Body For Life, Week #1

I’ve been completely exhausted for the last two days now, and it’s not casting a positive light on my feelings for my one-week mark on the Body for Life diet. I’ve even resorted to caffeine — Diet Mountain Dew. Add to that a less-than-stellar weight-loss for the week, and little to no change in my body fat reading, and I’m a little disenchanted. That doesn’t mean I’m quitting, though.

This week’s official weight: 199.5 lbs. That’s a one and a half pound loss from my official starting weight of 201 last Tuesday, even though last Wednesday charted me at 200 even. My body fat percentage hasn’t changed much yet: last Tuesday’s reading was just over 31%, last Wednesday’s reading was just over 32%, and yesterday’s one-week reading was 32.8%. Granted, my Omron Body Fat Analyzer is really only good for a guesstimate, so I should probably go easy on the body fat readings and only do them with my monthly photos.

I’ve read online that a lot of BFL participants don’t experience any actual weight loss; the major change is in body composition. Fat takes up five times the volume of muscle, after all, so losing a given amount of fat and gaining the equivalent weight in muscle would make a huge difference.

I do have a couple of visible, non-number-related goals for this 12-week program:

  1. To have my thighs not touch at the top when I stand with my feet shoulder-width apart
  2. For my upper arms to be the same shape (or close to it) when my arms are raised and when they’re down at my sides (i.e. no more embarrassing arm-fat expansion when my arms are pressed against my sides)

I think those are reasonable expectations for a 12-week weight-training program, really.

We made a run to Dick’s Sporting Goods this past weekend, and got me a couple of 10-pound plates for my dumbbells and a couple of spring-loaded weight collars to replace my lame ones that require tools in order to change plates. I was a big dork, though, and didn’t heed Aaron’s repeated question of “Are you sure that’s all you need?”

I’m planning to go back to Dick’s on Thursday or Friday and buy myself two more 10-pound plates (you need TWO pairs of plates for dumbbells, silly), new dumbbell bars with threaded collars (the clips don’t quite fit on my paint-chipped garage-sale bars), and a stronger resistance band (mainly for leg presses — my quads are getting neglected, compared to everything else). After that, I should be good to go for a while. That’ll give me dumbbells ranging from 5 lbs to 35 lbs, with the plates I already have, and that should be sufficient for my needs for at least another couple few weeks.

The diet has been going well, for the most part. I’m taking advantage of the Cheat Day aspect of the program, and saving all my evil cravings for Saturdays (except the dark chocolate that got the best of me yesterday). I’m eating six small meals a day, which seems like a lot, even though the meals are small. I *am* enjoying getting to eat sweet potatoes and pasta again, even in small portions.

Even though the scale hasn’t seen much action, I still *feel* better (apart from being tired these past few days). I stand taller, I feel firmer, and my muscles are pleasantly sore almost all the time with all this working out I’ve been doing.

I can dig it.

2 thoughts on Body For Life, Week #1

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  1. When I started lifting weights, my results weren’t “fast” but they were dramatic. I’m no Arnold, but I feel good.

    Especially for women, keeping muscle mass as they age is important. Staying strong and active just makes life better. (PS; it minimizes mood swings too. This I know from experience)

    A lot of times girls say they don’t want to lift weights AT ALL because they don’t want to get “bulky.” I can only shake my head at this idea. You’d have to be bench-pressing your own body weight to start looking bulky.

  2. I remember being mighty proud of my calf and shin muscles after I came back from drum corps every summer. They still look pretty decent, actually. If I could make my arms look like my legs from the knee down, muscle-wise, I’d be one happy girl.