FitCast Accountability Blog (2/10/10)

It is time for the second edition of The FitCast Accountability Blog. Each week I want to feature something that can help you reach your goals when it comes to fitness and nutrition. This week it is the Magic Bullet. This thing rocks!!! It has helped me make sure I get proper nutrition that tastes great when I am crunched for time. I usually throw in 1 scoop Ultra Peptide 1.0 with 8oz of water, 1tbsp of natural peanut butter, and 1 tablespoon of PB2. IF you are crunched for time around the house or at work I highly recommend getting one. It has saved me from going hungry many times.

Now, for the blogs…


I used to listen to Howard Stern all the time when he was on free radio. Once, while interviewing the famous movie maker Michael Moore, one of Howard’s callers told Michael he was fat. Michael Moore’s response has stuck in my head ever since. He said “Listen buddy, I live in the Midwest and in the Midwest, I am not considered that fat.” The sad part is, he was right. Should I settle for being overweight just because it is the norm where I live?

I think the first week overall went very well. I was able to get to the gym four times and had really good sessions. I plan on starting the New Rules Of Lifting program this week. I’ve been winging it in the weight room and if I want different results then I need to do things differently than before.  I also did incline sprints on the treadmill in my basement on two days. Hopefully to weather will warm up so I can move my cardio outdoors.

I’ve made some changes to my nutrition that align with my goal to lose fat. I have moved most of my carbohydrate intake to first thing in the morning and also pre and post workout. The other meals I am focusing on protein and vegtables.  I’ve got to make a better effort to eat more fruit. Looking over my weekly total I only ate a total of two cups of fruit.

The scale read 208 when I stepped on this morning which is a 4lb loss from last Sunday. The body fat percentage stayed the same at 25% which I don’t like but I did have to tighten my belt a notch late this week.  I decided to measure around my stomach at the belly button- 38.5 inches.

I wonder if after his appearance on Howard Stern’s show Michael Moore measured his waist?  It might motivate him to make a movie about a different contoversial subject. Fat loss.  That would be a movie I might actually pay to go see.


This week so far was semi successful. I got into the gym, but my nutrition wasn’t 100% on. Despite this I did lose 0.5″ off my waist. Also today is Superbowl Sunday, but I am going to lay low and cook my meals for the week and do some food prep. This part seems integral for me so I HAVE TO GET IT DONE. I finished reading Never Let Go by Dan John and I recommend it for anyone who strives to be healthier or stronger. He is a great teacher and a funny guy with a lot of wisdom to share. In the same vein of trying to improve myself, I bought a car stereo so I can finally listen to some audiobooks in my car for my 2 hour round trip drives to and from school.


I’m going to start this blog post off by saying I did make it to the gym five days this past week. I am going to follow that up with saying this was the week from hell. The first week of every month is a terrible week at work. Its crazy busy and I typically don’t move from my desk. In the past I’ve just eaten anything that’s been within arms distance to grabbing, so it’s usually been junk. This was a terrible week to start any kind of dieting… but is there ever a good time to start dieting?? So as far as the diet went, I guess it was fine. I ate roughly every 2-3ish hours, mostly small meals/snacks. Like I said, Brian set the diet up for me and a “normal carb” day consisted of the following: Breakfast – 2 whole omega-3 eggs, ½ cup egg whites, 1 cup green peppers, 1tbsp shredded mozzarella, 2 tbsp salsa, green tea. Snack – 1 scoop protein powder, ½ small McIntosh apple, 12 almonds, green tea. Lunch – 7oz extra lean ground turkey, 2 cups broccoli, 1 tbsp evoo, sea salt and pepper to taste, green tea. Snack – 2 pieces low fat string cheese, 9 baby carrots, green tea.

During training – ¾ scoop protein powder. Dinner – 1 cup fat free Greek yogurt, ¼ cup frozen blueberries, 2 tbsp walnuts. That’s my meals four days a week. There are two high carb days and a no carb day, which I usually do on Mondays. Again, not ideal to start my busy week with no carbs. I noticed I got a lot of headaches this week and spoke to Brian about it but I couldn’t really say if it was diet related or work stress related. I think it was both, Brian thinks I’m crazy. Training was great this week; my strength seemed to be fine though I did have spike on my training days. I start a new program on Thursday that is going to be written for fat loss purposes, that means a lot of 10 minutes drills. They suck. I’ll write more about that next week. Keep up the good work everyone!


Perhaps the motto that sums up what I have to do here is  . . . “I AIN’T NO ECTOMORPH!” Although I would have a hard time putting an exact percentage of how much I look or function like a endomorph or mesomorph, I know full well that taking off fat and putting on muscle mass, is not much of a challenge for me once I put my mind to it and stick to a program.

Because I was not sure we had to produce a blog for this Monday, I waited until I heard yesterday’s Tom Venuto interview. When he talked about the three things that are critical in making it through a fat burning and muscle building challenge – having goals (perhaps big scary realistic ones), having emotional reasons to succeed, and finally accountability, I realized that Kevin has really forced me to truly focus on those things that will get me to finally reach the levels of health and fitness that I have always wanted to get to. Having an almost, five year old son that wants his Dad to be around for a long time seems to drive me emotionally more than any personal desire to look better at the beach or in a suit (that I must wear daily), than to be able to see my abs. My start photos were just taken two days ago, so instead of repeating my current look,  I have attached a photo from the summer of 2009 when I was half way towards my current final goal of 150 pounds, and a dream photo that my daughter did using Kris Gethin’s body (something Tom Venuto suggested previously) for my own personal inspiration and a laugh.  I truly wish all of us good luck and a desire for all to succeed beyond our wildest wishes. Thanks Kevin!


Hey everybody!  I weighed 218.5 as of this morning, so that is a loss of 2.5 more pounds from last week (even after a “cheat” meal).  My lifts are still going up, and my conditioning is definitely improving.  Here’s a quick recap of last week:


Monday – Infamous TRX Workout A – Phase 2 (This is from Berardi and Cosgrove – just google it to learn more)
Tuesday – 5/3/1 Lift with Front Squats and DB Rows followed by a Timed Circuit
Wednesday – I rode my new bike on the road for 10 miles
Thursday – 5/3/1 Lift with Deadlifts and High Incline DB Press followed by a Timed Circuit
Friday – Infamous TRX Workout B – Phase 2
Saturday – Off
Sunday – Mountain Biked 12 miles in the snow on single track
I had a good week.  I never starve myself, and I eat some really good food.  I just make sure to choose healthy foods, I try to time my carbs around training sessions, and I control how much I eat.  My favorite meal of the week was grilled pork tenderloin with grilled red, orange, and yellow bell peppers.  I ate according to plan all week until Sunday.  I barely ate anything on Sunday while mountain biking (I know, I know… I need to plan better), so I was famished by the end of the day.  I completely destroyed an all-you-can-eat-St.-Louis-Style-ribs-special on the way home, and it was delicious.  I don’t feel guilty about it at all.  I’m well within Berardi’s 90% compliance rule.  Right now I’m not weighing and measuring my food.  Since I’m seeing results, I feel that I don’t need to… yet.  As time goes on, I may start weighing and measuring my meals to help me dial in my nutrition more precisely.  I picked up Leigh’s Body by Eats, and it’s really, really good.  This will help me figure out how many Calories I need as well as the macronutrient breakdown.  And the recipes that come with Body By Eats are insane!  I can’t wait to try some.  I’ll keep you posted on my favorites.
I forgot to mention in my first blog post that I’m signed up for a 50 mile mountain bike race through the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.  The race is on May 1st, and my goal is simply to finish.  I’d really like to be at or below 200 by then, too.  It sure would make my race a little easier without my big-ole belly getting in the way.
I guess that’s it for this week.  Buh-Bye for now.

So, week one is complete. I don’t expect to see instant results – obviously, it’s only been a week – but all in all, I feel better already! I think just getting back into the swing of going to the gym regularly (6x!!) makes a huge difference with me. I started a new program, which is always a little exciting and terrifying all at the same time. And oh, isn’t foam rolling fun, especially that first week because you’re so sore from the previous workout?! A little miffed by the fact that my trap bar deadlift has gone down a good 50-60 lbs since last summer, so I’ve decided to include that into my goals – getting that back up hopefully to at least where I was. And it would be great not to see Tony looking like he just witnessed a train wreck after my first set of push ups vs. chain(s) – let’s be honest, there was no plural there – and hearing “Nah, let’s go without it for now.”

As for the nutrition aspect, I got my calorie breakdown guidelines and I’m figuring all that out slowly. Got myself a food scale this week and have started weighing and measuring everything. I used most of my Sunday to cook up a bunch of foods in preparation for this week. So I feel like I’m making strides there as well, though I’m sure I could be doing better and will have to make some tweaks as things progress. The fact that I was in custody of one of my most favorite treats a friend makes and didn’t even eat one was HUGE, ok! (and no, it’s not at all weird that I sniffed the bag) I’m also glad I made sure to prepare and eat dinner before heading out to a SuperBowl party so that I wouldn’t be tempted to snack. That chocolate cake looked so good!

Everyone has been really supportive so far. People I’ve talked to have asked what it’s all about, and for the link to your site so they could check in on our progress. My sister has even started checking in regularly, sort of doing this with me – see that, now it’s out there! After reading everyone’s stories and the comments from you all wishing us luck, I was really excited to be a part of this, and even more so that I’m a part of the very first one. I’m only here to challenge myself, so it’s not a matter of “winning” for me. I’m routing for everyone involved and look forward to seeing these transformations progress.


Let me preface this by letting you know that I am nearly finished reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (I’m taking this very seriously people!); and lot of what I’ll post about will be my interpretation/application of things I understand and identify with my first time through the book.

I was a rudderless ship. I had a strong motor, but I had no clue where I was going – and as a result I ran out of gas by not getting results reflective of what I felt like I was putting into it.

When I started my goals were shallow: get big muscles, get ladies (or in my case keep mine) and be able to kick ass… or atleast look like I could.  It didn’t take long to realize that these things were trivial and not something I wanted to spend my time pursuing; they may have been the reasons why I showed up, but they weren’t why I stayed.
Exercising, working out, lifting – and all the other names being in the gym goes by is what I really like to do, and I’d very much like to have the results that reflect my enjoyment of the practice. In order for that to happen I need the determination to stick with a program when I feel “bored” with it, to keep stuffing food in my mouth and the will power to not do what’s fun right now (video games, surfing the interwebs, etc.) at the expense of what I need to be doing in order to be successful in the future (food preparation, mobility exercises). There’s a time and place for those things, and it’s after I’m done with what I need to do. Put “First things First” as Mr. Covey likes to say.

So here’s my Goal: 195lbs by July 4th from a current weight of 168lbs.  Next week I’ll lay out how I hope to achieve that with a nutritional break down and a workout log.
I really wish I could say that I had an amazing week; I memorized Precision Nurtirition, counted my Calories down to the calorie (little c) and went to canada to work out with Craig Ballantyne, but I suppose that would defeat the purpose of the whole accountability thing.

My training was OK.  I haven’t had the time to get Turbulence Training off my old hardrive, but one of our members loaned us a few kettlebells so I thought I’d put all that research (youtube videos) to work.  I had a great workout that consisted of KB snatches (which took some practice and bruised wrists), squat to 1-armed push press, renegade rows on a bench, barbell rear-foot-elevated split squats (135 lbs for 2 sets of 8), and pullups with leg raises.  The rest of the week I only had time to do mobility work.  I also did calisthenics and sprints on Friday for Air Force PT.
My diet was OK.  The first step this week was to clean up my diet by eliminating all the bad stuff.  I wasn’t eating like Dave Tate, pre-John Berardi, but I definitely wasn’t following many of the rules I set for my clients.  So, I eliminated soda, increased water, and increased veggies.  I also signed up for FitDay, but apparently it doesn’t automatically know what I ate that day, so this week I hope to start entering in ALL of my food.  I also want to watch my portion sizes and start counting my calories.  This is my first time actively trying to lose fat, usually I just lose it while training for something competitively, so I’m trying to make the mental shift.
My struggle at the beginning of the school quarter was being too busy to workout or eat well, but now with so many assignments at school and things going on with work and family, stress is my biggest enemy.  I love to snack when I get stressed and even though I’ve been snacking this week on raw zuccini and hummus, I’m still taking in too many Calories.
Wish my luck this week, hopefully it’ll hit me soon, that my half-naked body is on the interweb for anyone to see, and I’ll get motivated to get committed and diligent.

You know how when you kinda strutt your stuff in front of the mirror and say “hey! I am looking pretty dang good!” and then you take a pic of yourself and it is NOWHERE NEAR what you are seeing in the mirror? Yeah, it’s kinda like that this week.

That and my hair looks awesome. I should stick with the bandana.

Anyway. This past week was triumphant and troublesome at the same time. I always have been heavily affected by That Time of the Month, with bloatage anywhere from 5-10 lbs, and uncontrollable eating. At least, that’s what usually happens. I’ve been on the Getting Serious plan now for about 4 weeks, and when Aunt Flo came knocking on my door this past week, I was actually surprised. I had absolutely no urge to binge and minor bloating and I didn’t even realize it until after the fact. This is a *huge* development for me and I’m rather proud that I pulled through this one.

Due to the MCL injury I was couchbound for a few days. I stuck to my eating plan, and pieced together a couple full upper body workouts using stuff from The New Rules of Lifting for Women. While these have been satisfying, I am completely jonesing for those full body workouts I used to get. And I miss my HIIT. Its kind of maddening and mentally taxing. How many times I’ve said, “I can’t do that, it involves my leg.” ARGH.

There’s also the conundrum of calorie intake. Half of me wants to cut back just a bit due to the decreased activity, the other half worries about doing that because I don’t want to go too low.

My knee assessment is on the 18th. It couldn’t come too soon.


Hey Kevin and fellow bloggers….and “What up Leigh”…..(I’ve always wanted to say that),

Well as I expected, this whole experience is a roller coaster, full of ups and downs. I have been very good, but had a few definite moments of weakness here and there too.

Overall my diet has been great. I have been cooking more and eating clean. I have cut out my winter true love, “fru-fru” coffee, and replaced it with a couple cups of green tea each day. I have actually found a lot of my new healthier meals to be really good and less work than I imagined. Having the MyPlate to track my intake has helped. My fiancé has been spectacular, making sure that the meals she cooked had things measured out so I could track them, and making sure to keep an eye on what I was making to remind me of where I could make changes.

I have had a few moments of temptation this week, especially the night my future mother in law sent home almost a whole pizza for us after an evening at her house. Normally I would have scarffed down the whole thing, but instead, I had only a small piece off the end of one piece, and avoided it like the plague the rest of the week. Last night I almost broke down, but I ended up pitching it instead. I guess at this point in the game I still can’t even have the “bad” stuff in house.

My time in the gym has been really productive. Since January 1st when I started my more “hard-core” workout program I have added 20 lbs to my bench, which is a major goal of mine. With my work, my fitness is tested a couple times a year, and my upper body strength has been a real weakness of mine, no pun intended. I have been trying to kick it up a notch at my weekly hockey game with my buddies as well, hoping that workout will do me some good.

I have been better about my strength training than my cardio, and I guess I have to confess here that I did have a night this week when after a crummy day at work, I skipped my interval cardio that I had scheduled.

Something that I hadn’t really counted on and that I have experienced some was more of a social issue, then a fitness one. This past week as I have skipped the candy jar and the baked goods folks at work have put out, I think I actually hurt a couple people’s feelings. Didn’t mean to, but I did. I know that as they see the change I am going to experience they will realize why I have been avoiding the treats, but its hard for them to see now why I don’t indulge like everyone else.

I hope all of you other bloggers on here had as good of a week as I did and are feeling that great motivated feeling that I have had from looking at all of your blogs online.

Thanks much for your support. Now onward to bigger and better things. (Or smaller things in some cases…)

Courtney (A New Challenger!!!):

Yay, I know I’m a latecomer here but I am so grateful to Kevin and everyone at FitCast for putting this together and for giving me the chance to show what I’m made of. Sorry for the cruddy pictures this week but I since I’m starting late I wanted to get these in now and not wait for someone to be around to take them for me. They will be much better in the future.

My name is Courtney, but you can call me Eep, and I live in beautiful, sunny Seattle Washington (you may laugh but that just means that you haven’t been here during the summer, totally makes up for not seeing the sun for 8 months at a time). I recently turned 28. In the last 7 months I have 1) left my 8 year relationship with a wonderful man because it wasn’t what was best for either of us anymore 2) started grad school full time along with working full time and 3) have gotten my finances together. My weight is the last hurdle and it’s major.

I was a competitive swimmer for 13 years and I’ve always considered myself an athlete. I’m done fooling myself, I may be fit for a fat person but I am still VERY overweight. With the competitive swimming came 8 years of an eating disorder.  When I went into retirement I also checked myself into treatment. The eating disorder is now under control but the weight I’ve packed on since then is not, in fact since the breakup I’ve gained another 10 lbs. To make things even better I’m one month out of AC joint surgery (ALSO courtesy of those 13 years of swimming) and am somewhat limited on the amount of weight training I can do.

I’m meeting with a personal trainer this week to help me develop an exercise program and a nutrition plan. I’m currently doing a couch to 5k program, but know that I need to up my workouts.  I’m also limiting my calories and am keeping a very public journal on FitDay
( ). And I will admit, the fact that everyone can see everything about me on that
thing… well, I may have cried a bit when I changed my settings.

My short term goal is to start dropping weight at a reasonable rate every week and to ride the STP (Seattle to Portland) Bike Ride in July. In the long term I would like to complete the Arizona Iron Man in November 2011. But really, I just want to be happy in my body. I wish I could say again, but how about now.


The Workouts

The four weeks of break-in only require two workouts a week.  My body has completely forgotten how to work out, so I’m thankful that it’s only two.  I fear more than that would destroy me.

a. Squat, 95×15, 95×15
b1. Static lunge, 45×15, 0x15
b2. Bent over DB row, elbow out, 20×15, 20×15
c1. Push up, 15, 15
c2. Swissball crunch, 20, 10

a. BB DL, 115×15, 115×15
b1. Step up, 40×15
b2. 1 arm DB shoulder press, 20×15, 20×15
c1. Pull up, 3, 4
c2. Rev crunch, 20, 20

– My first workout on the 4th completely kicked my ass.  I literally felt like passing out afterward, and that’s basically what I did.  I had a post workout shake, crawled up the stairs and into bed, and went straight to sleep.  It was like 9p, and I woke up the next morning at 4:30a with no alarm.  I’m usually up late and oversleeping in the morning.
– I could not keep my lower back from rounding on the bent over DB rows.
– I had to do the step ups on the stairs, from the ground to the second step and back down again.
– I can’t fit my lat pull down in the basement because of ceiling clearance, so I did close grip pull ups instead (second workout, c1)

A question for the mailbag:
My basement is pretty cold in the winter and I wonder if that is making it harder to work out.  Does working out in a 45-50F degree basement do any harm?


This has been “OK”.  I generally don’t eat a ton of crap to begin with, but I do have a bad habit of not eating enough.  For example, it’s 4p and today I’ve had a bowl of oatmeal, 2 servings of fat-free cottage cheese with half a small can of tangerine segments in tangerine juice on top, a medium apple, post workout shake, and a cool scramble/omlete I just made up today:

Cut up a small zucchini, a small onion, crush a clove of garlic, and grind up a small amount of ginger.  Saute with just a little of olive oil over medium heat.  Once they’re to your liking, crack some pepper on them and add maybe a tablespoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon of a cooking rice wine while the pan’s still hot.  It’ll bubble and evaporate away.  Move the veggies to your plate, clean the pan out, spray with cooking spray, then make a 3 egg omelet, or scramble it all up together if that’s what you like.  Throw on some hot sauce and eat.

I think eating enough is going to be at least as hard as the lifting…

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4 Responses

  1. Luke says:

    I, too, love the magic bullet – great item to have at home.

    Great work everyone. Seeing all of you do so well, makes me want to do even better. Keep up the good work. And welcome aboard, Eep!

  2. Bob Jenkins says:

    “…..grilled pork tenderloin with grilled red, orange, and yellow bell peppers….”


    Nice work everybody, keep up the solid efforts!

  3. Kerry says:

    I also love the magic bullet. My favorite recipe is 1 scoop of vanilla or berry flavored protein powder, water or milk, and top it off with frozen berries. Very simple and very yummy. And of course the PB shake from gourmet nutrition is also awesome.

    Nice work everyone!

  4. Ken says:

    Welcome aboard Courtney. Carrie, what type of food scale did you get and do you recommend it? I’m thinking of picking one up. Good progress everyone.