Week of May 17th challenge starters post here

  • I had to eat a Myoplex lite bar this morning pre-weight training...I do not have energy to do weights let alone push it..

    I don't think I am "under eating" or overeating so I'm confused as to why I have so little energy to get through my workouts...

  • Alex.  When I mentioned machines it was in reference to the gizmos on them that measure calories burned and heartrate.  

  • Welcome Brad, congrats on your decision to get healthier.  Sounds like you have all the equipment you will need.  I am 44 years old as well and have been surprised what I could still make my body do once I got my brain engaged.


  • Happy Friday Everyone!

    I had a really good Upper Body workout today....my arms feel like limp spaghetti!  Looking forward to tonight...going dancing with a friend!  

    Enjoy the weekend!


  • Hey Dustin,

    Before photos can do that.  It is like a wake up call to action.  I have to admit I spent a lot of time really looking at my before photo.  I used it as my computer desktop background..  I know it really felt bad to BE in this body and analyzing it gave a reality check on how I might be seen by others.  Each week I take a new one and compare it to the first.  I get so motivated by the slow but steady progress I've made.

  • Congrats Heather!  Noodle arms make for leaned toned arms.

  • Alex,

    On my weight training days I a make my protein shake about 1 1/2 portions.  I drink 1/2 portion on the way to the gym and a whole portion following the workout.  I have found that I feel more energized when I drink that 1/2 portion before.  I may not lift more, but I feel better.

    I don't do this on cardio days as I really do want that to be on an empty stomach.

    Also please pay attention to your body, I am amazed at how many times I have "felt" tired and it was my mind saying it while my body was perfectly capable of doing what it was told to do.

    If you are hitting all six meals the day before with the correct portion sizes and your body is truly weak, it may be time for a trip to the doctor.  Those six meal should be giving you all the energy your body needs to do BFL.


  • OK 517ers.By the end of today you should have put in 5 good workouts.  You are sore in a good way as your muscles have had new kinds of demands put on them.  You might not have totally figured out your proper intensity levels yet and that is OK.  By the end of next week you will have worked out UB and LB three times each and have more data to work with.  Cardio was easier for me to figure out.  

    Many people say that BFL is 80% about the food.  I tend to agree.  Even though we measure our portions with the Palm/Fist method (and only choosing authorized foods,) BFL in the end is about calorie restriction.  Between your Base Metabolic Rate and the increase in exercise you are getting you should have a calorie deficit running.  That being said some people don't start to see visible results until later weeks.

    If you haven't done it yet read "The Paper Towel Theory"  mikeharris.org/.../the-paper-towel-theory

    So my question for you today is......What has been in your nutrition plan this week that is not on the authorized food list.  I'm not talking about cheats you had, I am asking for things that you think are OK for you for the 12 weeks of this challenge but are not on the list.

    I'll give an example,  one of my favorite foods is Thai.  I really enjoy the hot/sweet/peanut taste.  When I am preparing my meals in containers for the week I will make a sauce with Asian hot sauce, Peanut Butter, Splenda and Water.  I know that PB is not on my authorized list.  I will put a portion of baked chicken bre ast, brown rice and a veggie in my container and pour a couple of tablespoons of the sauce over the chicken.  I love this stuff and I have also computed the nutritional aspect of the sauce into the meal.  If I ever thought that this was derailing my progress I would cut it in a heartbeat. 

    Tomorrow I will give my thoughts on free day and you can also read around on the forum to get more.  It seems like a new post on free day comes up every few days.


    My best wishes for health, happiness and discipline to you.


    C1W10D1  (Yay! I hit week 10)

  • Hey James sound like you and I have similar tastes in food..although I have "been good" and cut the peanuts out of my foods.

    I love Thai, Vietnamese, some Cambodian, Lebanese, Indian...

    Are you using chili garlic sauce in that sauce?

    I use Splenda in my Nuoc Cham( their uber-condiment) as the sauce is mostly water based so virtually no fat unless it's coming from the fish sauce.

    Have you experimented with the curry bases in Thai cooking? You can get them in cans at Asian groceries. I use them all the time with lower fat coconut milk( haven't in 3 weeks, but I might on sunday my "free day"

    Green curry, Panag curry, yellow and sour curry....yum-o!

    why not lightly stir fry your chicken and veggies in Pam and serve over your rice with your peanut sauce?

  • James, I'm eating 5 meals...I cannot get the last one in...

    still need to get my Myoplex protein shake in. school called and I had to deal with that..missed the 30 minute window...

    MAYBE I should up the carbs a little more...


    I am in countdown to a wedding and may have been slacking off my carbs to fit into my clothes (  insert ,sheepish grin here) LOL!

  • Oh, I know! ;0)

    I was STILL confessing! or admitting...maybe to semi cheating....LOL!

    I DO have a big question....The people at the Y say when you use machines you CAN do your whole body, upper and lower muscles 3 days a week. This is what I have been doing. NOT JUST lower body or upper body. I do both, start at 12 reps, up the weight, do 10, up the weight and do 8 then same thing and do 6. I watch the bars on the computer so I know when to contract ( to the count of two, and then lower to the count of 4)

    Is this still too much? I'd only be in the gym for 30 minutes if I only did upper or lower half...

    at this rate I spend 24 min on cardio 3 days weekly not counting the 5 min cool down and I was spending 90 minutes doing whole body weight lighting on machines ( 9 machines, 10 minutes per to do 4 sets each increasing weights each set)

    I am NOT as sore as I have been in week one..just getting through is tough..

  • This week went by so fast...I have worked 3 12 hr shifts...my feet are killing me and the idea of running or standing hurts. How can I work out 6xwk when on my day off all I want to do is sleep and soak my feet? Discouraged is an understatement at this point....SOS

  • I'm gonna tough love you here Alex, Get those meals in and don't accept any excuses from yourself.  There will always be something that comes up, you have to be ready for that.  Yes it is a different set of habits to adopt and takes planning.

    About the carbs...I'll be tough again here.  You posted here and in another thread that you were lacking energy and now you say you were "slacking" on carbs to fit into your clothes.  C'mon my friend, you didn't think the two were related?

    Edited to add after reading your last post:  OK Alex, now you said that you are doing some other exercise plan from some person at the Y.  It is great that you are exercising, but after reading how you have tweaked your food (carbs) and now aren't really doing the BFL prescribed exercise schedule, I really don't know what to say to help you.  You aren't doing BFL.


    This is to all of you 517ers.  When you start tweaking things thinking that you are going to accelerate your progress you are probably going to do yourself a disservice.  Nobody here on the forum can help and support you if you decide to "not really" follow the plan.



  • Hi NurseNat,

    I hear ya, your schedule will make it even more of a challenge to get in all the exercise that you need to.

    You have a decision to make.  Do it or not.

    I really wish I had a magic wand that I could wave over you to give you the boost of motivation that you might need right now.  If I had the magic wand, honestly I would use it on myself to get rid of my fat first :)

    I am hoping for you that this feeling will pass as you get into the routine of just doing what needs to get done to get healthier and fitter.  These feelings are quite normal, everyone will have them eventually during the next 12 weeks.  The true test is what you do in spite of what your mind is telling you.  Defeat those feeling once and the next time is easier.

  • Mandatory Reading for all my 517 friends.


    When I started BFL, I kinda kept track of alot of the things I was feeling and in a moment of self "tough love," I wrote a letter to myself.  I posted it in a thread and it has long been buried.  I am copying it here as a pre-emptive measure.  Maybe you have or will have some similar thoughts.  Work yourself through them and you should be fine.  If you get stuck and can't get past some of your own resistance to change then you will fail.  Honestly.

    I think we have about 30 people who have joined this thread and that makes me happy for each of you.  I sincerely think that by the end of the 12 week we will have less than 10 who stuck it out.  I hope I am wrong.

    Here is my letter to myself:

    If you appreciate tough love, this might work for you.  If you prefer being coddled and enabled, you might not want to read this.


    What do you want?

    Do you want to be thinner?

    Do you want to be more healthy?

    Do you want to repair years of abuse to your body?


    Whatever your reason for taking on a BFL challenge or even just adopting new habits within BFL guidelines, decide what your end or intermediate goals are.

    Change is difficult, Eating 5-6 nutritious meals a day when you are used to waiting all day and bingeing on fat and empty calories is difficult.  Eating vegetables when you really can't stand the smell of them is difficult.  Getting off the couch or out from behind your computer and engaging in challenging cardio and resistance training is difficult...or is it?

    In actuality none of the changes required by BFL are hard to master.  NONE OF THEM.  Thousands have successfully mastered a 12 week challenge and seen measurable results.  What may be difficult is your own resistance to change. 

    Whatever got you into your current state can be reversed.  You have to use the only tools that can get you out of it...your brain and your body. These are the same two things that made you the lazy fat mess that you are today. 

    Stop making excuses!

    I can't afford a gym.  

    Fine.  Use Google and look for alternatives for at home or get suggestions in online forums.

    I can't afford supplements.  

    Fine.  Do BFL without them.  Plan 6 nutritious meals a day of one lean protein portion, one nutritious carb portion and add veggies at least twice a day.

    I don't want to give up my favorite foods.  

    Great, you don't have to.  Enjoy them on your free day or eat them all the time and stay fat.

    My lifestyle doesn't support eating six times a day.  

    Fine, change your lifestyle.  Plan your meals and pre-cook and package foods.  If you can afford protein shakes and bars, plan them into your day or use them if you have to for times that you didn't plan well.

    I don't have time for all that preparing and planning.  

    You are a liar, stop watching tv or whatever you waste your time on and start new habits.

    My friends and family put pressure on me to join them in unhealthy eating.  

    For whom are you living your life?  For them?  Is it worth it to you to give in to what they want you to eat?  Start educating them about what you have learned about nutrition and set boundaries.  Be firm but compassionate with them about your choices.  If they hate you so much that they continue to push you to unhealthy ways, dump them for disrespecting you so much.

    Ooh I started the challenge and I ate unauthorized food.

    Recognize what you did and move on, from this very minute. Decide why you wanted to punish yourself with unhealthy food that wasn't on your free day.  What did it achieve?  Guilt?  Slower or no progress?  Great! those things are worth it for sure.  Stop living for the experience of food and use it to fuel your body.  Save your favorites for free day.  Or stay weak-minded and fat.

    I missed a workout (or two).  

    OK, Recognize what you did and move on.  If it was because of work or family, it may mean that you have to make changes in your schedule (or require others to change their schedule).  Depending on timing you can "make up" workouts on subsequent days.  Don't do this often because you start to minimize the usefulness of your workouts.

    I've been following the plan for three days and I haven't lost any weight.  

    Um, The program is called "Body For Life."  Those last two words are kinda important.

    It is Week 7 and I haven't lost that much weight.  

    Well are you feeling better, moving more easily, feeling stronger? Do your clothes fit more comfortably?  If so then congratulations and keep it up. Did you honestly stick with the nutrition and exercise 100%?  If not then the fact that it is week 7 doesn't matter at all, you didn't follow the program so you are getting poor results.

    It seems so much easier to just take a pill, get surgery, drink that fat loss tea or whatever to lose weight.  

    Go for it!  Just don't whine when it doesn't work.

    My genetics make losing weight impossible.  

    OK, but do your genetics keep you from eating healthy foods and exercising?


    There are probably hundreds of variations on these excuses or others that you can make to keep yourself from changing.  Excuses are only resistance to doing something different.  Excuses keep you from being healthy, fit, thin, attractive or whatever your goal is.

    There is a quote attributed to Albert Einstein that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  You might be insane to think that eating Cheetos and Cheesecake in front of the TV is going to suddenly make you healthier.  Those bad habits will keep you as fat and lazy as they always have.  Be sane!  Do different things to get the results that you want.

    If BFL sounds too hard for you, change your mind. Stop that weak thinking and start to love yourself a bit more.  Decide you are worth it.  Just start doing it, follow the nutrition and exercise 100% and see what happens.  It may be that your behaviors have to change before your mind does.

    At the end of 12 weeks you are not convinced you made progress toward a more healthy you, then you have probably lied to yourself about how closely you followed the program.