My Abyss - Starting the Challenge

  • A year ago, I signed up for BFL at my workplace because the materials were free I wanted to have them should I ever decide to get in shape.  Eight months later, I joined a gym because they were have a membership sale.  Three months later, after letting my routine slide, I quit the gym.  The BFL books sat on my bookshelf in my apartment during that entire year.  One day, I got these crazy stomach cramps and just grabbed a book to have something else to focus on.  It was the BFL book.

    That was about a week ago.  Since then, I've been coming to the website daily, reading slowly through the book, and asking myself, "Is this really something I can do for 12 weeks?  How do I maintain my gains afterwards if I'm not ready to launch into another cycle?"  You see, I'm a mild-mannered Type-A kind of guy.  I love to plan things, and I know that this will never work for me unless I set myself up for success through careful planning.  I'm just so rational that I have to know beyond a doubt that I can do this.

    I've overcome a lot of my potential excuses - those obstacles that I didn't know what to do about.  Like cost (this is an investment in myself and I'm worth it), routine (now I'm excited about getting my workouts in first thing in the morning), logistics (what am I gonna do when I have my kids stay with me for a week?  Bring them to the gym's daycamp), social calendars (company lunches, dinner dates, gardening, kayaking,and having time to spend with my girlfriend), muscle recovery (always a big problem when I start - will use some supplements to help me through it), among a constantly growing list.

    I still haven't ironed out all my details - the menu, the precise exercise routine - but I'm building the framework in my mind.  I get excited when  think of the mental gains I'll make in doing this.  I don't hope to lose weight, but build muscle and cut body fat.  Right now, I'm putting all this framework into place - reactivating gym memberships, reading the book, planning meals & grocery trips, ordering supplements, deciding my workout routines, and slowly coming to grips with the fact that 10:30p will likely be my new bedtime (I'm a night owl).  I had intially thought that I'd start next week, but I think I may give it one more week, and start June 1.

    I hate to put it off, because I'm afraid of procrastination sapping my resolve - but, I'm just not there yet.  I feel a bit like an outsider when I see all the folks who are so excited and who just dove right in, but I guess my post here is really to openly commit to the challenge before even starting it - to hold myself accountable.  Any encouragement is welcome!

    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.

  • C-

    Try to keep things simple and remember no matter what 12 weeks are going to come and go-

    Planning is key with BFL, I'd recommend putting the framework you are building in your mind into a journal, notebook or computer program....give your mind a rest.

    This is totally doable. It does not have to be perfect.

    We learn the most from mistakes we make. Factor in making some less than perfect decisions as ones that will help you learn the most about yourself.

    And know, the challenge works our mental muscles as well as out physical ones.

    You can do BFL!   keep us posted

    Squats

  • remember-you are building a life long habit with this!  why wait?  it's kinda like that old saying, "if you wait until the "right" time to have kids, you never will".  there will never be a perfect time.  i like what kat said above-12 weeks are going to come and go no matter what!  

    i say go for it!  i'm type a, mild mannered, too.  i have yet to take a picture of myself because i was not 100% sure i'd succeed.  i am now in c2w6 and have lost 20 lbs and well over 23 inches (from 6 measuring sites).  you CAN do this!

  • You just said everything I've been doing. My husband and I have spent the last week "practicing" the eating plan, working out our schedules to coordinate with how this will work in real time. We'll be learning the workout routines next week and practicing those and then officially start the next week. We must be type A people too : )

    I say  Let's do this thing!

  • Most of the time we just don't start because we fear failure.  You can do this.  I do this everyday now.  No longer do I consider them "challenge cycles".  I have dinner out, lunch meetings, garden and kayak.  Your kids coming for a weeks visit is the perfect opportunity for pops to start educating them on the important of good health.  On of my happiest moments was receiving a text from my then 16 year old son telling me he understood the importance of good health after traveling to Disney with neighbors who were so out of shape they couldn't and didn't want to ride any rides.  

    If you didn't want to do it, you wouldn't have kept the book.   Just sayin...  ;o)

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Thanks for the replies, everyone!  One thing I just got a bit hung up on was that I want to do free weights, but I don't know anybody at my gym to spot me.  I can't hit my '10' in weight training if I don't have a spotter, and with only a minute between sets, it seems like a imposition to ask someone to spot me while I work through my whole routine.  

    I mean - I guess I only need a spotter while I'm on the bench or squatting, so that may not be too big of a deal.  Do any of you have a suggestion?

    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.

  • You'll be surprised at how willing people are to spot for you.  Put that worry aside.  When I joined our gym, I was the only person there at 4:30am, so I used the smith machine for both bench press and squats.  Over the next two or three months a couple of guys started coming early as well.  It was an offer from one of them to spot for me that helped me take it to the next level and move completely away from the smith machine.  

    It's all about getting comfortable being uncomfortable.

    Check out my profile, if I can do that you can do this...

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • So this is what I'm going to call my 'Transition Week'.  After hopping in a kayak  for a few hours out on the river near where I live this weekend, I'm pretty sore and a little sunburned.  I'm not in much shape to start the exercise part of the challenge.  I had a lot of fun, though, and it really helped to strengthen my resolve.  Even though I was dog-tired a couple hours afterwards, and the muscle soreness and sunburn had me in pain, I still felt good.

    So, this week - recovery.  I'll be waiting to start the BFL exercise routine until next week, after my supplements come in.  That should help me recover more quickly after workouts.  I'm going to be using a Whey/Casein Protein Powder blend - mostly because I like the idea of making my own shakes, and L-glutamine to help with recovery.  I've thought about Creatine, but I seem to be doing a decent job of stressing my muscles all on my own now.  I'll probably add that when I plateau later in the challenge.

    In lieu of that, I'm taking this week to start Eating-for-Life.  I can't say that I'm going at this hardcore, but I'm giving it a fair effort.  I planned my menu items around the EFL principles and spent yesterday afternoon at Whole Foods.  I bought new tupperware, a lot of fruit, skim milk, cottage cheese (which I've never bought in my life), and a lot of other stuff.  I really enjoy cooking, so I'm looking forward to this part.  I'm excited to see how my energy levels throughout the day react.  I'm usually starving by the time I have lunch and end up crashing for a couple hours shortly after eating it.

    I'm still excited about the exercise part, too.  I mentioned that I had some abnormal labs - my LFTs were elevated.  About 12  years ago, when I was in high school, I had a complete tear of my left hamstring at the pelvis, from weight training.  Doctors said my muscle was stronger than my bone.  There wasn't much they could do but give me crutches and pain meds.  The muscle re-fused on its own, but not like it was before the injury.  Now, my leg hurts whener the weather changes or I stress it too much.  I take a lot of ibuprofen to manage this.  After some research, I've found that NSAIDs (Ibuprofen & Aleve) can actually delay muscle recovery, and that chronic Ibuprofen and alcohol use combined (I'm not a heavy drinker, but I have a drink or two on regular occasion) can mess with your liver.  I've stopped taking Ibuprofen, and I've stopped drinking - I'm hoping that BFL will help strengthen my hamstring to the point where it doesn't hurt anymore.

    I'm starting the challenge on Monday, May 31st.  The closer I get, the more I realize and come to terms with the fact that I'll be changing-for-LIFE, not just enduring BFL for 12 weeks.  As I ease into my challenge one step at a time, I know more and more that I can do this, and that I will be so much better for it.  Thanks for all your support!

    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.

  • Clint- It sounds like you know what you want to do, you just need to jump in and start doing it! And your love of planning will definitely be a great asset to you as you navigate BFL because to really make it work, you have to plan EVERYTHING!!! Plan your meals ahead of time, plan your grocery lists carefully, plan your workouts. Without planning ahead, there are too many things left up to chance and it makes things that much harder. Commit to a date. Put on your calendar and tell others that that is the day you are starting. There will always be a "better time" to start. Once you do, you won't be sorry. Good luck to you!!!!! You can do it.

    The only thing that can stop me. . . . . . . . . . is ME!!!!         JEN

  • I love to plan also, but it's the follow through that changes us.  Don't get stuck in analysis paralysis!  Start with what you're ready to do and then add as you go if you not ready to start 'cold turkey'.  And then something amazing happens, you're brain and body really kick in and woohoo, you're there, full speed ahead.

  • Clint...you are going to do just fine! I did the same thing when I started, I spent a week focusing on the eating plan while I worked out the details for my start date. I found that very helpful! Being able to plan everything is also a good trait to have when you are doing BFL, and without my BFL Success Journal, I would be lost! Just like Bonwitty said, don't get stuck in "analysis paralysis"... just take it one day at a time, time is going by anyway. In as little as one week, my mind began to clear and settle down and I found myself calm, cool and collected (unusual for me). Come back to this website every day... you will find everything you need here. Ask questions, help others who have questions, and get recipes and or food ideas. GOOD LUCK!!!!!

  • Clint - I too am new to BFL. I'm in week 4. I am a 40 year old, mother of three, medical professional who has struggled with the same FIFTY pounds my whole adult life. In the past I have lost weight and gained weight, lost weight and gained weight. I have tried EVERY diet in the world but have never tried the principles in BFL. When I first read the book, it scared the HELL out of me because I thought "There is NO WAY I'm gonna have the time to do everything that it says in this book!" What I'm here to tell you is that in the past 4 weeks, I have lost 11 pounds and have gained VISIBLE muscle. I have become physically stronger in the past four weeks than I have ever been. It's not that "hard" or overwhelming. You just take it one day at a time and before you know it you'll be excited about going to the gym and you'll be excited about eating right because you can VISIBLY see the payoff for you hard work. I think to myself "If this is what I see after FOUR weeks, imagine what I'll seein TWELVE weeks!" So, quit making excuses (yes, I have read some in your postings) and JUMP IN! Every day you analyze (and therefore procrastinate), is a day wasted and a day that you can be closer to feeling GREAT about yourself!

    Today is the day to NOT quit!!!! <3 EARGAL

  • Thanks for the encouragement!  I'm not trying to put this off - this is just my personality.  I used to make decisions quickly, but it's landed me trouble.  Now, when I can afford the time, I try to visualize how I'm going to accomplish something before I start.  The more momentum I have going into this, the more likely I will be to stick with it.  It's about being positioned to see this through - setting myself up for success.  I realize talk is cheap; I'm committed to May 31st, and I'm excited about it.  

    I'm on Day 3 of EFL, and it's not so difficult - the grocery list helped.  I need to start getting to sleep earlier if I'm going to be working out in the morning.  I'd like to hit the gym first thing, and then roll into work.  

    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.

  • I started full force this week.  I'm on C1W1D2 of the REAL challenge - eating, exercising, journaling - executing.  I got to the gym at 7a this morning for my cardio and made it to work for 8a.  I had trouble falling asleep earlier than usual last night, but I feel great.

    I've along way to go, and planning was wholly responsible for getting me from bed to the gym, and on to work in 70 minutes total this morning.  BUT!  A lot of you were right - you just can't perfect something before you even try it.  As much as I studied BFL before jumping in, I'll learn far more from doing it.

    Thanks again for the encouragement.  I hope my body will settle into my new early-bird routine quickly (that's about the only thing I'm worried about right now).

    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.