6 Month Weigh-in and Pictures

Six months ago I decided to make some big changes in my life. I was 34 years old and decided I needed to make some adjustments in both my eating habits as well as my exercise plan (or lack thereof) in order to be more healthy. I kicked off this year by completing the 12 week Body-for-LIFE program. I’ve maintained since then for about another 12 weeks and am now 6 months out from the start. Let’s take a look at where I started at:

After completing the 12 week Body-for-LIFE program, I definitely saw results.

I’ve continued to eat healthy and exercise since then. It’s been 3 months post BFL and 6 months since I did the Body-for-LIFE challenge. Here is what I look like today:

A few flexing shots:

In this next one, you can really see my side back and tricep muscles that I’ve built:

Before and after photos, side-by-side:

How have I done it? During the 12-week Body-for-LIFE challenge I would eat smaller portions 6 times a day. Each meal would contain a protein and a carb. Good carbs, though, none of the processed, enriched white flour. Stuff like whole grains, vegetables, beans. One day a week was my “cheat” day where I could eat whatever I wanted, and I literally ate whatever I wanted.

For exercise I went to the gym 6 times a week – 3 times cardio, 3 times weight. Total amount of gym time was between 3 and 4 hours a week. I was extremely consistent with the food and exercise during the 12-week challenge. Since then I’ve relaxed a little bit. I still try to eat healthy and eat 6 times a day. Instead of one day a week off, though, I’ve settled into 3 or 4 meals a week off. The rest of the week I eat smaller portions and still try to eat 6 times a day. It has become a habit, and one that I really, really enjoy. Gorging myself on large meals always makes me feel “blah” afterwards. Here are a few of the foods I regularly stock and eat:

Also, I avoid any sugar sodas. I do drink some diet sodas, but plan on dropping them at some point since they’re not the greatest for you…but I’m not quite there yet. In addition, I drink lots of water. It is crucial to keep your body hydrated. Sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you really just need some water. Also, keeping your body hydrated helps with muscle growth.

Since I finished Body-for-LIFE, I’ve continued to run 2-3 times a week and do weights 2-3 times per week. On average I’m exercising 4-6 times per week still. I always feel so good after either a good run or workout.

Now, for my 6-month weigh-in. I weighed in this morning at 154.

I’m down 16 pounds down from where I started this year at 170. It’s hard to tell really how much I’ve lost/gained since a lot of the loss has been fat which has been replaced by muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. Well, actually they weigh the same, but for the same size of mass, the fat will weigh more than the muscle – see my post here for more about that. I’m continuing to increase weights at the gym, which for me is a good indicator that I’m continuing to gain muscle. Going forward I will be doing checkins every 3 months with pictures and a weigh-in. The next one will be at 9 months in October, followed by my one year checking the beginning of January 2013. In the meantime I will continue to blog about my story, healthy tips, and how I am able to keep a healthy lifestyle up while behind the desk on a computer every day.

Week 21 Weigh-in and Pictures

The last weigh-in I did was at 16 weeks – 5 weeks ago. In the past 5 weeks I’ve gained about a pound, weighing in at 159 lbs.

Now, for the pictures. From the front:

From the back:

Front Flexing:

Back Flexing:

Another Back Flexing – you can see more of the back muscles in this one:

Compilation picture (click to enlarge):

Every time just before I do a weigh-in and pictures, I fear that I’m going to look worse than the last time. Then once I get the pictures on the computer and look at them, I get so motivated. The last 5 weeks I’ve been pretty good. There was one week where I missed the weights, but other than that, I got my weights in 2-3 times per week each week. My cardio has been strong at 3 times per week.

One night a few weeks ago I was about to put my kids to bed when my son said to me “Have you done your workout today, Dad?”

“No, I’m supposed to do upper body today.”

My son’s responded with “You’d better leave soon so you have time to get it in before the gym closes!” It was seriously a great moment for me. My son helped motivate me to get my workout in on a night where I wasn’t really feeling it. A big thanks goes out to him for motivating me to continue working out and being healthy.

So, what’s next? I still need to gain more muscle weight. I’m almost through my first tub of the Casein Protein. I need to do better at drinking some every night before bed. I’m continuing to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. I think that’s part of my lifestyle now. Occasionally I will have a “meal” off, but I’m not really doing the one full day a week off. On Saturday if I know we’re going out to eat, I’ll eat my normal healthy way the whole day and then splurge with my one meal out. As a general rule I eat healthy all week long and relax a little on the weekend. It’s not a full-out binge though where I eat anything all weekend long. Body-For-Life has taught me how to both eat healthy and enjoy treats while staying lean and fit.

My next checking I’m scheduling for 5 weeks out at 26 weeks (the weekend of June 6-8). That will be exactly half a year of healthy eating and working out. I’ll be interested to see how far I’ve come in 6 months. Stay tuned – and in the meantime I’ll continue to blog about healthy tips and my journey through my transformation.

Week 16 Weigh-In and Pictures

Today marks 16 weeks exactly since I started Body-for-LIFE. Even though the Body-for-LIFE challenge is 12 weeks, I’ve continued with the lifestyle the last four weeks. The Body-for-LIFE website says to get the results you want in “as little” as 12 weeks. I was very happy with my results after 12 weeks. Going forward I want to continue to build lean muscle mass. My last weigh-in for Body-for-LIFE was 161. In the last 4 weeks I’ve lost 3 pounds, weighing in at 158.

I’m actually trying to gain weight (muscle weight), but I am not concerned about the weight loss since I am continuing to increase the weights at the gym. The last 4 weeks I’ve continued 3 days of weights and 3 days of cardio each week. Here are the pictures after 16 weeks. First, from the front:

And a flex shot from the front:

Now from the back:

And a flex shot from the back…you can really see the back and shoulder muscles that I’ve built over the past 16 weeks. I just need to work on that farmer tan – heh heh.

Here is a compilation of image I put together with pictures every 4 weeks. It really captures the progress along the way:

I’m getting much closer to the 6-pack that was one of my goals when I started. The last four weeks I’ve made significant progress across the board. You can especially see it in the stomach as the abs are starting to show even more. I’m figuring the 3 pounds I’ve lost has been a little bit more fat around the gut which is helping for the abdominal muscles to show through even more. My next weigh-in and pictures will be at 20 weeks. Until then, I’ll be continuing to blog about my journey as I continue to eat healthy and exercise. Thanks for reading!

Updated pics and weigh-ins moving forward

Now that Body-for-LIFE is complete, you may have noticed I haven’t been doing weekly weigh-ins and pictures. Going forward, I’ll be doing a weigh-in with pictures every 4 weeks. I’ll still be using the week of Jan 9th as the baseline for my transformation (that’s the week I started Body-for-LIFE). Now that the 12 weeks are done, my next weigh-in and pics will be at 16 weeks on April 28th – that’s this Saturday! I’m excited to see how much I’ve developed in the 4 weeks post BFL! After that I’ll check in at 20 weeks, 24 weeks, etc. until I feel my transformation is complete and I switch to maintaining.

Body For Life 12 Week Challenge Completion

I thought that the challenge was 90 days. In some places I’ve seen it written 90 days, others 12 weeks, and others 3 months. They’re all pretty close to eachother, but I guess 12 weeks is the one that the Body For Life website goes by. I registered at bodyforlife.com with my start date of Jan 9 and got an email Sunday congratulating me for finishing the 12 week challenge. It’s time for me now to do a write-up and submit it to the challenge along with before and after pictures. I’ll be working on that this week.

This has been an awesome experience! I have learned many things that I will take with me and incorporate in my day-to-day living going forward. Now I’m mulling over in my mind what I want to tackle next. I’ve been thinking about maybe training for a 5k, 10k, then half marathon. If I do increase my running for that, I’m still going to do weights 3 times a week like I’ve been doing while on Body For Life. I don’t want to lose what I’ve worked so hard to get. Maybe I’ll do P90X or a triathalon. Maybe I’ll bike from New York to LA. Seriously, I was thinking the other day about how cool that would be. Some fireman rode their bikes from LA to New York in memory of 911. Google Maps says it is around 2800 miles. 100 miles a day. 28 days. That would be pretty awesome. I would need to take a month off of work, though. Then maybe another month to recover 😉 Some day…

Stay healthy, my friends! I’m going to continue blogging about my adventures as I seek to live a healthy life and stay fit.