FitCast Accountability Blog (3/17/10)

I can’t believe it is starting to finally warm up here in Massachusetts. We have actually had two consecutive days of decent weather after a lot of rain which led to flooding. Also, as you may notice we do have two people missing this week. Michelle decided to no do the blog anymore. I am not going to get into why, she just is. Carrie hasen’t sent me her pictures or blog for this week.  That means that I may be adding one (or two) new people to the blog, possibly one of my online clients. We will see.

Also there were a few shout outs to Leigh Peele’s Body By Eats. I can not recommend this book enough! Get it before it is too late and it is time to hit the beach!

Body By Eats is Leigh Peele’s amazing book that covers many facets of nutrition, deficits, misnomers, and a TON of delicious healthy recipies that can fit into the strictness of diets. Check out my review of the book here: Body By Eats Review

AND…Big props to Courtney for kicking ass this week!

Anyways here are the blogs for this week:

David:

Hey Everyone,

This week when I was looking at my photos and I was actually a little bit disappointed. I don’t think that the photos tell the story, at least not this week.

Right now I feel stronger that I have in a long time. My workouts have been awesome, and I have been getting in the gym and not skipping any workouts. My exercise battery is this week on Thursday, and I don’t really feel a lot of stress about it like I have in the past. I probably have not worked as hard on my cardio as I should have, but I feel that at least my bench is going to be as good or better than it has before. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

My diet is what shot me in the foot this week, just like last. I haven’t been tracking my food as diligently as I was before, more estimating my amounts, and that has really hurt me. I am feeling more full and “blown up” than I had been when I was tracking online, and I think that showed some in the photos. I HAVE to get back to the livestrong tracking system. It shocks me to realize how just missing one day of tracking has caused me to slack off on it overall.

I do think my diet is going to improve this week though, as the weather here has broken and is getting better. I also finally got a grill for the house, so I will be cooking out more lean meats out there instead of eating as many “heavier” meals. I have already made up some extra chicken breasts for quick snacks , and am thinking about veggie kabobs later this week. If anyone has any great grilling recipes please feel free to shoot them this way.

Thanks for all the support and keep up the hard work everyone.

Thanks for reading.

DW

Batty:

Happy spring forward, y’all! I say “y’all” and yet I was born and raised in Ohio. Go figure.

The 500 feet of snow has melted, that “warm” thing that happens outside  is becoming more prevalent, and this makes me a happy camper. That is, it teases us until we get bombarded with another foot of snow or so in April, and then it doesn’t warm up until June. Such is life here.
To celebrate this weeks mild, sunny weather, I took some of my workouts outside. It was a refreshing change from our spooky basement gym of doom.
For ultimate full body strength training, I recommend black lab rope pulls. 1500 reps @ 150 lbs for 3 minutes. Each arm. You’re lucky the pic came out *this* clear.
Last week’s picture really bummed me out. I mean, *really* bummed me out. I have a number of people that ask me for advice because they know where I’ve been, and I always tell them to not  base their entire fitness worth on the number on that damn scale. And here I am doing it myself. Its really easy to tell others what they should be doing and then hold yourself to a higher, almost impossible, standard. It would be completely awesome if I could hit 145 by my birthday, but now I don’t know if the pressure of such a time constraint is exactly mentally healthy.  I am still going to step on that scale, but focus more on BF% and taking body measurements, which I should have been doing in the damn first place.

I had some achievements in the nutrition department this week. I finally managed to ditch the processed protein bar I had been eating every day for god knows how long. This means the only “processed” food I am eating now is a scoop or two of whey protein powder a day. Everything else is made from my own two grubby little paws with recognizable whole food from the grocery store. well, aside from ketchup and mustard that I don’t use a lot anyway.

I did have a couple of cheats this week. I had a cake donut at work on Tuesday [more on this later], and my mom’s birthday was this week, so I made her this cake topped with a chocolate ganache and organic red raspberries. Saturday, I did track my calorie intake and I did chow down on a handful or two of leftover dark chocolate chips. And I guess I really gotta give myself credit here – when most people say they cheat, they’re doing something like hitting up the Dairy Queen. My cheat is organic whole wheat dark chocolate cake. Is that *really* a cheat?

So, about that donut – I ate it before my coworker and I went on our first lunchtime bike ride of the season. [carb load! I swear!] this is a regular thing for us as long as it’s over 40 degrees and not pouring down rain, and we’ll do about 10-12 miles. As it warms up and the sun is out longer, I’ll tack on an extra 20-40 miles in the evenings, and 40-60 miles on saturdays. I have at least one century this summer, i’m shooting for two.

Michelle asked me what my tabatas were, so I decided to just share with the rest of the class. My list is here. I pick 3 of these sets, repeat them 4 times [so you’re doing 16 minutes for each one], for a total of around 45 minutes when i’m done. My favorite is set 2. I also like to do this for upper body, adding regular pushups on the end.

I have not mentioned NROL4W, and there’s a reason for that. One night I was checking out the ab def in the mirror as I am apt to do, and that’s when I notice a small bulge in my groin area. It seems that hernias are contagious. Well, that’s not the official diagnosis but it sure the hell looks like what my boyfriend has. I have made an appointment for a physical and we’ll see what develops. I SWEAR TO GOD this is the MOST I have *ever* been injured in my entire life. It’s rather embarrassing. I’ve never even broken a bone. And now that I’ve typed that, a chunk of ceiling’s gonna fall down on my arm and render it useless.
I am down a pound from last week and my BF% remains unchanged. I have noticed more definition in my arms and obliques, and if I am actually starting to see some lines in my thighs. And to keep my focus, I took body measurements. Now, all I have to compare it to at this point are measurements I took last year when I was doing P90X. I was pretty much the same weight then. Comparing the current measurements to those, I’m down 2 inches in the waist, an inch in the hips, and an inch in the thighs. Calves remain unchanged, but they’re always big. Taking these measurements actually made me feel a bit better.
This is another 4am shot, so I look like I’m about to eat your babies and take your lunch money. Comparing the left thigh with the right, you can totally see the effects of having to wear the leg brace.  I’m seeing the beginnings of the tiniest hint of background between the thighs. I’ll take that.

This week’s goals are to hit my protein requirement, keep my carb limit, and make sure most of my fats are healthy. And not beat myself up so much.

Ken:

Is it ok for a grown man to get excited by fitting into a pair of jeans? I have seen the diet ads that reference the pair of jeans you want to fit into but in my opinion, they are targeted toward women. Let me explain.  I got a pair of jeans for Christmas that were the right size but the wrong cut.  I’ve always worn “relaxed” as opposed to “straight” when it came to denim so when i tried this pair on there was simply no way.  Since we forgot were the jeans were purchased I couldn’t take them back and they remained, with tags, buried in my closet.  While getting dressed for dinner the other night I decided to give them a try and to my surprise–perfect.  I couldn’t help thinking about a Biography episode featuring Oprah where she said the day after the famous “skinny jeans” show she could no longer fit into them.  I don’t see that happening, but regaining weight has been on my mind since starting this.  We’ve all been brutally honest during this accountability process and fear of returning to my former self is present everyday.  I consider the jeans another small victory.
I got to the gym three times, did one HIIT session and one four mile fartlek run outside.  I also took two days in a row off from everything and it felt great.  I’m getting back into the groove of eating larger meals around my workouts and a  smaller meal in the evening which leaves me hungry the next morning which causes me to eat more at breakfast which i consider a good thing.  I’ve found eating more at breakfast sets up a better day of eating overall.
The scale read 201.6 this morning and the measurement around my waist also decreased about 1/2″ inch.
Lucas:
Last week was a deload week for me, so I’ll try to keep this short.  It was a very good week, and I had very little problems with my diet or training.  I’m definitely forming some great habits.  The only “problem” I had was not wanting to slow down on my training for my deload week, but I definitely needed it.  Here is the rundown…
Training:
Monday 3/8 – Rest day (recovering from the orienteering race and had a head cold)
Tuesday 3/9 – Another rest day (still getting over head cold)
Wednesday 3/10 – 5/3/1 Lift with much lighter weights to deload and half of my usual timed circuit
Thursday 3/11 – “Endurance” Intervals during CSI:NY (go hard during ads lasting from 3 to 5 min. and normal pace during show)
Friday 3/12 – 5/3/1 Lift with lighter weights to deload and half of my usual timed circuit
Saturday 3/13 – Ran in the Luck of the Irish 5k
Sunday 3/14 – Coach Dos’ Kettlebell Complex from Cardio Strength Training
As you can see I didn’t continue with the Infamous TRX Workout this week.  I am in the final week of the final phase, and since this was my deload week, I decided to push this off until next week since it is very physically demanding.  It also scares the hell out of me.  I think I might die when I try it.
Nutrition:
No problems with my nutrition.  I ate according to plan all week, and I had zero cheat meals.  I consumed a little bit less each day to compensate for my lower activity levels. My favorite recipe of the week was my own version of Leigh Peele’s Egg En Cocotte Recipe (from Body by Eats but also found for free right here – http://www.leighpeele.com/egg-en-cocotte-recipe).  I used red and yellow bell peppers, diced avocado, pepper jack and cheddar cheese, and two-whole omega 3 eggs in each ramekin to modify the recipe to my liking.  Have a look at the picture, and tell me it doesn’t look tasty.  It’s amazingly delicious, and it’s packed with protein and healthy fats.
Anyway, I’m finally starting to notice a difference in my appearance.  I went back and looked at my beginning photos next to my photos from this week, and it has really motivated me to keep on truckin’.  If you haven’t done this, go do it now, and you’ll be blown away by the progress you’ve made.  I’m finally back into my size 34 pants, and I’m going to need a new belt.  Pretty damn cool.
I’m loving this accountability blog.  It’s really kept me on track.  I hope the rest of you had a great week, and let’s all keep it up! Until next time…
Aaron:
I really had my hands full this last week. I was in Washington DC for work Thur to Sunday and put in a 12 hour day Wednesday preparing for my trip.  Each day in DC consisted of 13 hours of hellaciously boring meetings, broken up only by 25 minutes breaks for terrible buffet food. The hotel was nowhere near anything resembling a decent restaurant, with the best and closest (it rained everyday) option being 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. In 4 days I ate there 6 times. I had never been to a 5 Guys before, as there are nowhere in the midwest, and I must say that they are amazing.

The strangest thing was weighing myself today put me at 171lbs, or 1 pound lighter than last week. I fully expect the other bloggers to hate my guts. I apologize. I really cannot explain it, I thought for sure i’d be up 2-4 pounds. Such is the curse of my ectomorphic disposition. I did manage to get into the hotel fitness center one night, and went through a couple of kevin’s core excercises as an ab workout another night.

That wraps it up this week, I will be back to normal after I have a chance to catch up on sleep, eating and the pile of work I came back to… It’s fun to complain sometimes. Next week I want to talk about what a catastrophe my posture is and how I can improve it before I get a hump. Also zombies.

Craig:
Last week was pretty mediocre but I did come to a realization when I remembered my three month goal. WTF I shouldn’t suddenly need to remember my goals! I know I’m not going as hard as I can in the gym and it’s time to solve that. I started to train in the morning, which is such a bad idea for me. It’s a pain in my ass to make it to the gym and be super confined because I have to make it home in time to go to work. It’s time to go back to late afternoon training on my way home from work where I don’t even have to think about not going since I’m already on the road.

I reread Girth Control and  I came up withhhh 2500-2750 calories (with non-linear variation):

242g Protein
90g Fat
225g Carb

And I know I’ve said this before but the 225g carb scares me. I’ve always dieted down low carb, for whatever reason, wish I knew. Well no matter, it’ll work if I just do it for a few weeks!
Ive also to basically track my compliance with a training % and nutrition %. At 90% and above I’m golden (training 100% of course)

I thought I had more, but not really. I have only so much willpower and I need to make it as easy on myself as possible. At the same time I don’t want to sound like a broken record; actions speak louder than words. Time to confront the brutal facts and not give a shit what others think.

P.S. Sorry for crappy cell phone pic, no camera available to me this week.

Courtney:

What an amazing week. I finished up the quarter (and actually did pretty darn well) so I now have two weeks of relative calm before it’s time to go back to class. I picked up Leigh Peel’s Body By Eats and have been enjoying reading it and trying out some of the recipes. My eating was pretty much spot on this week except for a couple of beers on Friday night when I went out with the girls. I only worked out three times last week but am starting to notice that I’m building up strength and am needing to ramp up my cardio to get the same effect.

Mainly this week was good for me mentally. I left the 190s and will never see that number on my scale again. I reached my 10 lb mark and am ready for 20. To celebrate one of my more fashionable friends came over to help me with my wardrobe. People had been getting on me for a while (my coworkers even nominated me for What Not to Wear) about my clothes. I was a big fan of wearing as much cloth as possible to cover my body from neck to feet because I had always been told that my body was unacceptable unless it was thin. My friend had me try on every piece of clothing in my closet and get rid of everything that was remotely unflattering (about 3/4 of it), taught me how to put some nice outfits together, got me to try on my clothes that had gotten too small and found some that now fit (!) and then took me shopping. I also found that my body just can’t eat unhealthy food anymore. I bought myself a soda and some gummy bears on Sunday and 15 min after consuming them I had a horrible headache and felt terrible. That makes it even easier to stick to my baked tofu and clementines since the thought of that much sugar now makes me ill.

Even though I only lost 2 lbs this week and didn’t work out a ton I feel better than I have in years because of the mental milestones. I’m writing this on Monday evening and felt so good today that on top of my hour session with my personal trainer I biked to and from work (30 min each way). Now… I just need those darn pictures to start reflecting the work I’m doing. Grrrr.

Tim:
What a crap week.  I drove from Cincinnati to Atlanta on Sunday, worked there until Friday, then drove to Charlotte Friday night.  The next morning, off to South Carolina and back the same day, then in the car again from Charlotte to Cincinnati yesterday.  It has been an incredible challenge keeping any kind of diet/workout this past week.
The Good:
– I did manage to get a couple of 2mi runs in while in Atlanta which was really rewarding because I didn’t know I could run even a mile without dropping dead.
– I bought a pair of running shoes because the shoes I had with me were killing my feet.  Now when I go back for work, I’m ready to hit the trail w/ the right gear.
– I did an upper body workout in the hotel room w/ the blast straps.  This is a really interesting way to work the upper body and core. I have no idea how to hit below the waist line with them, though.  Still, for taking up virtually no room in my luggage, they are awesome.
– I reorganized the home gym tonight.  Finally got my lat tower up which is great because now I can execute the Hypertrophy I program from New Rules of Lifting using the exercises listed instead of having to come up w/ stuff w/ the straps.
The Bad:
– Nutrition was pretty marginal.  Visiting my parents over the weekend was the worst.  They don’t know what I’m up to with this whole body transformation thing, so they just cooked the way they normally do: carbs and fat.  I at least did not spend any time hungry while visiting them.
– I got fewer than 3 hours of any kind of real exercise in.
The Ugly:
– Same old pics.  I’m not really deterred by this, though.  I really like what I’m doing with this routine and I’m looking forward to working out more and more.  My real goal is to establish a life-long habit of health.
No workout log because there weren’t really any measurable workouts.
178lbs (up 8lbs from the start of the program)
Robert:
Now I know why Jonathan Fass never updates his blog; It’s tough to write something every week.  For me this week sucked just as bad as last week.  I’m still struggling with time and energy.  I’m not eating terribly, but I’m not disciplined either; I’m not sitting around doing nothing, but I’m not on a strict training schedule.  So I’m left right in the middle, not gaining or losing any fat.  I have gained some strength which is good, but I need to get more interval training in and dial in my diet. My next quarter starts in a few weeks and my schedule won’t be quite as ridiculous (although I do have 9 hours of Air Force classes a week).  We just had daylight savings time too so the days will get a little longer and I’ll be able to train outside a little more.  I figure I’m like a disney movie where the underdog sports team gets a rough start and gets discouraged, but then there’s the montage where they train hard to some inspiring music and win the playoff game…  I just have to find someone to give me an inspiring talk and buy me matching uniforms.
I digress, it’s not that I don’t care or that I’m not taking this amazing opportunity seriously.  It’s just that I’m having a hard enough time just waking up every day and meeting all the assignments and responsibilities I have on a daily basis.  This week I’m going to try to use some sandbags I have at home to get some metabolic work in.  This way I can’t use time as an excuse.  I also want to try to plan and portion my meals better, down to the calorie to eliminate the times of weakness or rationalization.  Thanks again to everybody who reads these blogs.  Even though I feel like crap, I know it’ll be that much better when I’m able to get buckled down.

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7 Responses

  1. Bree says:

    This is random, but Aaron – if I remember right you are in MN? There is a Five Guys in Edina on France Ave. Not sure if you are anywhere near the Twin Cities, but it would be closer then DC next time.

    Keep up the good work everyone!

  2. batty says:

    aw man! my dog pic isn’t there 🙁

    @courtney: i’m feeling really proud for you right now! if i lived near you, or had a really long arm, i’d give you a high 5. seriously, awesome.

    @lucas: CSI:NY intervals. you must patent this.

  3. Ken says:

    Kevin, do you find it interesting that nobody is mentioning that this accountability is a contest? I actually forgot what you said the prize was. I guess it goes to show that the true prize is the experience and the camaraderie.

  4. Aaron says:

    Wow, yeah I am in the Twin Cities area (St Louis Park). That’s awesome, I thought I heard it was an east coast exclusive. This bulk just got a whole lot easier… thanks Bree!

  5. Michelle C says:

    Batty, THANK YOU!!
    I can’t believe you even included youtube vids–Love it!
    Keep on truckin, everyone. You really are doing great!

  6. Luke says:

    Great work, everybody! And, Courtney, you’re attitude is amazing this week. Keep it going!

    @batty: I would patent the “CSI:NY Intervals”, but then someone would just come along and think they had something better like “CSI:Miami Intervals”, and we all know how much less fat is burned while training during CSI:Miami.

  7. Kraig says:

    I’m down with all y’all. Good progress even though some of it may not be visible, but any progress is good. Even if its just following the plan and staying on track. Plus, David and Lucas pretty much look like my body type, so I’m interested in finding out the results.