Learn from my mistakes!

  • Hey All-

    I completed my first BFL challenge in December of 2010.  Well, in the last few weeks of my challenge, I decided that I needed to cut carbs, up my cardio and strip some calories because things "just weren't happening fast enough!".  I think this put me in a bit of a starvation mode and when that pumpkin pie circled around the holiday table during my planned two weeks of active rest, I probably don't have to tell you who ate more than her fair share!

    This set off a binge that lasted and lasted and lasted.  I didn't lose a ton of weight on my challenge (didn't have much to lose to begin with) but my muscle definition, complexion, energy levels and general life outlook really soared when I was following things by the book.  I felt more confident than I had in years and so HAPPY!  I was excited to wear new clothes and really amazed at how the human body can change through weight training, cardio and proper diet.  The impatience I felt and my obsession with the "8 week miracle" (that I thought meant something close to waking up one morning to find out that I had magically turned into Cindy Crawford) really derailed me.  It's been almost 10 weeks since I finished the challenge and I weigh more now than I did before I started.  I'm tired, cranky and bloated---UGH!  What happpened? 

    I am writing this post to tell you that what happened was that I thought I knew better.  I thought that I needed results faster.   I thought maybe I was a special case and that the wise words of everyone who discouraged going off course somehow wouldn't apply to me.  Now, don't get me wrong, everyone's body is their own and we are free to make our own choices.  I just need to publically declare on this forum that I miss the way I felt, I learned my lesson, and frankly, I'm trying to humbly accept that this program truly does work (just sometimes not as fast as I wanted it to).   The reward of following the principals---outlined so simply in BFL, will bring so much clarity and happiness along with the physical changes.  I just have to do it---and in a way that I can sustain!  Sorry if this sounds like a rant, I honestly am writing it more for myself than anyone---just hoping by being public I may save someone else this disapointment in the future.

    Please please understand that changes happen at a different pace for everyone.  If you are truly following the plan, you will get where you want to go if you just don't give up.  When you take some time off, don't drop off completely, it may derail you.   And be very careful with the ways you modify the plan. 

    There was a quote in the BFL champions book that I think of constantly these days----Q. What's the worst part of the program? A. Not doing BFL!

    I can attest to this---sincerely!  Today, I come back and will slowly and steadily walk away from my life without BFL.  Good luck to all of you and be strong----you won't regret it!

    Thanks for listening,


  • Great post!   I never once thought it was a rant.   I saw someone who, even in this time, gained experience and knowledge they didnt have before!  

  • Juni,

    Thanks for the post.

    I have a question, did you take your free days or you just decided free days weren't good and they were negatively affecting you so you would not take them?


    Live life with passion!

  • You did exactly what I did. I was super strict and focused my first challenge that when I finished I hit a wall during my AR and let myself slip. I attempted so do another challenge but failed after 8 weeks (with no cardio) then I just got lazy for a few months. I reevaluated what my goals where and let go of my time line to get results. In C2 I focused on strength and speed and got more fit but did not lose much weight. Right now I am in C3 and I started it heavier than I did in C1 but I am finding balance and adjusting this with a "FOR LIFE" outlook and not a get in the best shape I can in 12 weeks.

    You need to cross the abyss and jump back on the horse. Being close to your goal weight is way more stressful then having alot of weight to lose in my opinion. You need to set goals that are fitness related and they are hard to measure with a scale.


    “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”


  • Thanks everyone-I appreciate the feedback and support.

    @MyDecade---yes I did take free days the first ten weeks and then went without the last two weeks.

    @Bryan-I am jumping back on the horse and vow to be slow and steady this time!

  • So... Bryan,

    In your opinion what must a person do to stay fit after the 12 week challenge?

    I'm on week 9 of C1 and I'm a little bit worried as to what happens afterwards...


    Live life with passion!

  • Juni...

    Same question I made to Brian... In your experience, what to do to keep the fitness level that was obtained during the 12 weeks?


    Live life with passion!

  • I'm looking at the 'for LIFE' part and assuming my post 12 week will just have a be a large extension of the first 12weeks.  At least going in that's how I am looking at it.  I'll have to pretty much do the same stuff but it will just become my lifestyle.  The first 12 weeks IMO, from what I can tell is setting you up and getting you trained to continue.  I am hoping to hear from more of those that have done it before with their ideas!  

  • MyDecade - The biggest mistake I have seen is that during AR people break away from the BFL nutrition when you should continue to eat BFL style and just cut back to lighter weights and low intensity cardio for a week or two. Starting a new challenge is ideal because even if you reached your goals you can always improve your fitness level. Also you can use your experience from your first challenge to add or try new things. For example, spin class, yoga, running 5 or 10K. I have seen members doing crossfit or even P90X (13 weeks)

    “"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..." - Robert J. Collier”


  • Bryan,

    Yes I can see how going off the diet would be the worst mistake...

    But I would think that once you reach your goal you would be able to maintain with lower intensity weight training and cardio while eating very clean still... Don't you think?

    Live life with passion!

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    I loved your post.  Honest and thoughtful.

    I am currently on C3, but I have a story.  I started C1 in March of 2010 after two months of clean eating and just simply getting moving.  You see, I started at 280 pounds.  Yeah, I know….yikes!  I had fantastic results:

    During Challenge 1:

         Inches lost:  -22.00 inches in various places

         Scale weight loss:   -21.00 pounds

         Fat loss:  -27.87 pounds

         Muscle gain:  +6.87 pounds

         Fat % loss per online calculator:  -6.63%

         BMI loss:  -3.50

         Clothing size lost:  3 sizes

         Blood pressure drop:  From 134/89 down to 110/70  Woohoo!!!!


    I had diverticulitis the last week of my challenge and I used that as an excuse to lose my focus once my challenge was over.  I spent the next five months alternating between eating way too much without exercise and half-heartedly being healthy.  I gained 16 pounds, and 20 inches.  Another yikes!  I started C2 on November 15th and just finished in February.  I got back to my C1 results plus a little bit better and leaner.  One week latter I started C3 even with my back being injured and am now just starting to be able to have some meaningful workouts.


    I wasted 8 months.  Eight months of my life.  Five months of being completely off the wagon and three more months just trying to get back to where I was in May of 2010.  As I just finished C2, I still find myself struggling to keep focused and continue make progress, to keep moving forward.  But I have last summer’s gap staring me in the face.  When I started C2, I kept thinking, “If only I didn’t blow it after C1.  If only I could go back.”  Well, now I have that opportunity after C2.  I’m basically in the same place.  I can and will move forward.  I’m tired of wasting precious days, months and years that God has given me.


    So, this is where you find yourself….where I was in November of last year.  I’m so glad you’ve learned from your mistakes and are sharing your experience.  It does and will help so many people!


    MyDecade – I think most people look at BFL as just a 12-week cycle.  They do their 12 weeks and then don’t have any plan after that.  I am learning to look at the 12 weeks as an intense training period.  It’s the time where we sacrifice and set aside to accomplish a health goal.  After the 12 weeks, we still need to have healthy habits.  I think that the habits of eating small, healthy meals and morning workouts NEED to be KEPT!  But like Bryan said, instead of HIIT, do cardio with biking, walking, hiking, swimming, low intensity workouts, etc.  From reading BFL Mike’s posts, doing no weights for at least 1 or 2 weeks during AR – active rest.  If a person is at their goal weight and strength, then maintaining is the way to go.  That can be done by continuing the BFL program but adding extra portions to food.  Or by doing weights 2x per week and doing alternate types of cardio, HIIT and non-HIIT.


    I like the idea of alternating between intense ‘training’ periods (12 weeks) and non-training periods.  But the habits remain the same, just the activity and the level of intensity are different.


    The problem people run into is that they think they can return to unhealthy habits and still keep their new, healthy bodies.  To be healthy, you have to act healthy.  Everyone needs to workout and eat clean.  Everyone needs to enjoy the goodies of food in moderation and control it by burning those calories with exercise.  Everyone. 


    I better stop before I write a book!  Sorry about that!  Keep moving forward Junibird and stay in the BFL community.  Best wishes!



    “I am.  I ought.  I can.  I will.”  Charlotte Mason

  • Just thought that I'd add my stats after C2.  I kind of left that hanging.


    Challenge 2 results and running total
           Run total
    Neck -0.75 -1.25
    Bust -3.5 -6.75
    Chest -2.5 -2.5
    Bicep - R -2 -3
    Bicep - L -0.75 -2.75
    Forearm - R 0 -1
    Forearm - L -0.25 -1.25
    Wrist - R -0.25 -0.25
    Wrist - L -0.25 -0.5
    Waist -4.5 -11.75
    Hip -5 -8
    Thighs -3 -7
    Leg - R -1.5 -3.5
    Leg - L -1.25 -5
    Calve - R -0.25 -1.5
    Calve - L -0.5 -1.25
    Ankle - R -0.25 -0.5
    Ankle - L -0.75 -0.5
    TOTALS (inches) -27.25 -58.25
    Weight 16.2 -46.2
    Body Fat % -7.83 -17.94
    Fat weight -27.73 -73.54
    Muscle gained 11.53 27.31
  • 100% with you Bonwitty...

    Live life with passion!

  • I really needed this thread - C1W9D57 Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I started off so strong eating clean and doing every workout...the past 3 weeks I have been missing meals and skipping workouts because life keeps getting in the way.  Today I walked through the car park towards the gym and I thought "I've failed this!....To do a challenge is to be 100% good and I failed 3 weeks ago when I missed those workouts!"  Something in me kept me en-route to the exercise bike and I completed one of the best HIITs in the last 9 weeks.

    I have already achieved so much in the last 9 weeks.  I have learned so much about myself and where my focus is.  I am an excuse maker at times, and others I am a complete BFL WARRIOR!  I am going to see this challenge out because like others have said, I can't go back to the way I was.  

    Winners get up, losers stay down.

    Thanks again for this amazing thread!  

    Jules x

  • There you go Jules.  Great way of thinking!!!  Never stop a challenge, just keep going, moving on.

    Keep on you BFL WARRIOR!!!