FitCast Accountability Blog (2/16/10)

First off, these blogs are really amazing. If you are reading this, please show your support to these brave people in the comments section. Here are just some notes for a few of you:

  • David: It is great to have that support of your fiancé. And don’t stress out about a meal every few weeks where you go over. Just don’t go nuts and order everything from the dollar menu (something that I have witnessed someone do before).
  • Craig: I heard about that Kevin Smith story on This Week in Tech. Messed up story. Hopefully Southwest will do something to address that.
  • Luke: Great call with Body By Eats. As you can see I did a little write up below.
  • Carrie: It is bull shit that BSC won’t let you do medball slams. BULL SHIT. Also, you are looking great, get back on track after the night out and kick some ass.
  • Courtney: Stay strong! Your support is here! Other don’t want to see people close to them get leaner. It is jealousy.

Two weeks down. This past Monday I rejoined the world of accountability with Destination Abs Finale. I will be posting the blog for that on Thursday. One thing that I think everyone should have when on a diet is a good resource for healthy recipes. I have seen and heard it all too often when people eat the same thing day in and day out. Eventually they become fed up and decided to order a pizza or open a bag of Oreos. I am a big fan of Leigh’s Body By Eats. It is a huge cookbook of healthy and great tasting recipes  as well as a diet book. Two thing you should have in one nice package. The best part, you can download it right now and use it to make dinner tonight. Check it at BodyByEats.com

Now to the blogs…

Ken:

Has anyone read the book The Other Shulman by Alan Zweibel? If you already have, please bear with me.  It’s a story of a sad sap type of guy, Shulman, that has gained and lost the same 40 pounds so many times that if added up, the weight could equal a 200 pound clone of him.  Amongst a failing marriage and a stumbling business he signs up for the New York City Marathon and decides he is going to lose the forty pounds for good and rid himself of the physical and psychological burden it has caused him over the years. While trying to save his marriage, revive his business and train for the marathon, the sinister, ghostly spirit of weight loss past appears, real or imagined, and tries to foil his progress toward his ultimate goal. The spirit goes by the name T.O. Shulman or The Other Shulman.  Far fetched or not, it’s a funny book.

Now I’m not going to claim that I’ve played the yo yo game with my weight quite as extreme as Shulman and I’ve certainly never had a doppelgänger follow me around and foil my effort to improve my life, but I do think extra weight can become a psychologically living thing that a person can look at as a separate entity from themselves and form a strong hatred.  And by looking at it as a separate entity someone might claim they have no control over it.  I accuse myself of this.

I only got to the gym two times this week and also did three HIIT workouts on the treadmill.  One day I went cross country skiing.  My eating plan went good and I did reward myself with some spicy chicken wings and a slice of pizza last night.  I’m finding more and more that prior planning is the key.  I’ve only read that a hundred times, I don’t know why I’m so surprised.

I weighed in at 205 this morning, that is a 3lb loss.  The body fat percentage dropped by 1% to 24 and the measurement around my waist shrink about a half and inch to 38 inches.

David:

Hey Everyone,

Well, week 2 did not go quite as well as week 1. This is going to be harder than I thought.

My diet was the biggest struggle for me this week. I’m not sure how it happened…it’s too early into all this to have felt like I needed a “cheat” meal, but I did. My fiancé and I went out a couple of times actually, and it’s only thanks to her that I didn’t totally blow it. Both times I ordered calorie conscious meals, steak of some kind and veggies, but I still was way over where I wanted to be. Oh well. Being out and about sightseeing with the kids didn’t help. My schedule ended up being off too, not eating every few hours and eating more at the 3 big meals I did have.

Now that the bad stuff is out of the way, I can tell you the good stuff. At the end of week 2 I was down 6 lbs, and at least a few inches off my waist. I hadn’t noticed any big change in my pics, however my pants and even shirts are fitting better, and my fiancé says my face in definitely thinner. I haven’t been craving any “bad” foods, and I am feeling a lot better. I also added 10 more lbs to my bench press. I am really starting to get excited about my next fitness test at work (last week of March).

This week I am going to concentrate on making sure I get my cardio workouts in and not just my lifting, and making sure I am adequately hydrated. I don’t think I have been getting nearly enough water (which I can tell in how I feel). Leigh’s Water Manual is great, a must read for anyone. I also get to up my ice hockey time to 2 hours a week for the next couple of weeks, and that should be a great addition to my workout.

Thanks so much to all of you for your support and to my fellow bloggers, keep up the good work.

Any recipes you guys have found to make things easier? I have been stir frying peppers, squash, and zucchini and really enjoying it.

Thanks again.

DW

Craig:

I am currently reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It was very popular in the early 2000s and so far it’s a great book. This year I do have a goal to read at least 30 books, but I am striving for 50. If you look at the rest of this blog you will see Aaron is reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and for him I recommend First Things First a few months later as a great followup by Covey. I use www.shelfari.com to track all my reading and it’s a great tool. I used to use a spreadsheet, but forget that; use the intertubes.

This year is my year of action and increased education. I bought a stereo for my Civic so I can finally use my mp3 player with it for podcasts/audiobooks. I just need to learn to install the damn this. Here is an interesting blog post that puts into words what I have learned over the years about what I know and what others know: http://jangosteve.com/post/380926251/no-one-knows-what-theyre-doing

My nutrition this week overall was wishy washy. Livestrong has updated their Dailyplate and I plan to take full advantage of their new application. Anyone who is looking for something more useful than Fitday needs to try Dailyplate/Livestrong because their webapp is incredibly easy to use and 99% of the foods you eat are ALREADY in the database. You never have to enter foods and fill out their caloric/nutritional breakdowns. I can guarantee that a fortnight of regular eating does wonders for energy and sleep regularity. I used to be dead tired by 11pm and asleep by 11:10pm, but lately I have been all over the place with my sleep.

It snowed this week and closed down my school and I couldn’t even make it up my driveway due to the ice. It is strange when 49 states are covered with snow in some form (except Hawaii those bastards).

Also another thing that is interesting from the web is that Kevin Smith (writer of Clerks/Clerks 2) was kicked off a Southwestern Airlines flight for being too heavy. He exploded on twitter and you can read a summary of the drama here: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/02/14/director-kevin-smith-too-wide-for-the-sky. While I like Kevin Smith is incredibly funny, I hope that he faces facts soon, like the rest of us here in this accountability blog (myself mostly), and he gets onto the right path. He has all the resources available to him, but no one can force change onto anyone else. I’ve learned that the hard way.

Oh also this is just a new accountability thing I learned from Dan John. I am going to eat THIS can of dog food if I don’t hit my goal; yes im serious: http://imgur.com/xsqBH.jpg

Michelle:

Hi everyone. Here we are heading into week three and I have to say that week two was a bit of a disaster. I had a complete crap week at work; suffice to say I think I’ll be leaving that job shortly. I’m beginning to realize that you spend too much time at actual work to be miserable, so it’s time to move on. I also work at a restaurant on Monday nights, which I’m not sure I mentioned before; this week someone needed Tuesday night covered so I worked two nights. I did make it to the gym on Monday morning – a first for me – getting up at 5 am to get a workout in when I’m not getting home until 11 is usually more than I want to take on. Tuesday however I didn’t make it. And I only made my training on Wednesday and Thursday this week. So I didn’t make my 5 day gym commitment this week. Total fail. It’s pretty amazing how you feel like complete ass when you make a commitment to do something and you don’t follow through with it.. Normally not making the gym five times wouldn’t bother me in the least, I’d justify it with the fact that I trained three days and that would have been good enough.  Anyways this a new week and I have to go into it with a positive attitude. I’ll be back to training tomorrow morning with a brand new program that is sure to kill me, but I’m really looking forward to it. Hope everyone had a better week than me and keep up the good work.

-michelle

Luke:

Hello again, everybody. This was a much needed deload week for me, so my activity level was a little lower. To compensate for moving less, I cut down on how much I ate each day a little bit.  I weighed 216.5 this Monday morning for a loss of 2 pounds for this week and a total of 4.5 pounds since this accountability blog started.  Not great, but not bad.  It’s pretty much right where I want to be.  Here is the rundown for last week:

Training:
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Infamous TRX Workout A – Phase 2 Week 2
Wednesday – Deload 5/3/1 Lift – Front Squat & DB Row
Thursday – Infamous TRX Workout B – Phase 2 Week 2
Friday – Deload 5/3/1/ Lift – Deadlift & High Incline DB Bench
Saturday – 57 mile gravel road bike ride
Sunday – Rest Day

Nutrition:
I tried some of the recipes from Body by Eats, and they are superb!  Seriously, it feels like I’m not even trying to lose weight when I eat this stuff.  My favorite was the “White Chicken Chili”, and the “Shrimp and Broccoli with a Twist” and the “Pineapple Pork Chops” were also simply delicious.  And I feel like kind of like a real chef when I make these recipes.

I’ve started preparing bigger batches of healthy food all at once so that I have tasty, nutritous food on hand at all times.  This is a key factor in staying on track for me.  If I have healthy options that I’ve already prepared, then I am much less likely to eat the bad stuff.  You see, I have kids in the house with all of their tempting goodies lurking in the cabinets belting out their siren song every time I walk through the kitchen, trying to lure me in.

“No!” I say.  “I won’t eat you sweet, sweet Oatmeal Pies.  No!  I won’t succomb to the temptation of your creamy, gooey deliciousness.  I am stronger than you!”  Every time this happens, the temptation dwindles a little, and my will power grows.

I did eat “badly” once this week.  After my long bike ride on Sunday, I ate a “cheat meal”.  This one was actually planned (unlike last week’s cheat meal) for immediately following my bike ride so that the “damage” would be kept in check.

So, there you have it.  Another good week, and I’m feeling a lot better.  My wife says she can see a difference in how I look, but she kind of has to say that since she’s my wife and all.  I mean, it’s not like she’s going to say, “Wow, you still look like a fat slob.”  But hey, I’ll take all the compliments I can get (Thanks, Honey!).

Take care everyone!  Until next time, Buh-Bye.

Aaron:

Let’s lay out this nutrition plan in a easy to digest (Pun!) fashion…

Nutrition Breakdown: 170 to 195lb Project

Goals

1.   Be consistent with caloric intake

2.   Spend the time to prep food

3.   Be cognizant of timing macro intake (notably peri-workout nutrition)

4.   Explore new foods in order to avoid boredom

5.   100 ounces of water/day – 1liter =~34 ounces

Macronutrient Intake

WO Day – 3,000 Calories = 50 (c) / 30 (p) / 20 (f) %’s

o   Carbs:  375g

o   Protein: 225g

o   Fat: 67g

Rest Day – 2,500 Calories = 40 (c) / 40 (p) / 20 (f) %’s

o   Carbs: 300g

o   Protein: 300g

o   Fat: 67g

As you can see I’m doing some cycling here between days. I have no justifiable scientific reason for this, it’s simply my way of avoiding eating monotonously which has gotten me into trouble in the past.

Struggles

1. Lunch is by far and away the most difficult meal of the day for me to manage. Due to the development of a mild allergy to chicken (temperature rise, tingling skin on face) I am at a loss on what to bring (re-heatable, easily portable, smell non-offensive to others in the office), as chicken breasts have been my go-to forever. I picked up a few recipes from Dr. Clay Hyght’s (of TMuscle fame) free e-book Set Your Metabolism on Fire: http://www.drclay.com/ I’m hoping a few of these will help.

2. Holy crap this is a lot of food. I mean… wow. Eating in a major surplus “cleanly” is really a challenge at times.  Though the more I think about it, it’s not really the food – it’s the grind of preparing it all, getting it ready to bring to work and just simply spending the time to eat all of it. Hopefully as I make these things a habit as opposed to a “chore” this gets easier.

The no-fat, organic, cage-free, low sodium Wrap up

While I have never been overweight, I can certainly empathize with my fellow participants from a mental standpoint. It is such a crazy thing to basically do battle with your own mind. Deep-seeded habits have such powerful control over your day-to-day actions that it really takes a monumental effort to overcome them. While the other bloggers might be tempted to grab an unnecessary snack, I might skip a meal. In either case our minds are justifying the action internally – even though we know damn well that our action is counter-productive… that’s where the power of Accountability comes in handy.

Carrie:

This week didn’t go so well for me. I felt low on energy, which carried over to my workouts, I just wasn’t into it. I did make it four times, but not as much as I would have liked or with much enthusiasm. Though I did a lot of food prep, and weighed and measured everything for lunches, etc. I’d gotten out of the habit of making my fitday entries regularly. When I finally did catch up, I realized I’d gone over my allotted calories a couple of days. One day being a salad that did me in. I got pretty down on myself, and instead of thinking positively and getting back on track, I had a margarita. We’re being honest here, right? Believe me, I felt guilty. I feel guilty writing this right now! I had some plans for dinners out (they were made before starting this thing) but I tried to make smarter choices and control my portions. Anyways, I’m hoping this week will prove to be better. I’m focusing on the fact that within the first week some said they saw a slight difference in my pictures – a little less chub around my middle – and remember how good I was feeling after that first week. If my original numbers were anywhere near correct, I may have actually lost a couple lbs already. Like I said, it had been some time since I’d actually weighed myself. I’ll try to be more diligent. Here’s hoping everyone has a good week!

Courtney:

Well, I have to say that I’m pretty happy with how my first week of this challenge went. I stayed on track with my nutrition except for one day and worked out hard and was rewarded with a 4.2lb weight loss. My personal trainer is still backed up from the new year resolution people so I haven’t gotten to meet with him yet, but have been working on eating good, healthy, whole foods and continuing with my running program until he and I can get a real plan formulated. I’m really getting addicted to veggie “stir-fry” (almost no oil, just sauce) over brown rice. It’s become my go-to meal when I really need to spend my evenings writing.

During the week I went running 3 days and moved into week 2 of my couch to 5k program, took a long lunch one day and spent it running up
and down the stairs at the office and then Saturday I went snow tubing with some friends. Instead of taking the lift up I trecked my butt up that hill, in the snow, dragging my tube behind me which, funny enough, isn’t something they have on fitday in their exercise categories. Saturday was a bit of a wash calorically since we ate at the lodge and the food choices there were terrible. I ended up eating a chicken caesar salad and having to stop the girl at one scoop of dressing. We also went out for drinks after tubing which made me break even for the day instead of keeping with my 5-900 calorie defect.

I’ve been disappointed at how many people in my life are really unsupportive of me doing this challenge. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m part of a community of people who are generally fairly unhealthy. Fortunately the most important people in my life are taking my side on this and are helping in every way that they can. My boyfriend will be coming into town from Biloxi next weekend and we are already planing out our food and workouts. Good job everyone, reading your blog posts keeps me motivated just as much as knowing that my pictures are out there for everyone to see.

Robert:

This was the week that being accountable really paid off.  This was the week that everything clicked and every time I thought about eating something I shouldn’t, I thought “crap, I’m going to be the ONLY one that has the same picture week after week”.  That being said, I’m honestly not sure if I was 90% compliant, but I did better than previous weeks.  I’m noticing small changes in my body that normally would not be possible in the middle of a school quarter (plus, what we call winter here in southern california).  I feel like I look the same, but my wife said, “You feel skinnier, if Kevin came and hugged you, he’d feel the difference”.  I know these changes would not be there had I not signed up for this challenge and that makes me feel good about the possibilities.  The moment I read that I was accepted into this contest I experienced a mixture of excitement and terror.  I thought “Oh no, what have I done. Not only am I burning the candle at both ends, but now I’ve just taken a blowtorch to the damn thing.”  I didn’t make a drastic life change the first day, as I would have hoped, but I’m taking steps every day to make better habits and do the things I know I’m supposed to do.
I want to say thanks to everybody who signed up with me, the people who follow our stories with words of support, and Kevin and the fitcast crew for all the time they put into making an awesome show.  No matter our motives for joining this contest, I’m sure I’ll end up with a few more friends by the end and that makes it worth it…and a video camera.
Tim:
This week felt much better than my first.  Here are the workouts:

Thursday
1. Squat 95×15, 115×12
2a. Static lunge 45×15, 45×15
2b. DB Row (elbow out) 30×15, 30×15
3a. Push-up 15, 15
3b. Swissball crunch 20, 20

Sunday
1. BB DL 135×15, 135×15
2a. Step-up 40×15, 40×15
2b. DB single arm overhead press 20×15, 20×15
3a. Chin up 7, 5
3b. Reverse crunch 20, 20

These are still pretty challenging workouts for me, and I still have trouble keeping my back from rounding, especially in the DB row.  Good news is I had no trouble sticking to the program and I didn’t feel like poop after! =D  The New Rules of Lifting calls for 2 more weeks of the break in program, but I’m already anxious for the next step.

Nutrition has been about the same as week 1: OK but not great.  Week days are always really tough (unless I work from home) because it’s just not so easy taking meal breaks every 2-3 hours.  I need to read through the Precision Nutrition handbook again…I know there have to be some good tips in there.

Sorry for the picture quality this week.  I have to use the webcam in my iMac and the sun’s blocked out by the snow, so lighting is horrible.  Can’t wait to see the progress everyone else has made!

Thanks,
Tim

Batty:

Sugar, I hate you all over your tasty addictive face. I thought we had a good thing going here – you would try had hard as you could to get my attention, and I would flip you the bird and walk away.  I do stop by once in a while to see how you’ve been, but all you end up doing is cling to my butt and beg me to take you back. This is not a good relationship we have, sugar. It’s not me, its you. Sugary little sugar filled bastard.

Ok, so. that bloaty feeling I had last week subsided and I am chalking it up to the residuals of that time of the month. I do not think the camera flash is effectively showing the progress I have made, although, I am hoping it soon will. However, observe the photo I took of myself the day after last week’s progress pictures:

SEE? There’s something going on there. (ok, ok, this was post workout, but still) 90% of my cleavage is now pecs. I am seeing definition in my upper abs that comes and goes depending on the time of the day and my REALLY BIG RIBCAGE. I am kinda barrel chested and I hate it because it makes me look like I’m “sucking it in” when I’m really not, and it does weird crap to my abs. I was kind of worried this week about calorie intake and whether or not I should reduce. I decided not to. I dont want to deprive the bod of what it needs. I make most of the food we eat around here from scratch, and the only real prepackaged/processed food I consume is a daily protein bar and a scoop and a half of whey protein powder post workout.
I kept my calorie goals but my fat intake was a little higher this past week due to my increase of peanut butter, almonds, and some walnuts. I thought this might help but I was *incredibly*  sluggish. My brain slightly shut down. It was not pretty. Friday, I was so dazed that I found myself not being able to make decisions at work, and I was so tapped for energy that I did not work out.  The bum knee didn’t really help, either.
I was still concerned about losing or not continuing my progress, but in the weight room, my pulldowns and presses all increased by about 10 lbs. I can actually pull down really close to my body weight now! Really attempting to push myself with the upper body stuff helped me achieve workouts almost comparable to what I was doing pre-brace.
This week’s weigh in had me at 153.2 and 16.33% body fat. The calcs say that is 2lbs muscle lost and 5 lbs fat. I’m staring at that BF% in disbelief. I don’t *feel* 16% body fat. My fat distribution is rather unkind to my lower regions. While I’m actually seeing my ribcage through my chest [which is kinda scaring me] and my arms are awesome, my butt still makes that BLUH BLOO BLUH BLUH noise when the wind is right. There’s a lot of storage on my lower abdomen and all down the backs of my legs. I’m like an upside down toothpaste tube of fat, where someone is squeezing it out starting with my head and working their way down. This is why I am focusing on my abs right now because its the current squeezing out point.
Here’s my other confession: I made cookies Saturday. In my defense, they were made with oat flour and 60% cacao chips and walnuts. Saturdays I *do* reserve for a carb load and minor refeed but I think I overdid it. Now, with a 15 year old and a 4 year old in the house, cookies don’t last too long here. However, Sunday morning there were a few left, and I ate them.
4 of them, to be exact. 4 awesome, nutty, chocolate filled cookies that actually left me feeling a little ill. This is by far the most processed sugar I have consumed in the past 6 weeks.
Dammit.

To get back on track, I am putting my food intake blog up for public consumption. I track over at livestrong, and it is here: http://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate/diary/who/msbatty/ . I will echo Courtney’s sentiment about crying a little bit over putting this in front of everyone, but I gotta do what I gotta do.

This week’s goals: keep up the UB workouts. Start on that pullup goal – that’s been problematic because our doorway pullup bar won’t fit in *any* of the doorways in this old house. However, the SO is ccurrently in the basement constructing a combination squat rack/pullup setup for us. Thank god for his support.
Food wise, get back on track with my macros. These next two days will absolutely suck coming down from the sugar consumption, but I know I can do it. I am going to ditch cheese. I’ll usually have 2 servings a day at most but I dont think it’s doing me any good right now. Yes, internet, I have publicly announced that I am going to cut the cheese.
I was going to go back to the bandana with this week’s photo, but decided instead to include a jaunty hat. The world needs more jaunty hats.

Larry:


Nutrition –

I use calorie-count.com to log my food as I consume it on a daily basis and watch the ongoing analysis to keep my carb/pro/fat levels at about 50/30/20 while keeping my sodium, sugar, sat fats, fiber and cholesterol within a somewhat normal range. My goal is to consume between 1800-2000 calories daily with a three day low carb routine followed by a one day slightly higher carb day (with a cheat meal)  taking me up to 2000-2200 calories. Truthfully, this last week had two days when I over consumed on my workout days with the feeling that it was real hunger and me wanting me to chew my arm off in response. As my workout schedule is now established and in place, I believe this will be less of an issue going forward.

Fitness –

After a month and change layoff from wrecking my left shoulder and having a cortisone shot, I returned last Monday to full week of a two day split workout with fairly light weights and two days of getting back on the treadmill for two 36 minute hill routines at a modest pace. I ended up missing one day on the treadmill after my first lower body workout, because the squats and lunges left my quads in a state of disrepair and much DOMS. But, I’m back, feeling good and looking forward to working out at a good pace to recover my fitness.

Misc.-

I was down a pound on the scale with a 1% drop in body fat for the week. Would like to lose two pounds a week and believe with my full workout in place and 3-4 days of cardio can make it happen. I am using my Tanita scale for my weekly reported body fat measurement, having had a caliper measurement by a personal trainer a couple of weeks ago at a body fat level almost 10% less, go figure. I have not mastered my own Accu-measure Caliper and for the moment have more faith and will record the electronic measurement.

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6 Responses

  1. LM says:

    Michelle – I think you did tremendously well this week but are selling accomplishments short. Sounds like you have difficult schedule and 4x in one week is really good. All or nothing thinking will only derail you in the end. And you need sleep in order to recover and make good on your work in the gym. Best of luck. LM

  2. batty says:

    @david: i’ve been getting a ton of inspiration from the New Rules of Lifting books for recipes, marks daily apple – although i do modify those a bit to fit my macro goals. also, notakeout.com sends you a recipe to your email daily, and their stuff is really good. crock pot meals have been my lunch staple, i let er rip on sunday with a crapload of chicken, some lentils or beans, spices, and i’m set for the week.

    i also wanna that i really enjoyed reading everyones stuff this week. good AND bad. it makes me feel less alone in this!

  3. David says:

    Thanks all (especially Batty). Ill use the website you recommended.

    Its good to know everybody else felt “weak” this week too. I figured it was from being in a deficit.

    Good luck all!

  4. Luke says:

    Once again, great work everyone! It’s nice to see how everyone else is overcoming their obstacles and setbacks. It definitely helps me feel a little more normal. And I’ve also realized that I am not the only one that is too hard on myself.

    Those of you that think you had a “bad” week… I’d have to disagree. Maybe it wasn’t a “perfect” week, but I think you all had a pretty damn good week. Keep up the good work!

  5. Carrie says:

    Kev, I take it you talked to Tony? 🙂 I can only imagine the craziness he is going to program for me next month. Operation: piss BSC off.

  6. Selina says:

    Batty you look fab honey! I love your abs – wow, what a starting point! I could do with your knee brace as well at the mo, there goes my run tomorrow….ouch

    Selina
    x