Wednesday, May 28, 2003

"I am never taking a Free Day again" has become "I am taking a few weeks worth of free days because I got sick and then got busy."


I'll start jogging soon. :-)

Monday, May 05, 2003


I am never taking a Free Day again. I ate so much shit yesterday, I felt nauseaus all day, and extremely tired to boot. I don't know if that's because of my hard run from the day before, or because of my poor eating, or maybe both. Anyway, it seems very stupid to me to be so health conscious during the week, losing two pounds on average, and then throw half of it away when I gain a pound on Free Day.

OK, I think I know what the problem was. I went out of my way to eat bad food on Free Day. I thought, since I *have* the opportunity, I am going to make use of it. Even if I didn't have any cravings. Well that is stupid stupid stupid. This will be my new Free Day mantra: Don't go out of your way to eat. Feel free to have a nice burger, or some Thai food or something, if you really want one. But if chicken would suffice, eat that. If you're really craving a sweet, eat it. But don't get a box of 6 donuts and see how many you can eat. That's just counterproductive.

(Yes, I got a box of 6 donuts and saw how many I could eat. (Four.) I felt, and still feel, like a big disgusting cow. I am never going to do that again.)

I'm still tired, and I want to get back into my exercising routine after the gluttony that was my Free Day. Today is the beginning of a new week: Week Three. I have done well for the past two weeks. I will only do better over the next two!

Friday, May 02, 2003

Pump up the JAM

My new MP3 player arrived yesterday, and with musical motivation I pushed myself harder than I have in years!! After 20 minutes on the bike, I realized I could do more. I wanted to do more. So I got on the treadmill and ran a mile. :-)

Fun times. I think I'm starting to nauseate family and friends with my enthusiasm.

(Check out the MP3 player link for some hilarious Korean-to-English mistranslation.)

Thursday, May 01, 2003


Wow, my biceps are already tired from last night. Actually I don't think they ever regained their energy after last night!! And now they are big and tired and will soon be pretty sore. SWEET. :-D

DAMN, I was pushing myself so hard at the gym last night! Once you find that balance of weight that will allow you do just about 12 reps and no more... it's an exciting experience. It is difficult to find the balance -- I don't think I've found it completely. All I know is that I was pushing myself HARD last night, for more than an hour. Highlights:
  • My whole upper torso, neck and face turning bright red, with little veins standing out, when I did the 20-25 pound side arm-raises -- I looked like the Red Hulk; and
  • Utilizing my biceps on almost every other body part's exercise, and then STILL barbell curling 65 pounds between 10-12 times for two sets! And THEN tiring out my biceps even more with a couple sets of 20 lb. concentration curls.

No time this morning to do cardio. I'll do it after work. My MP3 player/radio arrives today, so I can fill it up with 4 hours of workout music and pump up the jam even more. :-)

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Not too bad

Okay, so I'm doing the BFL diet to the letter. At least, I did yesterday and I plan to today. It takes about 10 minutes in the morning to throw together a sandwich or two, shake up a couple servings of protein drink, and put it all along with a couple oranges into a bag. That takes care of my diet for the day, and it's less expensive than getting a tuna melt and Mountain Dew every day, so that's good. :-) Yesterday I got kinda hungry -- not a lot, but enough so that it was preventing me from focusing on my work. So I grabbed a handful of popcorn, and that tided me over until my next meal.

I kind of wanted "bad" food last night, but there were no cravings or anything, so it wasn't hard to just have cottage cheese or chicken breast with spices instead. After I lifted, I simply ate protein-packed foods until I wasn't hungry anymore, and then I stopped. Pretty simple, really.

Another benefit of eating very healthy foods during the week is that you look forward to the more fattening, tastier food, on the weekend. When you don't get to have it all the time, it becomes more of a treat when you do. :-)

Monday, April 28, 2003

Second week...

Okay, I got through week 1. I noticed two things:

1) The lift-at-night/cardio-in-the-morning thing works out pretty well. Doing cardio in the morning jump starts my metabolism and gives me energy throughout the day (especially coupled with the Betalean). Lifting at night works fine as long as I don't go *too* late -- that also revs me up, making it harder to get up early the next morning for cardio. On Saturday I exercise whenever.

2) My Diet Sucks. Last week I did a mostly-BFL diet for the first 4 days of the week, and then completely let it go from Friday through the weekend. I can't do that. About a year ago, I tried doing a BFL-style exercise program -- I exercised most every day, and my diet was okay, but it wasn't perfect. And ya know what happened? Nothing. I didn't gain weight, but I didn't really lose a whole lot of weight -- maybe just a few pounds. I cannot make a transformation unless I follow the diet to the letter. This means whole grains, 6 small meals every 2-3 hours, a gallon of water per day, and veggies. My grains have been less than whole; my meals have been fewer than six; I don't get a gallon of water and I hardly ever get my veggies. So... yeah. I know what to do. I just have to do it.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

On track.

So this is how it's playing out: On lifting days, I end up going to the gym pretty late, and pushing it hard. Then the next morning I'll do cardio before work. It's only been 4 days but this seems like an easy routine to maintain, as compared to my previous "Get to the gym every morning at 7 a.m." delusion, which left me tired for the rest of the day. Never enough sleep with that one. With this plan, however, the rest comes naturally.

I like it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Chipper YO!

I had a dream last night. I was wandering around a college campus -- I think it was a quasi-Michigan, but that's of no import -- after having driven all night. I walked into a bathroom in one of the buildings, and looked in the mirror. My eyes were leaning to the red side, a sign that I had been up all night. (Either that, or my eyes were traveling away from me at an enormous velocity! Sorry, I'm a cosmology geek.) :-)

But I noticed something else: I looked older, thinner, more... rugged. My jaw line was more clearly define, and my baby fat was gone. I suddenly realized that this was a dream, and this is what I could look like in a few years if I keep working out! Well, I woke up, sluggish, with a recollection of the generalities of the dream, but no specifics. I looked at my alarm clock -- I had set it early so I could do cardio before work. Ugh. I didn't want to go.

As I considered falling back asleep, my mind wandered through the events of the dream. When I got to my looking in the mirror, I remembered what had happened, and what I had realized in the dream. And suddenly I was excited, and eager to go to the gym to make the dream a reality!

And now, after having done 25 minutes of sweat inducing cardio, I feel great. Absolutely great. Chipper, awake, everything.

Something else -- last night, as I was considering whether to go lifting, I looked in the mirror and noticed that my left bicep was starting to show blue veins! This is something my right bicep has shown for about a year, but never my left. Boy, was I excited. :-) It was after 10, but I drove to the gym with a gusto little before displayed by any Schwartz. Got in a great workout.

Things are coming together... :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Run, run, gotta run, I gotta run...
Gotta run - woooo-oooo - I gotta run...

Went running last night! Well, jogging. Accordingto my nifty Polar, I was jogging for about 35 minutes, during which my average heart rate was 150 bpm, and I spent 31 minutes in my target HR zone of 128-169! That basically means I burned a lot of calories. (503, specifically). :-)

Now I just have to, well, keep doing it. Actually I was surprised -- it wasn't too hard to go for 35 minutes, and with the HRM guiding me along and beeping when i got too fast / too slow, I was able to exert not too much effort that I burned out, but enough to really make a difference!

Very exciting. :-)

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Tired. Damn stupid tired! Cycles! Tired! Crap!

When I don't exercise on a regular basis, I get tired. Very tired. Then, it's hard to get back into exercising because I lack energy. Vicious cycle. I'm sure I've talked about this before. Too much stuff going on. Concerts, reunions, dates, work. No Me time.

I want some me time.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Runnin' along...
I bought a Polar heart rate monitor yesterday, and it was oh-so-neat to watch the heart rate LCD light up when I stepped on the treadmill. :-) "105," said it. After jogging for just a couple minutes, it was up to 150, and I hovered between 150 and 170 beats per minute for a while, then walked until it was down to 130, and then brought it up again. I had been jogging between 6-7 mph; toward the end I pushed it up to a whopping 8.3 mph, and saw my pulse slowly climb to 180, 181, 182, 183... by this point I was pretty tired so I walked for a minute, watched my pulse drop to 140 and counting, and called it a day.

Oh yeah, then I did about 45 tough Swiss ball crunches.

Fun times! I like exercising in the morning because it jump starts my day. The problem is actually getting to the gym early enough. I'll try again tomorrow.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Oh well.
Okay, I didn't make it this morning. But I did get 9 hours of sleep and I'm feeling much better. :-)

Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today: It seems heavy lifting may cause your blood pressure to get so high that you either have a stroke or an aneurism or your brain explodes or something. Some recommend superslow lifting as a solution; others say that's even worse. In any case, they say you shouldn't lift more than half your body weight, which effectively cancels out any heavy bench pressing -- I can only dumbbell press 100 or 120, max, but even that is supposedly "too much."

I'll look into this further, but I think as long as you use common sense and don't kill yourself on every set, you should be fine.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

So.... tired.....

can't keep my eyes open... whole body feels weak and ehavy.. sleep is calling me... soo tired... tomrrow. must. wake up early, 6, maybe 7ish, and work out. Early. 6. Have to in mornig becuase i will have no time in night time due to glee club rehraslll s
ssso riedt
Wow, I made it

This morning when my alarm clock buzzer drilled into my peaceful slumber, I turned it off. And instead of falling back into unconsciousness, I sat up, eyes 95 percent closed, mind even more asleep. But that tiny fraction of my mind that was awake posed a challenge to the sleeping Me: Get up now and go to the gym, or give up your dreams of getting in really good shape.

Exhausted as I was, I knew the sliver of conscious brain was correct. Had I plopped back down in bed and pulled the covers up, I would have realized that my fatigue is greater than my willpower, and I might as well have stopped striving to better myself right then and there.

But I did get up, and I went to the gym, and I exercised. And I feel better for it.
Feelin' good
Okay, so I went to the gym tonight and did chest/triceps/shoulders. I didn't have a lot of time, so I worked my chest most, followed by the latter two. I did pretty well on dumbbell bench press, doing:

12 reps at 15 pounds each (warm-up)
10 reps at 25 pounds each
8 reps at 35 pounds each
6 reps at 50 pounds each
12 reps at 35 pounds each

That really taxed me out... I could barely get the last rep in... then I tried to do 12 dumbbell flyes at 20 lbs each but found myself dead after 3 reps. I switched down to 15 lbs and was able to get up to 12 total.

You know, it's funny -- when I was putting together the "About Me" section of the web page, I came to the "Hobbies" line and thought to myself, what do I like to do with my free time? Besides vegging out in front of the computer, that is... And I put down "reading" "writing" and "working out."

I wasn't so sure about working out -- could I consider it a hobby? Am I that into it? Well, I realize that I AM into it. A few years ago I was this dork who had hardly set foot into a gym in his life and disdained all things physical... and now I actually enjoy it. And when I'm on, I really get into it! I've read all about exercises and proper form and nutrition and all that -- I probably know more than 4 out of 5 people about that stuff now. I try to get enough protein and I drink lots of water daily and at the gym I wear tank tops and I even grunt on the heavy sets!

I also cut my hair kinda short and am growing a pseudo-goatee, so with the tank top on I actually look somewhat rough and mean, which is neat because I am in reality smooth and nice.

Anyway, enough workout-talk tonight. I am going to *try* to get up in less than 5 hours and do some cardio. I highly doubt I'll make it out of my bed, but at least I will try. Oh yeah, that's the thing... lifting is tons of fun; cardio can be kind of a drag. Cardio's much more fun when it's part of a game like basketball... just sitting there pedaling in place can be tedious and hard. But that's what I have to do to melt the fat. So that's what I'll do (no use having muscles if they're buried under a layer of flab).

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Push it!
My diet has sucked and I'm averaging 3 days a week at the gym. But I must struggle on! Only from the depths of despair has man the perspective to see the true path.

To the gym!

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Challenge 2, Week 3, Day 7

I'm not sure this is working. It seems I can only be enthusiastic about one or two things at once. Fitness may have fallen below the breaking point. I'll keep you updated.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Challenge 2, Week 3, Day 1
"Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer. You have only to persevere to save yourselves." -Sir Winston Churchill

It's easy to get thrown off track. Last week's injury deflated my spirits. I wasn't able to move without pain, to get out of bed without all sorts of complicated maneuvers to ensure the least possible use of my lower back muscles. So know what I did? I compensated for my pain by eating whatever the hell I felt like. I think I took at least 2 free days last week, and didn't exercise at all past Monday.

Today, I can move again. I don't know how long that ability will last, so I plan to take it easy tonight. I will still work my upper body, but do so with weight machines as opposed to free weights; free weights require too many stabilizer muscles, and I may reinjure my back.

Today's Meals
  • Handful of raisins (100 calories)
  • Pepper turkey sandwich (300 cal, 20g protein), Mt. Dew (330 - bad Matt)
  • Pepper turkey sandwich (300, 20g)
  • Two chicken breasts, sourdough bread (500, 60g)
  • Cottage cheese, protein drink (400, 50g)
  • Total: 1930 calories, 150g

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Challenge 2, Week 2, Day 3
"We no other pains endure
Than those that we ourselves procure." -Spencer Dryden

On Monday night, during my lower body workout, I pulled a muscle in my lower back. It wasn't during a set itself, but between sets. I had just finished 12 reps of 210 lbs. on the leg press (relatively light for me), and as I twisted my torso left and down to pick up my log, I felt an excruciating spasm in my lower back. I was able to walk it off and continue with my workout, and on Tuesday I had no problems -- until I was about to go to sleep. As I was getting ready for bed, the pain returned, and it was worse than it had been -- so bad, that I couldn't even move without stabbing pain radiating from the muscle I no doubt pulled.

I was unable to go to work today, and unable to workout. Thus, this week does not look so good for me, BFL-wise. However, I do look thinner -- many people have commented on it -- and I am keeping to a healthy diet. Proper nutrition is, after all, half the battle.

Hopefully I will be well enough to do some cardio and maybe light weights in the next couple of days, but until further notice, I plan to postpone working out HARD until Monday. And I will, accordingly, make next week the new Week 2.

yes, I can do that.


Sunday, February 16, 2003

Challenge 2, Week 1, Day 7

Okay, I'm trying to keep to the diet today, but it will require a trip or two to Subway... as for exercise, I realized that I didn't bring my shorts or t-shirt with me, and exercising in boxers at a friend's place just isn't cool. So, alas, I think I'll have to forego the cardio today, unless I can do it tonight when I get back to Southfield. We'll see.

Addendum: Decided to go see Daredevil instead of getting home early enough to exercise. Great movie! Critics know nothing! Oh, and I didn't get any popcorn... but did have a couple Mountain Dews to stay awake. :-) It's okay, I still have a calorie deficit for the day, though pretty low protein (~65g... Must make up for it tomorrow.

Today's Meals
  • Scrambled eggs, toast
  • 6" Turkey sub
  • Mint mocha w/ skim milk
  • 6" Turkey sub
  • 40 oz of Mountain Dew
  • Late-night munching (turkey breast, a buffalo wing)

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Challenge 2, Week 1, Day 6 (FREE DAY)
"No TV and no beer make Homer something something." -Homer Simpson

Conscious of the fact that I have been invited to a couple parties tonight in A2, I decided to make today, rather than tomorrow, my free day for this week. That basically means I can eat whatever the hell I want, and not exercise. Today I have eaten a chicken fajita, bag o' Fritos, a couple Mountain Dews, a big piece of meat-lover pizza... and tonight I'll be drinking lots and lots of "refreshments." :-)

So tomorrow I have to get back on it. Cardio... of course, since I'm spending most of the day in A2, I'll have to get it done here somehow... and it's too cold to run outside without sweats (which I don't have)... I really don't want to do jumping jacks for 20 minutes but if worse comes to worst I just might have to...

Friday, February 14, 2003

Challenge 2, Week 1, Day 5
"Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing." -Thomas A. Edison

I got back late from Ann Arbor last night, and didn't have a chance to make my meals for today. This morning I overslept and didn't have a chance to go to the gym. Now I have to decide between going to the gym tonight, or driving back to Ann Arbor to see Daredevil.

Well, I definitely don't want to screw up in my first week... we shall see.

Update: Elizabeth made me take her to Bangkok Express for lunch... meaning I had a bit of Thai food... I asked for my Pad Thai with light oil, but who know what goes on back there. Anyway, there wasn't dripping cheese or cream or anything so it can't be that bad for me. It did have a portion of protein and one of carbs, though... probably two of carbs.

Here's something that may be of note: After the waiter brought the Pad Thai and I had a couple of bites, a slight wave of nausea hit me. It wasn't too bad, and it subsided in a minute or two, but I'm inclined to think it's the oil/grease in the Pad Thai that brought it on. Maybe my body is realizing that oil and grease isn't as appetizing as it used to be? I remember at the end of my first Challenge, I couldn't stand even the thought of greasy food. The thought of a big greasy hamburger would make me sick. Maybe today's nausea was the beginning of that state of mind's return...

Or maybe the oil was just rancid.

It's now 6:30 p.m. and I'm trying to find the energy to go to the gym. I didn't have a lot of sleep last night, and my energy is all off due to not eating enough today. Plus, it's Valentine's Day and I am once again left home alone. I can see how that fact would increase my motivation to go to the gym -- somewhat questionable rationale: if I get really studly, no more Valentine's Days at home -- but frankly all it makes me want to do is lay on the couch with a box of donuts.

Today's Meals
  • A few Combos
  • Chicken, noodles, rice
  • Mountain Dew
  • Chicken, noodles (Thai leftovers), grapes
  • Protein drink (2 servings), cinnamon apple sauce

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Challenge 2, Week 1, Day 4
"The world that we are preparing is a world of victory after victory, triumph after triumph: an endless pressing, pressing, pressing upon the nerve of power.” --George Orwell, 1984

I got in my 20 minutes of stationary bike this morning before work. Now it's out of the way and I can enjoy my day with no impending sense of deadlines! Well, at least no fitness-related deadlines (work is another story). I don't like doing my exercise at night. It means I can't relax at home; I'm always watching the clock to see when I have to get to the gym. At night the gym interrupts my day, and keeps me up late; in the morning the gym jump starts my day and gives me energy.

I don't think there's a question here.

Before pic is up (left column, scroll down). I'm pleased to see that I don't look nearly as bad as I did in the 2001 Before pic. I look much closer to the after pic -- and, comparing it to my 2001 interim photos, I most resemble week 7 or 8. :-) So I don't have to do too much to get back to where I was. (This reminds me of high school. Over summer break you forget everything, and then spend a couple of months in the fall reviewing.)

Today's Meals
  • Protein drink, bagel, little bit o' cream cheese
  • Turkey sandwich
  • Protein drink, red grapes
  • Turkey sandwich with spinach
  • Steak burrito from Panchero's ("Cheese?" "Un poquito!")

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Challenge 2, Week 1, Day 3
"God bless the snooze button, that tiny wonder of modern technology, allowing dreams to continue longer than deserved." -Unknown

I slept for 9 hours last night. As such I didn't get to the gym this morning. I will after work though... today is lower body day! I hate lower body day!

By the way, my upper body soreness is finally hitting me. I never realized how many things my pectorals are used for. Taking off my jacket is the worst! So is putting on my seatbeIt. Triceps are also sore -- I like the feeling of stretching out my arms and locking my elbows -- it makes my triceps let out a victory cry. Oh, and my biceps are sore for the first time in months and months, meaning I finally worked them hard enough. I'm not surprised -- at the end of my UPWO (upper body workout), 10 lb. hammer curls were almost impossible! Ten pounds! (That is very light, meaning my muscles were basically failing -- that is a good thing, because it means they'll grow back stronger.)

I also have to take my before pictures tonight.

Today's Meals
  • Protein drink, red grapes
  • Turkey sandwich
  • A few peanuts, Mountain Dew (got to give these up...)
  • Turkey sandwich with spinach
  • Grilled chicken, baked potato, BBQ sauce
  • Double protein drink (60g protein, 400 calories)

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Challenge 2, Week 1, Day 2
"Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength."
-August Wilson

I never knew how soundly I could sleep until my alarm pierced my unconsciousness at 7 a.m. I immediately realized how tired I had been, and how heavy my body felt. I was not ready to get up. I snoozed until after 8, and was still able to get in a good cardio workout at the gym. It wasn't as long as I had planned -- slightly less than 15 minutes -- but it did get pretty intense. I would have gone longer, but it appears I pushed myself just a bit too hard on Saturday (Day 0) during my pre-Challenge run. After a couple minutes at 7 mph this morning, my legs simply did not want to run anymore. And since I am not too keen on the idea of overtraining this early in the Challenge, I cut my losses and hit the showers.

I'm sore, and I know I'll be even more sore once tomorrow rolls around. Soreness is good, though. And since I exercised in the morning, I have all evening to relax. :-)

Today's Meals
  • Bagel
  • Turkey sandwich on whole wheat
  • Turkey sandwich on whole wheat
  • Apple, a few peanuts
  • Grilled chicken with wild rice
  • Turkey sandwich on crackers

Monday, February 10, 2003

Challenge 2, Week 1, Day 1
"Let me embrace thee, sour adversity,
For wise men say it is the wisest course." -Shakespeare

A comfortable bed complete with heated mattress pad foiled my plans to exercise at the crack of dawn. Got to work at 9:30, where I have been zonked all day. That's what happens when I sleep in on Sunday, I suppose.

My meals have been pretty healthy today, my only indulgence being a Mountain Dew to try to combat the effects of sleep deprivation. It hasn't worked. That's what happens when I drink Mountain Dew every day, thereby developing an immunity to caffeine, I suppose...

The plan is: Go to the gym at 6, and hit it hard. I'm tired now, but I have found that during a hard workout, it doesn't matter if I've slept 3 hours or 9 hours; I become fully awake. Unfortunately, 6 p.m. on Monday is about the busiest time of the week. A 50 minute workout will probably take me 1:15 or so. Get home by 8. Have a nice dinner. Relax, make my meals for tomorrow. In bed by 10? Ideally. Then a full night of rest, and start the process again -- this time with enough sleep to exercise in the morning.

To possibilities!

* * *

Addendum: I made it to the gym and REALLY pushed myself hard for an hour. When I hit my dumbbell presses after doing all those flyes... Wow. A perfect 10. Now I am completely beat. Grabbin' the shake and flax oil, gulping down some water and then enjoying a night of deep sleep. I'll get my workout logs up here soon.

Today's Meals
  • Cup of low-fat cottage cheese, apple
  • Turkey sandwich on whole wheat
  • Tuna sandwich on whole wheat, Mountain Dew
  • Cup of low-fat cottage cheese
  • Turkey burger cut up in whole wheat pasta, with tomato sauce, carrots on the side (this meal was delicious!)
  • Protein shake, tablespoon of flaxseed oil

Sunday, February 09, 2003

All aboard!

We are in a rebuilding phase. The sickness threw me, I'll admit it. But I'm preparing to get back on the train and start chugging along. I was playing around with the video camera earlier this week, and I realized, much to my chagrin, that I am putting the pounds back on. The scale says I'm around 188, and the double chin is just a little more pronounced now. It's obvious. I think that's the magic number: At 188 lbs, I start to look "beefy." (That's the word I'm using. Not husky. Never husky!)

Upon realizing that truth, I ran to the store (well, okay, drove) and bought a bunch of healthy food. My diet was perfect BFL for about the next DAY, and then I started slacking AGAIN. What is it with me? Why was I able to succeed so well the first time I tried the challenge, but now I keep getting knocked off course within just a few days? The answer, I believe, is work. Or, more generally, time. I lack time now. I lack the unending hours of summer, when I was taking only 6 credits and therefore able to devote hours a day to getting in shape. I mean, what else had I to do? Homework took an hour a day, maybe. I was in class for two hours a day, on average. That leaves 13 more waking hours, in which using 1-2 for getting in shape and making healthy meals is a snap!

Now, I don't have 13 free hours a day. I sleep for 8 hours. Am at work for 9 hours. That leaves 7 hours. Take away driving time and I'm down to 6.5 hours. Now, time for getting up in the morning and I'm down to 5.5 hours.

The question now becomes, how do I want to USE those hours? By far the biggest unintentional drain on my time comes from AIM. I sit down to chat and the next thing you know 2 hours have passed. It's just the nature of the medium -- what would be a 20 minute phone call takes 2 hours online. So what happens is I get home from work, lay down on the couch for a bit and watch the news, have some dinner, go online... and the next thing I know it's 10 p.m. and I have squandered most of the evening.

But is rest and relaxation tantamount to squandering? I enjoy my evenings. *Sigh*... but I knew I would enjoy them more if I had more energy. The efficient thing to do would be to wake up around 7, go right to the gym, get ready there, be at work by 9 and then BE ABLE to use my time after work for whatever I please. I could still bum around from 6-11 if I like.

Okay, I have to do this. I know I have to. I want to be in shape by the time I go to law school, but moreso than that, I want to surprise Katherine when she returns from London. :-) So here's the slightly updated plan:

Day 0: Feb 9 - 188 lbs, 16% body fat
Day 7: Feb 16 - 186
Day 14: Feb 23 - 184
Day 21: Mar 2 - 182
Day 28: Mar 9 - 180
Day 35: Mar 16 - 178
Day 42: Mar 23 - 176 lbs, 10% body fat
Day 49: Mar 30 - 175
Day 56: April 6 - 174
Day 62: April 13 - 173
Day 69: April 20 - 173
Day 77: April 27 - 172
Day 84: May 4 - 172 lbs, 8% body fat

So, that's the plan. Again, looking at the raw numbers, it pleasantly surprises me that within two months -- just 8 weeks from now -- I can be a very trim 175. I haven't been that low since freshman year in college. :-) Then the third month will be a breeze. The first month is always the hardest. I just have to remind myself that it's worth it. Eat healthy. You have your one free day a week where you can eat ANYTHING you want! But it's just for that day. The whole rest of the week, you *must* eat healthy -- which, remember, isn't that bad and can actually be quite tasty. Grilled chicken with barbecue sauce cut up and mixed with pasta! Tasty tuna sandwiches! Chicken and salsa! George Foreman grilled burgers! The key is to make sure I have all the ingredients available, and have the meals ready to go.

Oh, and one more thing: I'm going to post a lot more pictures up here. And no more faking it. No more headshots taken from above, with an angle that conveniently negates my double chin. No more pictures taken in obscuring shadows. It's got to be the real deal. So here's a headshot from tonight, taken from straight on, full flash. My face will get slimmer and slimmer over the weeks. It will be a fun little project. :-)

Today, I buy food for the week. And tomorrow I begin. Onward!

Thursday, January 30, 2003


I feel like my workout schedule is an old gas lawnmower, and I keep pulling the cord, hopiong the engine will start up... but it only sputters. Sometimes I think it's going to work, and it even runs for a second or two. But it just blows out dirty, smelly puffs of choking black smoke, sputters and lays still once more.

I got sick last week. The only thing that would make me feel better was about a billion gallons of orange juice, and a whole lot of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Unfortunately that kinda screwed up my diet, and I couldn't very well go lifting while I was in bed sniffling. My momentum died. I haven't been to the gym in almost two weeks.

Now, since I haven't worked out in a while, I'm tired. And since I'm tired, I don't have the energy to go work out. DAMN these vicious circles!!! Damn them!

I must overcome.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Current: 186 lbs, 14.5% BF

Okay, I haven't really been following the plan to the letter. My diet isn't strict BFL, but it's close, though I am taking waaaay too many free days... ;-)

The good news is that I overestimated my body fat percentage. It turns out I am currently about 14.5% BF, according to my nifty digital caliper. :-) At a current weight of -- checking the bathroom scale -- 186 pounds, that means I am lugging around about 27 pounds of fat on me, and I am 159 pounds of lean mass.

Okay, so to get down to 8 percent body fat, I have to lose 14 pounds of fat, thus bringing me to about 173 pounds. That is doable in 2 months. Or, I can gain a pound of muscle and lose 13 pounds, bringing me to about 174 pounds. Either way, I'll be at 8 percent BF and hopefully be able to see my abs. :-)

Monday, January 06, 2003


Well, this is it. Challenge 2, Week 1, Day 1. For the third time. The reason I keep sputtering out is, up until now, I have had tons of other things to do. First study for the LSATs. Then write the law school essay. Then fill out the applications. Now, however, I find myself with a load of time when I come home from work. I plan to fill much of that time with getting back in shape.

It's not that I'm out of shape -- I can still run 3 or 4 miles without stopping to walk too much -- but I am not in as good a shape as I was during the height of my first Body for Life Challenge. Nor do I look as good. I am eager to get all of that back.

So today I begin. I went shopping last night for healthy food, and today I have had a protein drink, handful of grapes, and a turkey sandwich. Tonight I will do upper body, and probably take my Before picture. In a couple of days my digital caliper is coming, and I will be able to know exactly what my body fat percentage is.

I'm currently 187 pounds, and I'm guessing 17 percent body fat. My goal is to get down to 8 percent body fat. Assuming I gain 3 pounds of muscle, in order to have an 8% BF level I will have to weigh 172 pounds.

So in other words, my goals are:
1) Lose 18 pounds of fat
2) Gain 3 pounds of muscle

I think, if I achieve those two goals, that will mean everything else will have fallen into place.

Now, let's do the weekly breakdown:

Day 0: Jan 6 - 187 lbs, 17% body fat
Day 7: Jan 13 - 186
Day 14: Jan 20 - 184
Day 21: Jan 27 - 182
Day 28: Feb 3 - 180
Day 35: Feb 10 - 178
Day 42: Feb 17 - 176 lbs, 11% body fat
Day 49: Feb 24 - 175
Day 56: Mar 3 - 174
Day 62: Mar 10 - 173
Day 69: Mar 17 - 173
Day 77: Mar 24 - 172
Day 84: Mar 31 - 172 lbs, 8% body fat

(Those last few weeks are where the lost fat and gained muscle cancel each other out.)

Hmmm... If I could get down to 172 by the end of March, that would be really good. The thing is, I *know* this is very doable, as I lost even more weight last time. It just surprises me that March 31 is only 12 weeks from now, and I can actually make such a transformation in that time. Hmm....

OK, time to get back to work :-)