FitCast Accountability Blog (3/9/10)

I am just going to let the blogs speak for themselves today. I am still recovering from being sick and have a lot of work to catch up on. Now to the blogs:

Ken:

I should have counted the number of times this accountability program has prevented me from either making a bad food choice or skipping a workout.  I have always been a Master of Justification when it came to snacking and over eating.  I would simply find a reason why it was “justified” and then dive in.  But posting pictures and blogging has made that justification change gears.  Now when I’m tempted to undo a good gym session with a questionable dinner choice my inner talk says things like “Think of how good you’ll feel if you follow this workout with a balanced meal?”  And guess what?   That is happening more and more and my confidence in battling the devil on my shoulder has grown to a point that its not much of a battle anymore.  I also no longer beat myself up when I eat one of my favorite “bad foods”.  My kids made cupcakes and I had a craving for one.  So I had one.  I logged it in my diary and at the end of the day I’ll see how the numbers look.  But I wont let negativity take over and allow me to eat five more.  Have one, enjoy it, and move on.  Little victories.
Despite being out of town again this past week I had a pretty good week.  The warm weather allowed me to get outside for some running three times and I got to the gym three times.  I visited four different gyms over the past two weeks and made one observation- people need to get off that cardio equipment and pick up a dumbbell.  The listeners of the fitcast know this but someone needs to make a public service announcement.  One gym I walked into was packed and I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to get my work done until I found my way to the free weight area which was a ghost town.  I counted 40 pieces of cardio equipment and 35 of them were being used.  In the free weight area-  just me and another guy.
I lost one pound (203) this week and about a 1/4 inch off my stomach measurement.  I’m happy with a pound per week.  Despite losing nine pounds I haven’t seen any of my max lifts diminish since the start.  I’m very happy with that.  One thing that I’ve echoed from the start is to trust the program and when I look at a comparison of the pictures, and step on the scale, it strengthens that trust.
Aaron:
Hello once again ladies and gentlemen… not a whole lot to report this week. I’m up to 173lbs consistently each morning making for a 7lb total gain so far in 1 month.  On the surface that does not seem all that great given the effort I feel like I’ve put forth in the gym and in the kitchen over the last 30 days; in the past this rather underwhelming result would have really bothered me. This time is different. This time I feel like I am laying the right ground work, something sustainable.

Quick trip down memory lane:  A few summers ago I finished college and wrapped up an internship that actually paid me. I decided to take 6 months and do whatever I wanted; I was about to start working for the rest of my life so while i had the chance I took some “me-time” and went on a nice vacation with the money that I had saved. Shortly after the vaca I was bored out of my mind… so I threw myself into the gym full-time, going twice a day and eating everything in sight – alot of the wrong things like fast food, weight gainer shakes, and as much leftovers as my parents and grandparents dropped off. Long story short I got stronger than I ever had been, weighed 200lbs and had atleast 2 chins. I felt like a bloat tub of goo, I was tired all the time and I had literally eaten away my savings. Luckily my metabolism was so jacked up from al lthe activity and having to fight off all the calories I was consuming that it did take me long to get back to 175lbs once I stopped inhaling garbage.

I coudnt sustain what it took to gain muslce that way.  As I thought about those “measly” 7lbs i’ve gained I realized it isn’t so much about the weight gain, it’s about building the foundation (or other cheesy metaphor of your choice) of sustainable improvement; things like pre-preparing foods, planning out your excercise routine and following through.

Wow, now that i read that back it’s a little sappy. Please bear with me, it’s late on sunday evening and i’m running on fumes. This week will be a struggle, I have to travel for work on Wednesday and won’t be home until sunday late. I will do my best to hit the fitness center at the hotel and atlest get some high rep sessions in. Only upside is I’m eating for bulk on the company credit card for 5 days, BONUS!!

Michelle:
Hello all – another week done, and what a crap week it was. I knew going into this week it was going to be tough to get my five days in at the gym, and it didn’t happen. Three days this week I don’t even remember shutting the alarm off in the morning, nor resetting it. Wednesday night I came home from work at went directly to bed and laid there for four hours until I got up to eat dinner, which consisted of a beer. Work just kicks my ass the first week of the month and I suppose I have to cut myself some slack but it’s easier to beat up on myself I guess. I was away this weekend too. Actually, I just got home from new york. I have found myself (for lack of a better term) in a long distance relationship, where I only see my boyfriend about every three or so weeks. I usually meet him in upstate NY. I say this not because I think you all want to hear about my relationship status but because I have a hard time being on the road – or in a hotel – and not eating like shit and drinking like a fish. Shockingly, I didn’t drink my face off this weekend. I actually barely drank. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t drink at all but compared to some weekends when I meet him, this was a vast improvement. The eating is a different story. While I don’t think I made horrible choices this weekend in regards to food, I can say that it wasn’t great. Does anyone have any suggestions when traveling/staying in a hotel on better food choices that can be made? Keep in mind I don’t stay at a place with a kitchen. I did get out and enjoyed the weather today and walked for two hours through NYC today, I love the idea of New York, just not sure it’s ever a place I can see myself living. I’d eat pizza every day! So this week I’m back on getting myself to the gym five days and back on the diet. Oh, and not sure if everyone read kevin’s blog about the good eat sweet and spicy tea; but it’s phenomenal. Brian is the one that actually told me about it and said he drinks it either before training or on his way to CP (I can’t remember) and he feels great. So I’ve been making it before I leave for work in the morning and before I go to training and I love it! It has a weird sweetness to it that took me a few tries to get used to but it’s the spiciness that I love. And it smells just like big red. Brings me back to high school for some reason… well it’s been a long day and I’m gonna crash at any minute. Keep up the good work everyone.
Lucas:
I love to read Chris Shugart’s work, because it’s like he is writing directly to me, and it’s often quite funny and inspiring.  He’s also a Former Fat Boy (FFB) like I’m trying to become, so he has experienced a lot of the same things I am going through.  He wrote in a recent blog post (http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/diet_blog_hammer_velocity_shugart/the_end_is_the_beginning), “It’s easy to get stuck when you’re halfway up a mountain.  And it’s even easier to slip back down.”  I don’t want to get stuck halfway up the mountain any more.  I’ve gotten halfway up the mountain several times before, only to get stuck and then slip back down into the Valley of Fat-N-Lazy.
I’m getting closer and closer to that elusive 200 pound mark.  I’ve been there before several times over the last five or six years, but this time I will NOT become satisfied and stagnant.  My new goal is to hit 190 pounds by my 10th anniversary (July 8th).  I’m tired of being satisfied with “average” results.  I’m better than that, and it’s time to prove it.
So here is the rundown of last week:
Training:
Monday March 1st – 5/3/1 Lift with Front Squats & 1-Arm DB Rows plus a timed circuit
Tuesday March 2nd – Rest
Wednesday March 3rd – Infamous TRX Workout A Phase 4 (Holy Crap that hurt) then racquetball later that night
Thursday March 4th – 5/3/1 Lift with Deadlifts & High Incline DB Press plus a timed circuit
Friday March 5th – Infamous TRX Workout B Phase 4 (I almost died)
Saturday March 6th – Coach Dos’ KB Complex (so fun)
Sunday March 7th – Gateway Grunt Orienteering Race (5 hours of hiking/running over rugged terrain with a map & compass)
My training last week was great!  It was my heaviest week of lifting, and Phase 4 of the Infamous TRX Workout was insanely difficult. You know it’s going to be a tough training session when you are nervous and anxious before you start.  I almost ran out of time to train on Saturday, but Coach Dos’ KB complex came to the rescue again – it’s short, intense, effective, and a lot of fun.
Nutrition:
With this being my highest intensity week, I scheduled a “cheat” meal for Friday night.  I devoured a bacon cheeseburger and some sweet potato fries along with a beer sampler at a local microbrewery (I rarely drink alcohol, but I like to try different micro-brews).  I also ate way too much after the orienteering race on Sunday night.  I ate mostly good foods (7 oz sirloin and asparagus), but I also ate a little bit of fried food and 4 dinner rolls with honey butter.  After racing hard all day, I guess I just couldn’t resist a huge basket full of freshly baked rolls right in front of my face.  The rest of the week went according to plan, though, and I’m still within my 90% compliance rule.
I weighed 212 this morning (Monday 3/8) which is a loss of “only” half a pound from last week.  I actually hit 210 earlier in the week, so hopefully I can get below 210 pounds by next week.
I hope everyone else had a great week, and I hope we can all reach the summit together.  Until next week…
Batty:
This past week was just all kinds of messed up for me. I had the MRI for my knee, the corresponding followup and started my PT, which I’ll be doing for 6 weeks. Long story short, my knee will be able to be completely rehabbed without fear of any long term effects. To say I am peeing my pants with happiness about this would be an understatement, and hot damn am I headed to the bike shop to get fitted for my new bike that’s just been sitting there for the past 3 weeks.

My trainers basically told me I can go back to doing whatever I’ve been doing. The soreness is going to be there for a while. However, if it makes me wince in pain, then stop. Well, duh. so, I am resuming my NROL4W lifting. and this makes me happy. However, with my newfound freedom, I kinda winged it in the gym, which I don’t like to do, and I don’t think I did enough.
And hey! I get to go back to my bowling league!

I hate the treadmill. Hate it hate it hate it and the only reason why I’ve been using it is because of my injury. I am glad I can kick that to the curb and focus on my love, tabata intervals. I now have 3 full body sets that when all is said and done takes 45 minutes to do and leave me in a big heap of mess on the floor. I actually got my SO and his son [who is 15] turned onto them as well, and now we do them together on non lifting days. Family bonding, we has it.

Now, the food part. I know the only way some people can stick to their

nutrition goals is to tread food just as a fuel source. I cannot do this. I love food, I love eating, cooking, and celebrating food in a healthy way. I am constantly looking for healthy recipes online so we can avoid the ‘grilled chicken and steamed vegetables’ syndrome that so many people seem to fall into when watching their nutrition, myself included.

Carrie: I made a protein peanut butter egg for you – only 3g of sugar, healthy fats, ground flax seed, and 15g of protein, but every picture I took of it made it look like a wad of poop.  it was pretty tasty, though.
So I was evaluating my nutrition goals this past week when I noticed something that caused a rather deep imprint of my palm on my forehead. The previous week’s calorie cut was a really, really metabolism-fuckingly stupid idea. I had 3 signs staring right at me all over my face – the diet calculator for NROL4W, The calculations from Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto, and my own RMR test that I had done at the Cleveland Clinic. All of these things were clearly telling me that I *can* eat, and I *need* to eat, and yet I didn’t pay attention to them. Instead, that 100 calorie cutback  sent me dangerously into depriving my body of what it needs in order to just function, exercising aside. So, I went back to my original calorie limit that I had when I started the Getting Serious plan, and even tacked on a little extra, and now I’m pretty sound with all 3 of these tools. I do not want to F up my metabolism.
One would think that I would be happy that I can eat more, but with the sudden calorie increase combined with “Aunt Flo” barreling down on me with guns blazing, this week’s weigh in yielded a 2 pound gain.  I am not defeated by this as it is more than likely water retention. Ok, maybe a little defeated. But I am trying to not let it get to me too much. I did not bother taking my BF% this week because of this.

i can see the bloat in this picture and i’m not liking it. i am also running out of hats.

There were a lot of changes for me this week and it just threw me off mentally, and I felt like I didn’t have things in control. On the flip side, a lot of things were sorted out, so I am hoping I can regain control this week now that I know a lot of stuff.
I saw grass today for the first time in months. The sun is out more, and it got up to a whopping 46 degrees today. Spring is coming and I cannot wait to get my butt back in the saddle and outside. That is my ultimate gym.
Carrie:

Let me start this off by saying I was in no mood to take my pictures this week. I actually stated it out loud to a couple of people. Someone’s response was “Isn’t this the time you really need this thing most?” Yeah, good point. But here’s a question: why can I see muscles while I’m working them, but not just when I stand there in these ridiculous pictures each week? Frustration sets in.

This last week felt pretty hectic. I was tired from a lot of running around I had to do, and because I would be out of town for a couple days, I crammed all four of my weight sessions in – four days straight. Stupid? Maybe. But I wanted to make sure I got them in, and knew if I didn’t the week or weekend would go by and I would regret it. I even bumped my normal Saturday CP session to Thursday. And though I don’t feel my new program is any sort of killer, I was still a little sore, it being my first week and all. My upper body was incredibly tired around mid-week. I did bump my numbers up across the board on my CP day though, which made me happy. I think I need to do more cardio. I’m definitely not getting any of that in these past couple weeks.

My eating wasn’t as on point as last week, but it still wasn’t BAD. I probably had more wine than I have in a while and than I should’ve. Not sure why, but I got word that my PB2 order is apparently out of stock and won’t ship until at least the end of March. THE END OF MARCH?! Have you not read how much I love peanut butter? Killing me.

As always, here’s hoping it’s a better week for everyone!

Tim:

Last week was a challenge.  There was a lot going on at work.  I was stressed out.  I managed to get two of four planned workouts in (both very productive none the less).  Then Sunday night it was on the road to Atlanta….for….work….  I forgot my workout log at home, so I can’t report on what I did, but I can say I’m on upper/lower splits.

There’s no gym that I have free access to here in Atlanta, so I thought I’d try something completely crazy: running.  I haven’t run in 3-4 years, and I remember the last time I started running, my legs seized up like an engine with a quart of water in it.  I was really interested to see how well I’d do this time around.  The break-in program I followed from new rules of lifting felt like a cardio program with weights.  Lots of heavy breathing and sweating throughout the workouts.  So this morning I put on the running gear and heat out into the 40F morning on a 2 mile track outside my hotel.  To my astonishment, I made it at least half way through before having to stop for a break, and even then it was more my uncomfortable shoes than anything else.  I ended up making it through two miles, and even got so into it I actually ran right past my hotel and got half way down the block before I realized the run was over.  My legs are tired now, but I’m happy I can run nearly 2 miles after not having run for years, and do it without seizing up like I used to.  I feel like quitting smoking has really paid off.

Photos this week are lame…  I don’t have my posh bedroom to snap them in! 😉  Here’s me from my Atlanta hotel room:

Man is it hard to take a side shot with an iPhone in a cramped space.  Anyway next week’s pics should be much better.  I brought my blast straps with me, so I’ll be playing with ways to use those as an alternative to the weights.  I don’t really know how to use them, so I have a feeling I’m going to have to be really creative to get any value out of them.  In either case, this week is not going to be a great lifting week.  Can’t wait to get home and work with iron instead of running shoes and nylon bands.

Robert:
I finally started using fitday…then my two year old son spent a night throwing up on me, I had a midterm, I had to edit a movie/slideshow for my nursing research class, and we had our grand opening this weekend at the gym.  So my week was shot and I was left with three quarters of a day recorded on fitday.  I’ve never counted calories so I’m looking forward to being more accountable in that way; it’s just such a pain to enter in all my homemade foods.  I’m a bit of a creature of habit, so I’m hoping once I get it all entered in, it’ll be a lot less time consuming.  At this point, I’m pretty sure I’m gaining body fat. I’m still struggling to get more than 4-5 hours of sleep at night (as I write this at 11:25 pm and have to train at 5:00 am) and the combination of school, work, family and ROTC may give me a heart attack.  I’m sure my cortisol levels are off the chart and my body is begging for every bit of comfort food I come across.  I really picked a horrible, horrible time to do this accountability blog, but I guess in that way, I picked the best time.  I’m really fighting to get things more organized and manage my time, but I’m lacking the will power and energy.  I only have a few weeks left in this quarter.  During spring break I’m going to do an overnight hiking trip to regroup and try to start the next quarter strong, with a plan.  Finals are coming up so I’m gonna need a lot of prayers and positive thoughts out there.  At this point I’m giving the four areas in my life 30 %.  I’m no math major, but I’m pretty sure those numbers don’t work out.
David:

Hey Everyone,

Ok, so today I am sitting here writing this feeling like I am totally out of gas. My body feels like it is just plain broken, which isn’t good because I can tell the reason. Until the last year or so when I started paying more attention to fitness, nutrition, etc., I never really noticed how clearly my body would tell me if I was not treating it right.

This week I only got into the gym twice, and to make up for the missed sessions I did 2 days worth of workouts in each session. Mistake # 1. I ate pretty well, not as much in a deficit as I would have liked, but healthier than before I started blogging. I did cave in to temptation a couple of times though, once when my fiancé made one of her famous casseroles, and the other when a piece of cheesecake was calling my name when out to eat with my folks. Mistake # 2. It was remarkable to me how my body felt so completely miserable after consuming the fats in the casserole and the sugar and other nasty-goodness in that cheesecake. It was plain as day. I started my nutrition for this week out right today, and will be staying on the course better this week after my experiences last week.

As far as motivation was concerned, my slacking in the gym wasn’t really anything to do with not wanting to work out, I was just so completely focused on getting several things done at work that I burned up the time I would have spent in the gym on getting other things done at work. I am thinking about switching back to morning workouts just to make sure I get them done, which I haven’t done since the first part of January. It’s hard to work out at beginning of shift for me because I feel like I am so much more focused and sharp mentally in the morning, and I feel like I lose some of that sharpness after my workout.

I am including a “flex” picture this week with my others for one reason. Part of why I have been doing all this was to increase my strength and to help “the guns” as they were called on the “What’s Up Kev” I listened to yesterday. Even though I haven’t been doing anything specifically to target my biceps, I have noticed definite growth (or definition at the very least) since January, and I want to track that as well in the photos. To me my arms as a whole have really improved, and I would like to see how much when this is over.

Keep up the hard work everyone.

Thanks for reading.

DW

Courtney:

I really should start writing these before I am desperate to go to bedon Monday nights. I survived this week with no weight gain and I call that a success. So as some background I currently work full time and am taking a full graduate course load. The last few weeks of the quarter are HELL for me. Usually I gain 5+ lbs, this time? I’ve lost a bit. Not a lot, not like I was before, but it’s still going down despite my stress levels being somewhere up around “shoot me”. I have a hard goal this month of losing 10lbs now that I’ll be done with my major school stuff on Wednesday. I’m meeting the boy’s mother the first weekend of April and am determined to meet this goal before then. I’m drawing up a food plan and have a really good workout from my trainer to keep me interested at the gym (that and a couple of really excellent audiobooks on my iPod).

Part of my strategy for this past week was to make a BIG pot of veggie soup on Monday and then have it for dinners most nights. This saved me
from my usual tactic of pizza. I managed to drag myself to the gym three times and had an AMAZING workout with my trainer. Unfortunately I’m starting to have some trouble with my rotator cuff in the shoulder where I had my AC joint surgery so I need to head back to my physical therapist and see what we can do about that before permanent damage happens. Good advice on the show this week to the swimmer, guys. I wish that someone had given me that kind of advice when I was his age and saved me the trouble of my shoulders being wrecked.

Oh, for grins I included a picture of wrecked Courtney. Once I’ve met my goal I’ll send an update with happy, rested, successful Courtney. She looks much happier.

Larry:

For me, this last week counted as my week four of my twelve week program. I must admit that when I signed up for this Accountability challenge, I thought I had my workout and nutrition, pretty well dialed in, guess what . . . NOT! Although I managed to lose over 50+ pounds over a six month period of time last year, after a couple month RE-FEED, putting back on some fat and some muscle, it has really taken me more than the last three weeks to finally feel comfortable with my weight & cardio routine, and my updated “meal plan”. This last week I was 100% compliant with my training, without injury or major strain, and my food finally felt right and my energy level has returned!

Nutrition:

The routine I have fallen into is three low calorie days followed by a higher calorie day, looks like 1700-1800 daily then a 2000 calorie day. The higher day is usually met by just having an additional carb serving with my dinner, a cup of rice, potato, or pasta. I have also incorporated a 24 hour fast day following my higher calorie day, and even with a weight workout during, does not seem to be a problem. Although losing weight and building muscle seems like a daunting task, this week I am finally beginning to see some results. I am actually feeling lighter and have begun to see some definition progress in shoulders and arms. My gut and love handles will likely be the last to improve, the photos don’t lie.

Fitness:

Nothing magical on my workout, still following the Tom Venuto TNB Workout, with dips and some of the shoulder work removed. Instead of chin-ups, I use resistance bands and my weights are not anything close to my high weight lifts of my youth. I tend to use higher rep sets with weights that still allow me to recover in a day or so. Perhaps the thing that messes me up more than anything is LUNGES, as my balance is very slowly improving and the strain on my thighs still leaves me with DOMS on a regular basis as I try to get my body lower on each workout. For cardio, I am lucky to have a treadmill in my home so I have been increasing the speed by 1/10 mph per week and hope to add back in HIIT within a couple of weeks. Hoping the nicer weather lets me jog outside soon.

Everybody hang in there!

Craig:

This week wasn’t that great. I lost 1lb and the only way that can happen is if of course I didn’t do everything I was supposed to. I sliced the bottom of my foot and ended up having to miss a training session and I indulged on some Chinese food as well. I did feel good during the rest of my training sessions and almost watched a guy kill himself. A guy came in and decided to start off squatting 275lb and I saw him pull a 1/16 rep with shaking kneeing and rack it. Then I saw him put MORE weight on the bar and I couldn’t help but wonder “wtf is going on!” Of course one of the trainers also saw what I did and went over and talked to him. Crisis averted. This post won’t be that long, but I do feel that I could do much better in the gym. I want to come out dying, not in a bad way, but knowing I put in everything I’ve got. I’m not fortunate enough to have an awesome training environment so it’s all on me to push myself.

By the way check out this pic of Eric Cressey deadlifting from this recent MH blog. http://rodale.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54f86af56883301310f4ef69d970c-pi If that doesn’t get you hyped up I dunno what does.



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3 Responses

  1. Michelle C says:

    Batty,
    Share your tabata? I have made it my goal to stay off of cardio equipment as much as possible. Just started doing tabatas last week…
    I’d love to hear what you do!
    Great job, as always, everyone!!
    Michelle

  2. Ken says:

    I went back to week one and tried to do some side by side comparisons of everyone. I’m seeing some nice change across the board. Aaron, you are looking jacked. Batty, kick aunt flo’s ass this week and remember what Kevin says- the scale sometimes lies. Carrie, you reminded me how much I love peanut butter and pb2, I gotta place another order.

  3. Wes says:

    You guys are an inspiration. I look forward to the updates every week just so I can feel like my life is normal. Seeing how life gets in the way and the occasional cheat happens. Today is day 60 of my diet/exercise plan and everytime I get frustrated or hit a plateau you guys are all an encouragement.

    I’d love to see the first week picture next to the current week picture as well so everyone can see the progress made so far. Keep up the good work guys, your more of an inspiration to others than you know!