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:
- Chobani Yogurt – greek yogurt that is high in protein. I’ve tried them all and prefer this brand.
- Egg white omelette with 2% cheese
- Fruit Leather (you can buy a box at Costco of 100% fruit strips) – they are 45 calories each.
- fresh fruit (whatever is in season)
- Chicken Breasts
- 100% Whole Wheat English Muffin (I like the Orowheat ones)
- All Natural Peanut Butter
- A mixture of protein bars, primarily EAS Protein Bars (Chocolate Chip Brownie is my favorite EAS one, Lenny & Larry’s Muscle Brownies, Tri-O-Plex Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies, and a variety of Supreme Protein Bars
- 100% Whole Wheat Bread and lunchmeat for sandwiches (I really like the Boars Head Cracked Pepper Mill Turkey Breast with pepper jack cheese)
- Beef Jerky
- Cottage Cheese
- Tuna Fish
- Myoplex Lite Protein Shakes
- Gold Standard Whey Protein
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.