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.