Anyone up for starting on 9/23?

  • Hi gang!

    Sorry I've been slow to check in - I unexpectedly adopted a cat yesterday and I've been preoccupied :-)  

    So far, so good on the challenge.  Upper body yesterday, BFL style on chest and back, and then a slightly modified shoulder's bi's and tri's circuit.  Left shoulder was a little sore today (I've had rotator cuff surgery on both sides; the left was a full tear), but not too bad.  I had a little extra time for cardio today, so I did a mix of easy and intervals - I confess, I don't like the way BFL does intervals.  Don't get me wrong, they work, and if you are not used to doing interval training, they are a great way to find your way out of your comfort zone; I just prefer shorter, more intense intervals with straightforward recovery rather than the gradual build he describes.  Anyway, I did 20 minutes easy on the elliptical, followed my 10X200m sprints on the rowing machine, followed by 20 minutes easy on the spin bike.  I have been slacking on my cardio since my knee surgery, so it felt good to really work up a sweat!

    I was wrong about the hardest part of this - it was looking at the before pictures - ugh!!  Nevertheless, I am posting them below to keep myself honest.  If you want, you can also check out my after picture from 10 years ago in the gallery - look for "helcat"


    The good news is I know there is lots of muscle under all the fat, but it's still hard to see myself with a gut and those mutton chop upper arms.  I have always put weight on in my butt and legs, but the gut and upper arm fat only appeared after I hit 50.  Just curious - how old is everyone else? Helen

    Whatever you can do or dream, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it! -Goethe-

    Discipline is remembering what you want :-)

  • Helen - You're absolutely right. One of the hardest parts is looking at your own before pictures! I knew I had work to do but until I saw my pictures - didn't know I had THAT much work to do!!

    I can DEFINITELY see your muscle!! I am 25. Congrats on your new cat! :)

    Made a mistake last night by going to the gym (cardio day). I had quite a headache and thought I would just do what I could - I did 13 of the 20 minutes which I was happy with considering - but I entered the gym with a headache and left the gym with a bad migraine :( Absolutely ruined the rest of my evening. Guess this means I can't work out when I have headaches which is going to set me back a lot on this program and that is highly disappointing to me.

    Question - can any of you recommend a specific pair of gloves for weight lifting & where to get them? I've never been able to find a good pair that fits. The womens gloves are always too small for me.

  • Cbells - are you sure you're getting enough water? dehydration can be a real headache trigger.

    Jess - just curious why you are so anti-coffee?  Granted, you shouldn't be having it all day long, but a little bit is actually good for you.  Is is what you're adding to the coffee that concerns you?  I sometimes make a cappucino with vanilla protein powder (actually, Syntha-6 cookies and cream is my favorite) a little bit of almond milk (healthy fat) and cinnamon.

    Today's leg workout went OK, but was a little depressing as to how light I had to go on the weights because of my knees - I used to be able to squat 2x my body weight, but I don't see myself ever getting back there.  Eating was also just OK - I made healthy choices, but ate more than I should have.  Still, way better than I had been eating!

    How is everyone else doing?

    Whatever you can do or dream, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it! -Goethe-

    Discipline is remembering what you want :-)

  • I'm doing well.  Life has been a bit insane this week with the wife and kids.  Trying to make sure that I find time for my meals and workouts has been a bear, but I managed it.  I hit the weights pretty hard this week and have been feeling it, but I did miss the soreness.  It lets me know that I'm doing something positive.

    @Helcat - you say that coffee is good.  Why is that?  I was under the impression that caffeine wasn't all that great, so I have cut out all caffeine.  I had some headaches from it in my first week, but nothing so far this week.  That was rough for me as I'm a computer programmer and sit behind a monitor all day at work.

  • Hi all. Had a decent LBWO on Wednesday (though I didn't hit too many 10's). I have a similar problem to you, Helen. Not as severe - but both of my knee caps are out of place and I have to be very careful what I do. This also causes me a lot of pain. My legs are very strong but I am limited due to my knees so I will find it hard to hit 10's.

    I had my very first craving yesterday since starting the program. Salt! and it was SEVERE. It started at 8 a.m. and by lunch time I was volatile. I would have hurt someone for a tortilla chip. I remained strong (still don't know how) and went to the grocery store and bought a jar of green olives - had a few of those :)

    Had an OK cardio work out yesterday - wasn't very pleased with myself. I felt great beforehand and a couple minutes into my work out got a bad headache. It went away shortly after but was painful while working out (I do the elliptical). I was breathing properly and drinking plenty of water so not sure what went on there!!

    Helen - I probably am not getting enough water but I am drinking a lot of it. Luckily for me I never (and never have) drink anything else other than water. I don't drink soda, juice, etc. ever and RARELY drink coffee. However, I know I am not drinking the amount of water I should be. I am trying to work up to it. It's hard right now because I literally have to pee every 5 minutes!!! Does this slow down after your body gets used to the huge increase in water intake? I'm not sleeping as well as normal because I can't stop going to the bathroom... and I'm not even drinking the amount of water I should be! It's also embarassing at work to have to go constantly. Has anyone else experienced this & will it get better??

    As far as my headaches, I have chronic migraine and have had it since I was 10. I've had every test under the sun and there is no cure. It's very unfortunate but I am sadly used to living life with constant headaches. I know I will have less with a better diet & more water but unfortunately they will never go away as much as I wish they would.

  • sgerig - re caffeine: if you are a programmer, you probably do drink way too much (at least judging by the ones I know) so cutting down is a good thing :-)  However, I see no need to cut it out completely unless you have a pre-existing condition (high blood pressure, cardiac arhythmia, fibrocysitic breast pain) that it may exacerbate. 

    1-2 cups per day don't have a negative effect for most people, and can have some positives on performance (mental and physical), mood, and metabolism; caffeine is also correlated (i.e no proven cause and effect, but highly related in large population studies) with reduced risk of type II diabetes, some liver and mouth cancers, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

    It definitely  has a positive effect on performance for endurance athletes (here's one study:;jsessionid=IVxIx5rp0tSTchI1xBGC.36).  Personally, I am a cyclist and a triathlete, and I see a huge difference when I use caffeinated power gels.  From what I understand, caffeine frees up acids so they are more easily metabolized - i.e you burn more fat vs carbohydrate.  I don't believe any studies have shown a positive effect for weight lifting though, and I know it can interfere with the actions of creatine if you are using that as a supplement.

    Bottom line - I don't think it is worth cutting it out completely if you enjoy it, and don't personally see any negative effects, but you shouldn't have more than 1-2 cups a day.

    cbells - I have always drunk a lot of water, so I can't say from personal experience, but I have a bunch of friends who are body builders, and they tell me that the crazy peeing from increased water consumption does improve over time.

    That sucks about your migraines - I have only had a couple of them, all in the last few years (menopause, I suspect), but they are debillitating!  I can't imagine living with them as a regular thing.  Have you ever tried any non-traditional treatments, like acupunture?  I have had great success with it for other things, and when I can afford it (money is tight right now and my health insurance doesn't cover it) I see someone for my knees.

    I gave into a major chocolate craving yesterday, and had a half a chocolate donut - the miracle is that I only had a half one!  There was a box of donuts at work that I kept passing by, and I finally grabbed the half on my way out of work.  I always crave salt when I work out - luckily I have very low blood pressure and I actually need a little more salt in my diet than the average person, but I try to get it from healthy sources rather than reaching for the chips. :-)

    I am feeling pretty good; happy to be back into a more regular exercise routine and eating better.  Haven't seen the scale move at all, which surprises me given how awful my  eating had been before, but I think I may be PMSing - not sure because I am peri-menopausal, so it's a crap shoot whether I get a period on any given month!  Sorry if that is TMI for anyone, but honestly, menopause has been a big challenge for keeping my weight down, so it's a big part of why I am doing the challenge right now.

    How is everyone else doing?  Check in and let us know! Helen

    Whatever you can do or dream, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it! -Goethe-

    Discipline is remembering what you want :-)

  • Hey guys,

    I'm new here! Like cbells said above, not many people started on the 16th like I did, so I'd love to join your group. It's fast moving, so I've had a lot to read to catch up :)

    I'm 25 currently.

    Ok so here are my answers to the questions from the beginning:

    How much weight would you like to lose? I want to decrease my body fat by 6% points, so that would be 9 pounds to lose for me. (I'm 23.4% when I started)

    Do you have any other strength / performance goals? I would like to gain 10 pounds of muscle since I think my main problem is lack of it!

    What do you think will be the hardest part for you? Getting the weight training right since I've never really done it like this before. ( I have done kettle bells before mostly as the closest thing)

    What do you think will be the easiest? Cardio, I've run for years, and now I know why I didn't get results! lol

    What behaviors are you going to need to change? Positive thinking daily to gain motivation for my goals (not used to doing that)

    What routines will you need to develop? Eating 6 meals a day, exercising every day, exercising the law of reciprocation daily, viewing my goals daily and positive thinking... drinking enough water!

    What do you need support for from the group? Oh I guess the thing I worry about most is whether I'm doing things right.... whether things are working etc.

    Are you going to do before/after pics or measurements? I will be taking pictures every week, body fat weekly, circumference and weight. I've read that keeping track of measurements can help with motivation and awareness.

    Here is my before pic! ( I look a lot worse than I thought I did) 

  • cbells to answer your question about water, I too found I'm suddenly peeing a lot more....almost two weeks later I still am but it definitely feels like it's getting better!

  • Thank you for your feedback Helen & Galina :) Glad I am not the only one peeing constantly! Haha.

    Helen - I wish I could say I had never tried acupuncture (so I'd have something else to try!!) but I have. I had success the first 2 weeks but it didn't help after that (I did it for quite awhile). And yes, very very expensive! I'm currently doing Botox for migraines injections and that's been a rollercoaster in itself.

    It's been a rough few days for me. Had a horrific migraine on Friday and had to skip the gym. Saturday was my free day - woke up with a migraine. UBWO this morning - was great - felt great to start the day right. Have had a horrific headache all day. Think I am going to need to start prednisone treatment again tomorrow - nothing will kick this migraine. I'd rather have a "factory reset"!!! Hope you've all had a great weekend.

  • I'm starting afresh tomorrow and I'd like to join this group. Helcat, you and I sort of "met" on this site two years ago, it's nice to find a group with someone I sort of know.

    I can see you have regulars who have gotten to know each other. My name is Patricia and I'll post more tomorrow.

  • I'm starting today and I'm excited!  I did BFL several years ago and loved it. I have the cookbook, too, and I would say it's okay to use it. I mean, duh.  It's Bill Phillips' cookbook. Why would he publish a book that doesn't coincide with the plan.  I'm sure the hard core body builders don't use it, but regular folks like me do.

  • Helen....I'm turning 49 this week.  Woo hoo.

  • sdowdyo - What were your results like last time you did BFL using the cookbook? Just curious :) I know I won't get the results the champions do using the EFL book without eating 100% clean but am curious if I can really lose my stomach fat sticking to the EFL book. Thank you - and welcome! :)

  • Good afternoon fellow BFL'ers!

    I did the first day of the twelve week plan today - an upper body workout. I've been doing it most of the time anyway but joining the challenge will help me with consistency. I've started going to the gym first thing in the morning again because if I wait other things take over. I really enjoy going first thing anyway, it is a fantastic way to start the day.

    To sdowdyo; You and I started on the same day so we can celebrate our little milestones together! I'm glad you're here. How did your workout go today?

    to ChelseaIreland: I hope your headache was better today. Don't feel guilty when you have to take time off because of that ... you are obviously committed. Just give yourself credit for all you are doing and stay on track as much as possible. Keep you the good work.

    (Off topic )To Helcat; I "adopted" a stray cat recently too ... ten weeks ago to be exact ... and two weeks later she had five kittens on my bed. They turned eight weeks old last night and they're absolutely adorable.

    Did you adopt a cat or a kitten? How is the kitty doing and how are you doing with being a new cat owner? I hope you are enjoying it.

    Back on topic now; The hardest part of the plan for me is eating six times a day ... I can barely manage five most of the time and miss that half the time. What works best for me is to try to eat every 2 1/2 hours, that way I am not eating just before going to bed.

    I'll take pictures within the next few days and post them. It's humiliating but it's a good way to face reality. The image will be burned into my brain and the visual stimulii helps me to remember why it's worth it to put major effort into this.

    I hope everyone had a good workout today.


  • Hi Patricia :)

    Thank you so much for your kind comments, I do appreciate it.

    Today (so far) is my first headache-free day since early last week!

    Not clean-eating but I made the Taco Pasta Salad recipe out of the EFL book last night for my family and everyone LOVED it!

    How is everyone doing??