I re-irritated it in March.  I also wore a knee brace on leg day, just for extra support.  My knee did heal (or at least the pain went away...I'm not convinced I don't have some torn cartilage in it) and now I'm able to do pretty much anything on it.  Anyway, best of luck on recovery and I hope it doesn't hurt your performance.  That is cool that your fiance is doing the program with you.  My wife follows the diet with me, but doesn't do workouts.  She's done the workouts, but I can't get her to do them consistently.  She's unsure of the BFL program, so she always wants me to be with her in the weight room and with my work schedule, that's not always possible.  I wish she would do the full program.  She's seen some good results with the diet.  I know she'd be happy with the full program results.

    Okay everyone, have a great day!!!!!!


  • Hi all!

    Day 5!

    @MJelly/Mike - I have tried the elliptical at the gym, and it actually was terrible for me - seemed to make my knee worse! Which is strange because i know everyone from doctors on down recommend it for bad knees. But it made my knee feel like it was moving in the wrong way, a very bad way, I kept getting internal distress signals that said "Stop stop stop!" Not sure why. Maybe it was just too swollen at the time?

    About your wife...do you think she might be intimidated being in the weight room by herself? I know that the weight room is frequently filled with huge, grunting men - sometimes posturing with each other or seemingly glaring at one another as they try to one up another on their weight lifting limits - this can be very intimidating for a woman! Sometimes there's not a single other woman in the entire weight section and it can feel strange being in that section of the gym, when there's 20 cardio bunnies on the treadmill.

    I think there was a Champion gal years ago who was unique in that she did her cardio walking. She had knee damage too I think. I remember reading about her. Maybe I could do walking with a bit of speed walking for the high points.

    Never thought about a knee brace though, glad to hear from someone who has used one that it help. I will look into that, thank you!

    Took my second free meal of the week today, eating an enormous breakfast right before I went to the tattoo artist so that I would be sleepy. Eggs benedict, a slice of apple coffee cake, and a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie that was the size of a small clock. Delicious! The rest of the day was all protein shakes, egg whites, turkey bacon, a peach, English muffin. Oops, come to think of it, I haven't had a single vegetable today. Must go grocery shopping tomorrow.

    Hope everyone's doing great! See you tomorrow!


  • Enjoying my free day after Week 2.  No major changes on the scale, but after such a big week last week, that's pretty much what I expected.  Not irritated by it, as I know I had a great week in the gym and that it did what it was supposed to do.

    Laura, we have a home gym, so I know she's not intimitated by men in the gym.  However, when I'm at work, she has the kids (especially now during summer break) and they're attached to her hip, so her time to workout would be at night, but by the time I get home, it's time for dinner, and by the time we get the kids in bed, I'm usually ready for bed.  She also works some nights, so then she's not able to do it then.  What hurts is that I work in central time but live in eastern time, and it takes me an hour to get home, which according to the clock, is two hours on my way home.  The time change benefits me in the morning, but not in the afternoons.  Still trying to get her to figure out how she can work it into her schedule.  I know she can...she just needs to get that will to do it.  Not trying to push her...just trying to encourage her, because I want her to WANT to do it for herself.


  • Laura, I got a foam roller and it was like a miracle for my knee. Zero problems now. They run 10-15 bucks.

  • Hi everyone!  Hope you all had a good weekend and are ready for tomorrow.  I finished week 1 and enjoyed my first official free day yesterday...it wasn't a total glut-fest (which I have done in previous challenges), so no stomach aches.  But it was nice tasting a few things that aren't "on plan" which is one of the nice things about BFL:  planned food treats.  I keep it pretty simple during the week so free day is a nice time to experiment with different recipes when I have more time.

    Sorry 'bout the knee Laura.  A lot of people I know that have knee issues swear that the brace helps.  Hope you come up with a pain-free way to get your cardio training.

    Mike, you are wise to not push your wife.  Maybe just offering to take the kids off her hands for a couple of hours will help her get her workouts in.  My kids are all grown now (have 4), so it's easy for me to forget how challenging it is for parents to take care of their own needs too.  Definitely helps when our spouses are supportive!

    Hope you all have a week filled with 10s (in all areas)--I hear my blender calling me for a chocolate myoplex light shake with LOTS of ice!



  • Hi all,

    I'm up later than it is wise to if I want to make sure to get my workout in tomorrow morning, so I just wanted to say Day 6 went off without a hitch, had my third and final free meal of the week (pizza and movie night with friends) and got a workout in this morning. I definitely think I am down a pound or two, things look better in the mirror.

    I also bought a huge container of NF plain greek yogurt to start mixing in with my protein shakes. I have found the texture to be too liquidity, no matter if I make them with milk or water. The shakes go down a lot easier for me if it's more like a smoothie than an actual shake.

    See you tomorrow!