Saturday, 22 June 2013

Stave off cravings: fight fire with fire

I had a hard night last night.  I was ultimately craving an alcoholic beverage.  I was ultimately craving junk food.  I was starving.  I was starving because I didn't eat a big enough lunch, and now I was paying the price.  Something had to be done.  What?

Well, the logical answer would be to go for a run, but I already did that, and that may have been part of the problem.  Earlier in the day I ran, worked out on the elliptical at the health club, and did lower body.  I also played basketball and went for a bike ride with Myles.  So I was overly exhausted, starving, and craving a beer.

So, what I did was, instead of letting myself crash, I had two beers and a few extra pretzels.  I think that was much better than getting lost in a pizza, drinking five beers, getting bloated.  I basically ended my craving with about 300 extra calories as opposed to 1500.  Sooooo, kudos to me.

My advice, therefore, is it's better to give in to your cravings, just enough (barely enough) to take the edge off, than it is to crash.  Having a nibble of a chocolate bar once daily (my wife lost 50 pounds doing that once), or having a beer a day, or whatever, will not prevent you from losing weight.

If you can lose weight by giving everything up you love, great.  However, if you are having temptations: fight fire with fire.  It's better than crashing ans staring over.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

No more starting over

About a month ago my wife signed me up for a competition at a local health club.  I weighed in at 112, which was kind of disappointing considering I was down to 202 after doing the BFL from January to March.  I would like to note here, however, that I am now down to 200 and I will not go back up this time.  I am soooooo tired of quitting, and, thus, I am going to make that my new motto: "I'm tired of quitting."

Actually, I think the following would sound better: "No more starting over."  It's frustrating starting over, especially when you get down to where you were three months ago.  Actually, last year I was down to 192, so it's still hard to feel excited even about 200.  

However, I feel good, and that's what it's all about.  I feel good right now.  I feel like I have lost weight.  Better yet, I feel as though I've been eating healthy and lifting weights.  I feel good.  That, my friends, is what it's all about.  It's not about how much weight you have gained or lost, it's about how good you feel.  If you feel god about being overweight, then go for it: have another pizza.  

Me, on the other hand, I'm sticking to my new mottoe: "No more starting over." 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Day 1

Just because I don't write on hear every day doesn't mean I'm not working out, although it doesn't mean I'm working out either.  Today I decided I MUST get back on the wagon.  I decided to change the way I do things.  I decided that I'm up at 5 a.m. every day anyway to write, so I might as well sacrifice some of this time early in the morning to run.  So, today, as I had planned as I sat at work last Tuesday afternoon, I woke up today and trudged outside.  I didn't run far, because I was worried the 43 degree weather would bother my asthma, and it didn't.  I ran three long blocks down -- oh, what's the name of that street... I ran south three long blocks, cut over to James Street, and ran back.  I feel great for doing it.  Now I'm going to add to this.  I'm going to eat good today, and when I get home I'll feel GREAT knowing I already did my workout.  Hopefully I can build on this. Rick.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Day #68 of 84

Had a great upper body workout yesterday.  I did the following:

  1. Chest: Chest presses followed by dumbell flyes for final 12
    • 12 reps @ 115 pounds
    • 10 @ 125
    • 8 @ 135
    • 6 @ 145
    • 12 @ 135
    • 12 @ 40
  2. Shoulders: Shoulder presses followed by front raises for final 12
    1. 12 @ 25
    2. 10 @ 30
    3. 8 @ 35
    4. 6 @ 35
    5. 12 @ 35
    6. 12 @ 20
  3. Back: wide grip lat puldowns, followed by close grip for final 12
  4. Triceps: puldowns followed by overr head extensions at 35 pounds
  5. Biceps: 20 pounds, 25 pounds, 25 pounds, 30 pounds; barbel at 20 pounds each side
Great burn.  Really worn after workout.  
Later in day set ramp on treadmill as high as would go and walked at 2.5 mph for 20 minutes.  great burn and great workout (100 calories)

Today did an interval run, with 3.5 lowest and running at 5mph for 6 of those minutes.  Great workout.  

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Tips for fighting the urge to eat

So you are done eating your meal, and you still feel hungry.  Thankfully there are some things you can do do fight the urge to eat.  Here are some of my tips:

  1. Chew sugar free gum
  2. Have a tick-tack or a mint (but sugar free gum is better)
  3. Brush your teeth when done eating.  This will send a signal to your brain that you are done eating
  4. Drink water.  Drink lots of water.  It will fill your stomach.
  5. If you must, eat free foods such as vegetables or pickles
  6. Treat yourself after dinner to a treat (sugar free jello or pudding)
  7. Find something else to do during your weak moments (like go for an extra run, play a game with your kids, go for a walk, go outside, go to the park, go to the library)

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A change in diet

Well, we are now into week nine.  Yes, it sounds good to see eight weeks crossed off my BFL tracker.  I hit a wall about three weeks ago, and decided I needed not get frustrated but make a few changes in my workouts.  I discussed that last week.  I also had to make some changes in my diet.

When I start any diet I usually make my portion sizes on the high end.  I do that because I think if you start on the low end you will probably starve yourself.  Yet once your stomach gets used to the new diet, then you switch to the low end.  However, I think I went with the high end a little too long and my body figured out what I was up to.  So I hit a wall.

So this week I decided to start with the lower portions.  Its a little tougher, yet all last week I did pretty well with it.  You feel a little more hungry, but you start brushing your teeth, chewing more gum, and drinking more water instead of eating more.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Changing up your workouts is a good thing

I find that it's okay to mix and match your workouts because you'll need to confuse your body. It's good to do a variety of aerobic activities, and it's good to vary your weight training.

I notice that there are some folks who get concerned when they are lacking on time and wait 30 seconds between reps instead of a minute, but I think that's fine.  It often forces you to get an aerobic activity on a weight day, and it forces you to use a little less weight as well.  Light and rapid equals good.  

Another thing I do is mix up the way I do upper body.  Some days I do Chest, Shoulders, Back, Triceps and then Biceps.  But sometimes I do the exact opposite.  I think it's neat because on the days I do the former by the time I get to Biceps I can't lift that much.  Yet on the days I do the later, I find I can lift almost twice as much with my Biceps.  So I think it's good to mix it up.  

I think the next time I do such a workout I'm going to do back first, because that usually gets tossed into the middle.  I wonder how much weights I could lift with my back muscles if they were fresh.  

I also think it's good to do a variety of aerobic activities, such as basketball, racket ball, sprinting, etc., as opposed to getting on the treadmill each day.  Yet in the winter the treadmill is the only option for me.  So most days I do interval training, yet sometimes I mix it up and run at a slower pace and go for distance.  Yet since time is usually precious, I usually have to do the interval training.  

So mixing it up is good.  

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Day #36 of 84

Yesterday was upper body day, and as promised, I mixed it up a bit: I did the workout backwards.  

1.  Biceps: (one arm curls)
  • 12 reps at 20 pounds
  • 10 reps at 25 pounds
  • 8 reps at 30 pounds
  • 6 reps at 30 pounds
  • 12 reps at 25 pounds
  • 12 reps Hammer curls  at 25 pounds
Result:  Great burn.  Perfect

2.  Triceps: lateral tricep pulldowns
  • 12 reps at 50 pounds
  • 10 reps at 60 pounds
  • 8 reps at 70 pounds
  • 6 reps at 80 pounds
  • 12 reps at 70 pounds
  • 12 reps of barbell tricep extensions with 25 pounds -- very winded after this workout
Result:  Great burn. Perfect

3.  Back: Wide grip lat Pulldowns
  • 12 reps at 50 pounds
  • 10 reps at 60 pounds
  • 8 reps at 70 pounds
  • 6 reps at 70 pounds
  • 12 reps at 60 pounds
  • 12 reps of back extensions at 10 pounds
Results: great burn

4.  Shoulders: Front raises
  • 12 reps at 10 pounds
  • 10 reps at 15 pounds
  • 8 reps at 20 pounds
  • 6 reps at 25 pounds
  • 12 reps at 25 pounds
  • 12 reps of side raises at 20 pounds
Results: good workout

5.  Chest: Incline Chest presses
  • 12 reps at 25 pounds
  • 10 reps at 30 pounds
  • 8 reps at 35 pounds
  • 6 reps at 40 pounds
  • 12 reps at 35 pounds
  • 25 reps of the red thing with both arms 
Overall:  Great workout.  Great burn at end.  Also shoveled snow for warmup.  

Took the rest of the day off as a free day.  

Friday, 8 February 2013

Day #34

It's been a very tough week. Monday and Tuesday I worked, and on Tuesday I was so worn out I skipped my workout.  On Wednesday I made up for it with a killer aerobic workout, the best so far.  And on Wednesday night work sucked, and I was so exhausted Thursday the lower body workout was poor.  Plus for some reason I'm staring this week.  Yet I don't give in.  Can't wait for my freeday. Yet the diet goes on well... for the most part.

Last night there was so much snow I spent most of today shoveling and blowing snow, and so I'm counting that as my workout today.  I'm sorry, but the sniffles and sneezes struck again today -- I just can't shake this cold, have had it almost two months -- so I'm taking tonight off.  I'm taking tomorrow off.  I am craving food.  I am going to have a beer and some chips and take a few days off.  

Despite the obstacles, I'm doing well on the RFL.  I will get back at it on Sunday.  I think the free day will help to recharge me.  

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

How to eat well in the hospital cafeteria

So there are days when I work that I did not bring my own healthy BFL worthy lunch.  On these days I am forced to buy some food from the hospital cafeteria.  I have found though, that on most days, you can mix and match what is provided to put together a healthy meal.  

For instance, today the choices were:
  1. Pizza
  2. Fiesta wraps (grilled chicken cubes, salad, tomato, Ranch dressing, rolled into a tortilla shell)
  3. Club sandwich (turkey and bacon and cheese)
  4. Sandwich bar
  5. Salad bar
You can see there are many options.  Keep in mind this is a meal, and you have to make it at least three hours by my rules without eating another meal or snack.  So, you need to eat enough to fill yourself.  You don't want to be bloated, but you want to fill yourself.  In other words, if you leave the cafeteria hungry, you failed.  

So, what are healthy BFL options:
  1. Pizza.  Sure.  Go for it.  One piece of pizza once in a while is just fine
  2. Fiesta wrap made your way:  I had the lady wrap chicken in the tortilla shell and that was it.  Hmm, it was sooo good.  
  3. Sandwich.  You can have a turkey, ham, or roast beef sandwich on any kind of bread.  I like the pretzel bread.  I know you're supposed to eat wheat bread, but I see no reason you can't treat yourself to what you love best.  Remember, this is the Rick for Life, not the 12 week BFL you're doing. 
  4. Salad bar: this is out only because there's nothing on this bar that will satiate your hunger and last you three hours.  Now, you can have a salad, but no bacon bits, no cheese, and you must have low fat dressing.  You can have salad, but you have to be very careful.  (actually, on the RFL you can have bacon and cheese.  Just be careful.  But I prefer to skip the salad.
See.  You can find plenty of options at the hospital cafeteria.  Other things I'd eat are: Lasagna, hamburger and bun, spaghetti (although I don't love it, it's filling), etc.  About the only thing I try to avoid is anything that looks like it has been fried, cooked in butter, or with nuts (like green beans cooked with nuts).  

However, its better to eat something not 100% healthy for you than to go hungry.  If you starve yourself and you get sick, or you crash, that's worse than eating one not perfect meal.  So use your head dunderhead.  

Monday, 4 February 2013

The surreptitious diet

My wife and I decided we were not going to tell anyone we are doing the body for life.  I think the main reason is because we've done it before and succeeded, and now we kind of feel like failures that we gained all the weight back and some.  Yet, to our defense, we had three kids.  Yes.  That's enough said.

So, we are doing the diet surreptitiously.  We want to see how long it will be before people notice.  Many experts say it's about two months before those who are close to you will notice, and about three months before other people notice.

We figure if we continue to do this all the way to summer we should have a good summer.  It's always inspiring when someone says, "Rick, how much weight have you lost?"  Or when someone says, "Wow, even your face looks thinner."  Or this one: "Wow!  I almost didn't recognize you."

There will be tough days, as last Saturday was a tough one for me.  Yet you must continue to keep your eye on the plan.

Today is day #30.  I will do no workout today, although I will diet to the best of my ability.  It's usually easy to do when I'm working because I can only eat the food I brought with me.  Have a good day.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Day 29: Upper Body Workout

The upper body workout today went something like this

  • Chest:
    • Barbell Bench Press (chest muscles)
      • 12 reps = 75 pounds
      • 10 = 85
      • 8 = 95
      • 6 = 105
      • 12 = 95
    • Dumbbell Flyes (chest burnout)
      • 12 = 35 pounds each arm
Notes:  Great workout; need to increase weights
  • Shoulders:
    • Standing Dumbbell Press
      • 12 reps = 25 pounds each arm
      • 10 = 30 
      • 8 = 35
      • 6 = 35
      • 12 = 35
    • Dumbbell Front Raises
      • 12 reps = 15 pounds each arm
Notes:  Great workout, very shaky; like to increase reps of 6 to 40 pounds; didn't do it today because didn't have a 40 pound dumbbell
  • Back
    • Dumbbell Rows
      • 12 reps at 25 pounds (good warm-up)
      • 10 = 30 pounds
      • 8 = 35 pounds
      • 6 = 40 pounds
      • 12 = 35 pounds
    • Lateral Pull downs
      • 12 at x pounds
Notes:  may increase weights after warm-up so doing 45 pounds at reps of 6 
  • Triceps
    • Lying Triceps extensions
      • 12 = 20
      • 10 = 25
      • 8 = 25
      • 6 = 30 (with assist)
    • Forgot to do this one
Notes:  Just continue same, and don't forget burnout round of 12
  • Biceps
    • One Arm Curls
      • 12 = 20
      • 10 = 25
      • 8 = 25
      • 6 = 30
      • 12 = 25
    • Hammer curls
      • 12 = 20 
      • 10 = 25
Notes:  Good workout; ready to increase after warm-up

Next workout will probably mix it up or reverse the order.  Next workout Friday

Overall:  Great workout; really feel burned; muscles shaky; so long as can use good form would like to make the above weight increase; even if only slight

Day 29

Week number four was a good one.  It got a little tough after the Thursday free day, as its often hard not to take a free day on the weekend.  My wife even brought home donuts from work this morning, and the one with white frosting and nuts on it looked -- and still does -- quite yummy.  So far I have resisted eating it.

Saturday was a very difficult day to keep my eye on the plan because I was very tired after working Friday night.  And considering my wife worked Saturday night, I was afraid I would crash once she went to work.  I even went as far to ask my wife if she'd order pizza for dinner, but she said, "You need to keep your eye on the plan."  Surely I was irritated by her saying this, but inspired at the same time.  It's weak moments like this why it's good to have a partner.

So after she went to work I decided to invite my sister and her new boyfriend over, and instead of crashing we talked sports and watched movies.  This was a great way to resist the urge to cheat, which I probably would have done if left alone.  (Note: my wife and I have told no one we are on the plan).

By the time they left I was feeling quite inspired, so I ran on the treadmill after the kids were in bed.  Gosh, it must have been around 10 p.m.  I watched Michigan get beat by Indiana while running.  It was my first really good interval run since I got the flu.  It felt great.  I went to bed feeling satisfied, and happy I didn't crash.

Today the plan is to get a killer upper body workout.  I might mix it up a bit.

Friday, 1 February 2013

The BFL Daily Progress Reports

If you guys haven't found them, the BFL website has some really neat progress reports you can download.  you can find them here.  I have in the past recorded every meal in a journal, and the same for my workouts.  I find that this helps to do the BFL to a tea.

Although, of late, I find that the only thing I keep track of on paper is my daily progress (what day I'm on).  I also keep track of my weight.

Of course I may have a different goal that most people who do this diet.  I don't plan on having a rock hard body.  I'm just happy to have a healthy, in shape body.  Whether it's rock hard or not is not something I care about.

I mean, I'm happily married.  Well, it would be nice to have a six pack, but to wish for one would just be setting myself up for disappointment.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Studies show you should plan your meals

Bob from biggest loser, and Bill Phillips, would probably not be proud of the way I do not plan my week.  I do not sit down and plan what I'm going to eat.  I do plan my workouts, but that's it.  I do not make any lists, nor do I record my weights, set goals, or any such poppycock.  

Sorry, but I'm not the planning type.  I do have an organized plan for my day, but I do not sit down and write down what I'm going to eat every day for the week as is recommended.  I'm just not that kind of guy.  

My wife generally helps by buying what I think I'll need for the week.  She does her weight watchers diet, so she pretty much gets good food.  In some later post I will record some of the meals we eat.  She is actually a great BFL cooker. She even has a recipe for making muffins out of the EAS protein powder.  

I do know that there is a roast in the cooker right now, and that in itself is not recommended by some experts.  If you can smell food all day, that just makes you hungry.  But, as you've seen, I don't follow the plan to a tea.  I cater it to my life with work and kids.  And, I think any person who truly wants to succeed at weight loss and maintenance will likewise cater the diet to their own lives.  

So I know that there will be a good dinner tonight.  I know that for lunch I will find something that is packed into the cupboards. Maybe it will be a tunafish sandwich, or a ham sandwich.  Although, if I had my choice, it would be leftovers from the lasagna my wife made on Sunday evening.  Yes, that big batch provides plenty of leftovers for lunches for at least half the week (if my 14 YO doesn't get to it before I do, which I think he did this week).  

That's one of the keys to my eating right is that my wife makes large meals.  And for snacks, about three hours after meals, I eat something lighter, like apples, cheese sticks, ham, and that sort of stuff.  I also like to eat vegetables ad nauseum.  My rule is you can eat as many veggies as you want, so long as you don't exhaust your supply all in one day.  

But as far as recording, that's not me.  The only thing I do is keep track of what day I'm on, and I do that on one of these sheets that I've tailored on microsoft word to my own RFL program.  

You do what's best for yourself, don't do what I do just because I do it.  Studies actually show people stick to the program better when they plan out every meal, and every workout.  Me, however, I'm different.  I have to do what works best for me.  And, for better or worse, so should you.  

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The diet to end all diets

It felt good to weight myself this morning and find that I weight only 207 pounds. This is both good and bad
  1. Good because I started at 218 plus.  Good because I feel it
  2. Bad because I've been here before.  Bad because I started at 210 last year.  
Yet I feel good and am trudging on.  It's also important to remind myself I'm not doing this to obtain a particular weight, I'm doing this to feel good about myself.  I'm doing this for life.  

So I've decided that this diet is the diet to end all diets. 

I did this before back in 2002-2004. Back then I got down to 173 pounds and I was in the best shape of my life.  Of course then I had two more kids and life was stressful for a few years, and you know how that goes.  

So now I'm doing my final diet to end all diets.  
Yesterday I did 20 minutes of aerobics, although due to my flu I simply maintained a constant speed of 3-4 mph instead of reaching my high points.  The important thing is I did something.  The important thing is I don't let little things in life stop my progress (like colds, and asthma, and stress).  

Yes, this is the diet to end all diets.  

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

You did not earn that cookie! So keep your hands off it!!

I have friends who are way overweight.  I am overweight too.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It's a personal choice.  And I believe it's a personal choice.  I take full responsibility for the body that I have.  And when I finish the BFL, I will take total credit for my transformed body.

Still, my friends at work sometimes say:  "I worked hard today.  I deserve this cookie."


Seriously, folks, if you are on a diet, you should stick to your plan.  Eating a cookie you feel you've earned is fine if you really earned it.

I have to remind myself of this every Tuesday, which tend to be my most susceptible day to crashing.  I work Monday and Tuesday 12 plus hours, and when I can think BFL all day long, do the diet perfectly, then come home and crash because I deserve it.

Well, what did I do to deserve it.  I spent the last six months eating crap, drinking beer, and collecting fat cells.  I did not earn a day off.  If anything, I've earned a responsibility to not eat a cookie and not drink a beer.

Update: My Tuesday was a success.  I worked all day, ate well, ran on the treadmill, and went to bed.

Monday, 28 January 2013

The Rick for Life Plan

At first when you look at the before and after pictures on the BFL website you think: WOW!  But as you look closer, the before pictures don't necessarily look that bad.  I'm told that one of the keys to getting that six pack at the end of 12 weeks you have to have a starting body fat of 20 percent or less.

I have never started with a body fat that low, as most of us don't. So we often get disappointed when, after the 12 weeks are done, and we've reached our goals, there is no six pack.  

I have never been disappointed at the end of any 12 week program.  If anything, I'm excited I finished.  I'm excited I disciplined myself to do it.  I'm excited how good I feel both spiritually and physically.  I'm excited about maintaining what I built.  

So here I am, once again with a body fat greater than 30 percent, and I know now that I will not be what you see in the pictures when I'm done with 12 weeks.  I think the reality of it is those pictures create a false image for people, who are discouraged when they finish, and quit, never to do a workout program again.

Yet I think that's wrong.  I think you need to pick a program, BFL or Weight Watchers or other, and just do it.  The alternative is that you gain weight, you feel like a fat blob, and your self esteem and all that stuff takes a hit.  I don't want to get to that point again.  That's why I've decided to make a life of this.  

So, for that reason, there will be times I take more than one free day.  There will be times when I have an extra glass of wine in the midst of a work week.  I try not to do these things, but the truth to the matter is, in the real course of a life, there's no way you can maintain a BFL diet.  Surely you can program your body to do it a few months, but it's impossible to do it for a lifetime.

So for now I'm doing the all out BFL.  Yet there will be days in the coming weeks and months where someone calls me to go out for dinner, or for a beer (actually, one of those days is today), and I will go out.  I will have fun.  I will be normal.  

To do otherwise will be to miss out on life.  To do otherwise will be setting yourself up to fail.  However, you do not deserve that extra cookie if you have already been slacking.

Today is a free day from workout, but not from diet.  

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Day # 21 of 84

I have managed to get the pulmonary flu, of which has congested my lungs and nasal passages.  My asthma is acting up a bit, although thankfully I've been taking the Advair 500 the past couple weeks due to anticipation of this happening.  My kids have been sick for quite some time.

So far this has not affected my weight lifting workout, although it has prevented me from getting tens in cardio.  Yet that's fine with me.  I'm just happy to be able to get my workouts in.

Last night was an aerobic workout on the treadmill.  For the most part it was one of my best workouts to date, as I reached my goal of running the entire time.  My sixes were generally run at 3-3.5 miles per hour, and, increasing every minute in increments of .5, I was able to reach a maximum of 5 for my nines and my final ten (if you want to call it a ten).

This morning I weighed myself after eating breakfast, and my weight was 211.  That means I have now lost seven plus pounds, as the first time I weighed myself was after my first week of working out because I was so disgusted with myself.

The bad part of this current weight is that on January 15, 2012 when I started, I weighted only 210 pounds.  By last July I was 185, so in a way this is also discouraging.  In either case, I must trudge on.  I feel really good right now, and I'm ready for my free day which will begin in 15 minutes.

Tonight I haven't decided what I'm going to do.  Due to the state of my lungs, I think I might do a light upper body workout instead of doing aerobics on the treadmill.  Although I might change my mind.  I'll let you know.

Friday, 25 January 2013

The diet

I have yet to describe the BFL diet.  I think the diet pretty much goes as follows:
  • One carb and one protein every 2-3 hours while awake
  • Portions are either the size of your fist, or the size of your palm (do not simply go by serving size, as this may result in you skimping on necessary nutrients to keep you going)
There, that's it.  That's the BFL diet.  It's that easy.  I'll go over what food you can eat in a minute, although I think you will be surprised how much "normal food" you can eat.

I have made four simple tweaks of the BFL diet some to fit my life:

1.  Eating: I have divided these into snacks and meals:
  • Meals:  Something that really fills me up.  I usually reserve meals for lunch and dinner, and I try to go three hours after a meal before having a snack.
  • Snacks:  Something small that helps you make it to the next meal.  I try to go two hours after a snack before the next meal.  
2.  Note that above I wrote that you should eat one protein and one carb every 2-3 hours while awake.  By this I have adjusted the BFL diet for working night shift.  So long as you are awake you should continue to eat.  On the days you are up all day and up all night, you will eat up to 12 meals in a day.

On most days you will make up for this by sleeping the next day, but not always. It does not matter, because it works.  So long as you are awake, you must continue to consume the nutrients that will keep you feeling full and continue fuelling your new fat burning machine.  

3.  I do not use any supplements, and I do not buy any of the BFL shakes, bars or other products.  I feel you can just as easily provide nutrients for your body without putting money in other people's pockets.  

4.  I do not keep track of what I eat in a journal.  I do, however, work with my wife to make some kind of plan as to what we will eat during the course of the week, although nothing is etched in stone.  My wife usually cooks something clean for dinner, and the leftovers will be the next days lunch.  

So, a sample day: 
  • 6 a.m.oatmeal and cottage cheese
  • 9 a.m. low fat cheese stick and an orange
  • 11-12 a.m. chicken breast, baked potato (with only salt added), a vegetable
  • 2-3 p.m. apple and a serving of sliced ham 
  • 5-6 p.m. pork and rice and vegetable
  • 8 p.m. microwave popcorn and cottage cheese (maybe a pickle)
 If I work nights I may sleep through one or more of the above. I will also add the following:
  • 9 p.m. apple and low fat string cheese
  • 11 p.m. pork and rice and vegetable
  • 2 a.m. apple and one serving of sliced roast beef and carrot sticks
  • 4-5 a.m. healthy TV dinner (Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers, etc.)
  • 8 a.m (back at home) shredded wheat with skim milk and cottage cheese
Then it's to bed.  I will be extremely tired.  

That's the diet tweaked from BFL to RFL. 

Upper Body: Getting caught up

I did something unconventional of me last night.  My wife was called into work, so here I am once again, all alone with the kids.  The last time this happened I was quite bored, and I satiated my boredom by eating an extra meal and having a glass of wine.  This time I was determined not to do that.  But I worked the night before, had only 4 hours sleep, so entertaining myself was difficult.

So I decided to do an extra workout.  I already did lower body earlier, and did the most killer workout to this point.  For my upper body I decided I was going to do a reverse workout.  Normally I do the following:
  • Chest: Barbell bench press and flyes for the final burn, and sometimes I mix in pushups
  • Shoulders: Standing dumbell presses and front raises or side raises for final burn
  • Back: Lat pull down or rows and the reverse for final burn
  • Triceps: Lying tricep presses or pushdowns, and the reverse for final burn or seated tricep presses
  • Biceps: Dumbell  curls or hammer curls or barbell curls, and the opposite for final burn
This time did the reverse order.  I think this is good once in a while to confuse my body, and also to give my biceps a better workout.  When you do biceps last your muscles are already worn so you can't lift as much.  When I do biceps first I greatly increase the weights I use.  It was a killer workout.  I maxed out on my weights.  

Last night I did:
  • Biceps: Hammer curls with 30 pounds as max, and then alternate dumbell curls for the finish (great)
  • Triceps:  Seated, bent over Triceps extensions and pull downs for final burn
  • Back: Close grip lat pull downs and rows for final burn
  • Shoulders: Side raises and then standing dumbbell presses for final burn
  • Chest: flyes and then chest press (killer workout.  Felt great at the end.  Best workout this year.
Plenty of energy to do this.  Really concentrated on form.  By the end my arms were shaking, although I was able to finish.  This means I'm caught up for the weak.  Tomorrow (I mean this evening when my wife awakens from her slumber)  I will concentrate on doing my best cardio workout ever.  That's the goal.  

Day 20

I started this most recent Body For Life experience on January 7, 2013.  As with most other people who do this, I reached a point where I couldn't stand my body any more, and decided that I CAN get it in order again. 

You know the feeling:
  • Dyspnea with exertion, and dyspnea not due to asthma either.  We like to call it Fastsma.
  • Bloated all the time.  Yes, you feel like a bloated pig.
  • Emotionally exhausted and defeated. 
Many people get to this point and they say, "Oh, what the heck!" as they stuff in another cookie for comfort.  Many of my friends tell me, "I deserve a cookie today," after a stressful day at work.  But I look at them, at myself even, and think: "No you don't deserve a cookie.  What you deserve is a day in the gym."

But I don't say it, because you don't say stuff like that. You can only say stuff like that to yourself, if you have the common sense, and will power, enough to be honest with yourself.  And thus is exactly what I did.

I was discusted with myself long before January 7, however.  I have been trying to get back on track since last July.  But in November I remember feeling so fat while trudging the halls at work, that I decided I could wait no longer.  And even while the diet part would have to wait until after the holidays, the workout did not. 

So I started hitting the weights and doing aerobics back in November.  I'm sorry guys, but I coudn't wait until January 7 to do that.  And I can honestly say that by the time I started the BFL this time, even though I weight more than I did the first time I did it, I feel better than I ever have starting.  I actually feel thinner than I am. 
The workout:  20 minutes of high intensity aerobics on the treadmill

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Day #19: Lower body workout

I am off by one day this week.  Monday was my usual day off from physical activity because I work Monday and Tuesday, and Tuesday was supposed to be an aerobic day.  However, after working 15 hours I had a glass of wine and went to bed.

Actually, I make it sound worse than it really was.  My wife was called into work, so I was left home with my 9,4, and 2 year old children.  I was figuring on my kids all being in bed by 9 and getting my workout in then, but that plan failed when my 2 YO refused to go to sleep.

Now I'm making it sound better than it really was.  I came home and immediately poured a glass of wine.  Yes, it sounded that good.  So the id and ego of my mind were pulling me back and forth, and the ego won out for a time, and that glass of wine stood on the counter for 2 hours.  But after the boy refused to sleep, the wine won out.

In the end, however, the extra day off may have been more to my advantage than disadvantage, as extra rest from aerobic activity has me totally rested and charged today.  I ended up with three whole days away from running.

Now, I could do lower body and aerobics today, although I've decided to just be one day behind.  This will require me to do lower body on Monday next week after I get home.  I will really need to motivate myself, because it's really hard to work out on days I work -- especially with all the flu patients.

The workout: Lower Body (in the basement)

  • Leg extensions
  • Lower curls
  • Calf raises
  • Crunches
It was a quick workout, as I was finished in 20 minutes or less.  It was, however, the highest intensity to date for lower body.  I'm of the belief that if working out is to cause weight loss it's to come from the legs.  

BFL Day #18

Yesterday was day #15 of the body for life (I mean, Rick for Life).  Here are the stats so far:

Start weight:  218
Current weight: 213
Activity: high intensity aerobic workout.  Ran on Treadmill 20 minutes.  My high points involved 5mph, my low point was 3mph.  I tried to keep a run through most of it, although just before the last cycle I did walk some. Next time the plan is to not walk at all. 

For the record, I have asthma.  That means that my high intensity, my high points, my tens, would probably be eights to most other people.  But because of my bad lungs, I really am almost unable to hit a true ten, or a true high point.  I still do the intensity, yet a true high point is not really going to happen. 

Due to my schedule, most of my workouts are in the evening.  I also do this because it's in the evening that I have my week points: the time in the day I crave junk food and alcohol. So, instead of delving into the junk, I exercise. 

My routine generally goes like this (I will do a two week cycle):

Sunday:  Day off day from diet.... upper body workout
Monday: Work 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.... BFL diet day.... no workout
Tuesday: Work 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.... BFL diet day... aerobic workout
Wednesday: Work 7 p.m. to 7:30 a.m..... BFL diet day... lower body workout
Thursday: No work... BFL diet day... aerobic workout
Friday:  No work.... BFL diet day... upper body workout
Saturday: No work... BFL diet day... aerobic workout

Sunday: No work... free day from diet... lower body workout
Monday: Work 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.... BFL diet day.... no workout
Tuesday: Work 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.... BFL diet day... aerobic workout
Wednesday: no work..... BFL diet day... upper body workout
Thursday: No work... BFL diet day... aerobic workout
Friday:  No work.... BFL diet day... lower body workout
Saturday: No work... BFL diet day... aerobic workout

Free days:  Due to my schedule, I usually take my free day starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday until 4 p.m. on Sunday.  This allows me to go out with my friends and not worry about what I eat and drink, and also to go out for breakfast or lunch the next day.  This is essential to maintain my sanity.  I also, at times, take free days on other days as necessary.  For examle, next week on Thursday is three dollar appetisers at a local restaurant, and also three dollar drinks.  I will take that day off and gorge as I feel appropriate.

Mistakes:  There are days I will have a craving for something.  Most of the time I can get past these moments, but I believe it is better to  have a cookie once, than to crash altogether and lose all progress.  So after work this past Tuesday, a day that was very long and tense, I didn't fight the urge to have a glass of wine.  The only thing is that I did not let myself gorge into the refrigerator upon the development of the buzz (and Lord knows drinking makes you hungry). 

So there you go.  That's the plan. 

Welcome to Rick for Life

This blog is for me.  Every other blog I created for me ended up being something more than me.  That will not happen with this blog, though.  This blog is for me, and will always be for me.  This blog is to share my journey as I reform my life, reshape my body, and create a Body For Life (BFL).  This is the one thing I'm doing for me and only me. 

My name is Rick Frea.  I have a wife and four kids.  I live in a small house that is bulging at the seams because there are six of us in a house meant for two.  But it works, and we all love one another and we all enjoy life.  My goal is to get my body back in shape so I can play baseball with my son next summer, and improve my overall morale, and to generally feel better about myself.  I'm also doing it so I increase my odds of being around as my kids age. 

To do this I have to create time for myself.  So many people in my life say things like, "How do you find time to workout when there's so much else to do?"  Well, I do it because I have to do it. When there's something this important in your life, you just make the time.  And it is challenging.  If it weren't challenging I wouldn't be doing the BFL program for the umpteenth time. 

The fact that I weight more now than the first time I did the BFL back in 2002 by no means implies the BFL program doesn't work.  What it does mean is that I let the stress of life control me, rather than allowing myself to control myself.  I let the stress of having kids let me stop working out.  And here I am again, after the storm of creating four of them.  What I see in the mirror is the me that withered the storm.  And, trust me, it ain't pretty.

Well, I see worse.  I see worse every day I work.  I see worse lying in a hospital bed.  I see people who eat KFC every day.  I see people who drink until they can't walk anymore.  I see people who didn't take their blood pressure medicine and now they can't change their own britches.  I see it all, and I don't want to be it.  I want to have control of my life for many more years.  And that's why I started this blog. 

I have to live in this body the rest of my life.  This is what God gave me, and it is my responsibility to take care of it.  So this is my blog.  This is Rick for Life.