Week of May 17th challenge starters post here

  • I had a super busy day today so I missed getting on here until now, but I'm done with my day 5, did the workout and I drank ALL the water for the first time!  YAY!

    I had a really bad headache too earlier this week.  I have not been sleeping well at all, so I thought it was just exhaustion but maybe I was dehydrated.  Hmm.  I have a new medication this week too and I am sure that is not helping.

    Speaking of medication, is there anyone else in this 517 group who has a health challenge other than being overweight?  I have type 2 diabetes and hepatitis C, and I'd love to know how other people with chronic diseases handle the challenge.

    Have a great night everyone, see ya tomorrow!


    Oh, and thanks for the required reading, James, I loved it!

  • Happy Saturday 517ers,

    Well if you started last Monday, tomorrow will be free day for most of you.  You may have chosen a different free day for the week and that is fine.  Just be sure to only give yourself one :)

    There are different perspectives on free day.  I am going to share my experiences with it.

    My first week on BFL I lost about 7 pounds of water and gunk weight.  I call it gunk weight because I supposed that all the water I was drinking and fiber I was eating, washed away alot of gunk from my body.  My first free day was like a balloon filled with too much air that finally popped.  I planned my free day activities (food) all week long and when the day arrived I greeted it with gusto.  Start weight 221, end of week one 214.

    I started the day at my favorite local Italian restaurant..2 slices of pizza and some homemade potato chips with ranch dressing.  I figured that meal would be my free day splurge.  I was wrong.  After a few hours I went and got a steak burrito and chips&salsa.  I topped the day off with 7 mint milano cookies.  Also I had my first diet soda for the week.  I thought giving up diet soda would be difficult but it wasn't.  One thing to note on that first free day is that I didn't drink my water like usual.

    The next morning I jumped on the scale and almost collapsed in shock (I had a drama queen moment.)  I was 5 pounds heavier than the previous morning.  I was in a funk all day and thought that free day was evil.  I swore off free day forever!

    During the next couple of days I noticed something though, as I got back on my water schedule and ate cleanly, all of the free day pounds slipped away.  I ended up the next week at  211.  Ok so despite the fact that I had sworn off free day, I went and ate exactly the same food for my second one.  I noticed that I just didn't enjoy it that much.  The next morning I inevitably gained a few pounds back.

    So I continued this pattern and something hit me.  Even though I was eating my favorite foods on free day and gaining some temporary weight afterwards, I always ended the next week lower than I started.  

    Here's what I figure happens to me on free day.  I eat alot of salty foods and my body holds on to much more water to balance the salt in my body.  It takes a few days of authorized food (which I don't prepare with salt) and lots of water drinking to get everything back to normal.  Also I noticed that my free day food doesn't have much fiber, it was inevitable for me that I would be constipated the day after free day.

    How I do free day now (your mileage may vary).  I still treat myself to unauthorized food, I've started to regain my sweet tooth and so I have enjoyed some treats.  My main difference now is that I will drink plenty of water on my free day.  This has reduced the bloating that comes with too much salt.  Also I make sure to get fiber.  My post free day weight gain is not as severe as it was early on, usually about 2 lbs now and it is gone 2 days after and I am back on track.

    So as you consider what to do on your free days you will have to deal with some physical and emotional impacts.

    Guilt!  Yes despite the fact that you are doing what the plan says, it is still probable that you will encounter some guilt as you eat your favorites.  You have a choice here...get over it or obsess on it and stress yourself out.  Stress does horrible things to your body and your ability to lose weight.

    Food Triggers! Indulging in your favorite foods may trigger more cravings for them in the following days.  If you are prone to food triggers I would recommend taking it easy on free day and testing the waters.

    Anger!   You may get angry that you are not allowed to have these favorite foods ALL THE TIME like you used to.  You may have even more feelings of restriction and denial than when you first started eating cleanly.  It is important to remember that these favorite foods are what got you into your current situation to begin with.  If you are going to be angry, be angry that you learned eating habits that were unhealthy.

    So what will YOU do with free day?  Here are some suggestions, you may find that you try different approaches during the 12 weeks of this challenge:

    Just have a free meal

    Enjoy your favorites, but space them out in small portions like you do your regular meals during the week

    Don't have a free day and just eat authorized food like during the week.

    Enjoy your free day and eat what you want

    Whatever you decide to do, live with the consequences, don't be surprised by temporary weight gain the day after.  If you have a very aggressive weight loss goal then I would recommend taking it easy on the junk food and just enjoy a treat or two.  There is some evidence that a day of more than usual calories can actually be beneficial to "resetting" your metabolism making the next week more productive with fat burning.  I will only speak to my experience and say that it feels good now to have a day to give my body rest from activity and eat some favorite foods.  I no longer experience any guilt about free day, guilt is not productive to future progress.  In my 10th week now, I trust the process.

    Good health to all you 517ers as you navigate your free day.






  • Good morning!

    I got on the scale this morning and was pleasantly surprised.  So far I have lost 5.2 pounds! Had a GREAT time dancing last night!  I didn't drink or partake in the buffet dinner....ate dinner before I left and just stuck to bottled water...don't want any extra calories!  Tomorrow is my "free day" and I think I'm going to treat myself to some icecream (I do love icecream)!

    Have a great happy and healthy!

    Heather :)

  • Thats awesome Heather!!  Very proud that you stuck to the challenge and ate before being  tempted by the buffet.  I was happy to find that when I weighted this morning, that I was 8 lbs. down.  I'm sure that this coming week will not have the same results, but I "know" it will be lower than when I started.

    James, I have already thought about my free day.  I have already decided not to ruin my whole week with a whole day of "bad" food.  I plan on having a free meal and maybe a few unhealthy snacks.  

    Wishing everybody the best!!


  • Congrats to you Wendy...eight pounds...that's great!  I'm not going to go "crazy" tomorrow on my free day either.  I went shopping this morning and bought myself a Friendly's Ice Cream Cup (Reese's PB cups).  That's going to be my treat, probably after dinner, other than that I'm going to continue as usual.

    Keep up the great work and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    Heather :)

  • Thank you sooooo much for this post James! I am doing my freebie day on Saturdays since that is usually the nlght that my husband likes to go out to dinner or a movie etc.  I have only lost 1lb. for my first week so I know that I don't want to go crazy on my freebie day.  Your post really motivated me to just eat normal but change one meal so that is what I plan on doing.  I am craving a grilled chicken honey mustard snack wrap from McDonalds. Yum.

    I was a little bummed that I only lost 1lb this week since my body hurts so bad that I can't hardly walk up my stairs or bend to sit down.  But then I reminded myself that my goal is to lose 10lbs in the 12 weeks so I should be happy that I lost the 1lb. as that is right on track for my target goal.

    Thanks again for your insight on our "freebie" day.


  • Hey Everyone!

    So, spin class out of the way this morning .....  haven't done much else today.  hee hee  

    James - thank you for your comments!  Question - why isn't a bit of PB on your list of things to eat?  A bit of organic PB for a good healthy fat?

    My goal for the next 2 weeks is going to be to stay off the scale and just stayed focused on my nutrition and consistent workouts.

    I WILL be here for the 12 weeks.... I challenge ALL of you to do the same.  I agree with a past post that there will be few out of the group that will actually complete the challenge.  I think we all have to remember it's NOT about who can lose the most weight - this is about a lifestyle change.  And at the end of the 12 weeks we will ALL be winners and SO very proud of ourselves and each other.




  • Hey Roxane,  ooooh you are doing something right if those muscles are so sore that stairs and bending over make you say "ouchie."  As long as it is muscle soreness and not joint pain you are doing great.  I have been sore on some part of my body for all ten weeks so far.  In the oddest of ways it is like an internal badge of honor.

  • Great Question pjs - MauiSun.  PB is not on the original authorized list.  For the calories in it per volume there are better choices for healthy fats.  I do use it as a flavoring used sparingly in sauce for my chicken though.  It is a choice I make for variety.

  • Great work so far everyone. I am also staying away from the scale, I feel better, and I didn't have to struggle as much to get my pants done up, that's proof enough for me that it's working.

    Keep it up 517ers.

  • My son's friend made my day yesterday!

    Yesterday I dropped my son (he's 15) off at the North Haven Plaza so he could "hang out" with his friends.  I decided to go to a couple of stores while I was there.  After I was done a did "drive by" to make sure he was where he was supposed to be an not getting into trouble.  He was with a friend I hadn't met before.  We talked for a couple of minutes and then I left.  Later, when my son got home he told me his friend had said,

    "Your mom is young and pretty....she's nice."

    That was music to my ears.  One of the reasons I was motivated to do this challenge is because my husband is eleven years younger than me and (to make matters worse) young-looking as well.  I am also  getting closer to the BIG 4-0 (two years to go) and certainly don't want to look "wifey" for lack of a better word.

    Anyway, I am going to enjoy my "free" dessert today and then it's back to business tomorrow!

    Enjoy your day!


  • today is my free day...we'll see how free I can let myself be, last week I had Fish and chips...I've been craving a glass of red wine and French fries...

  • Enjoy your wine & fries!!!! I love this program!!! I don't know of any others that have free day!

    Live   Love   Lift!

    Dee :)

  • Thanks for sharing Heather! - What an awesome feeling....  :)

    Deidre, I wouldn't call this technically a "program" but definitely just a way of living.  So - bad food in moderation OR non at all.  Your body gets use to the good foods and won't want those tempting "bad foods" very often going forward.  LOVE your signature at the end of your post  LIVE LOVE LIFT!  That's right!!!


    It's so hard for me to stay off the scale, but I have to just keep reminding myself to stay away.  I am already feeling much leaner this week but like I said on my earlier post, I think I'm only down 1lb.



  • James,

    Thank you for the motivation to stick with it. I had to make Thursday my free day, things just went downhill from first thing in the morning. I felt terrible all day. Tired, worn out, and stressing all day. Had to be from the terrible food and cola (though diet) choices I was making. Unlike other times though, I got up Friday morning and went back to proper food and exercies first thing in the morning. I felt great.

    And I still lost 4 pounds by Sat. So I am doing better already by getting up and getting started right back and I can make Thursday my free days :)

    I posted Friday but don't see it went through.

    Today is menu planning and preparing day. Hope I can get as many varied menus prepared as Gypsy.