I wanted to show that you could build muscle with the protein found in fruits and tender leafy greens. I wanted to minimize weight loss, I would have preferred to keep the weight and lose the fat. I also wanted to see if the pain from my arthritis would go away.
First I figured out my daily calorie intake using my challenge kit. My daily calories for my workout days are 2300 and 1700 for non workout days. I would break workout day calories up into 4 smoothies and non workout days into 3 smoothies.
I would do 20 minutes of HIT cardio in the morning following the Body For Life cardio workout plan.
I would also follow the Body for Life weightlifting program with a little alteration. I will perform upper body exercises one day, lower body exercises the next and the follow day taking a rest doing cardio only.
What really happened
I actually did quite well I think. I certainly didn't do this challenge perfectly. It was my intent to eat nothing but smoothies for 31 days but I had some set backs.
Day 8 stomped all over me. This day actually started back at day 5. I was ready to cave in and even went as far as going to the store and picking up for a nice vegan dinner. But when my wife got home and I told her my plan she said 'no'.
I was crushed. But here is the really cool thing about this. I told my wife my plan and told her I would need her support. She gave it.
I could not say anything to her. I told her before I started the challenge that if she stood firm I would not argue or plead. She kept her side and so did I.
But on day 8 we both fell prey. I don't know maybe we both were having a bad day, it could be that or one of a 1,000 other excuses. Truth is I enjoyed a cooked meal after going almost 8 whole days drinking nothing but smoothies. That was a personal best for me.
So instead of this crushing my spirit I realized my limitation and decided to make a cheat meal for each week. I planned it out where I would have my last meal a week before my final weigh in. As I got nearer to the end of the month I started to slip more and more and out of the 110 smoothie meals I planned for the month, 12 of them were vegan meals.
I understand that I didn't do this perfectly and to be honest I am betting that there are few that can. I think the real lesson here is that even though we may falter we need always keep climbing.
The workouts went as planned except for my cardio. I started out trying to do the HIT plan but first thing in the morning I just could not get it going. So what I did was just get on a elliptical machine and started moving. As time went buy and by the end of the sessions I would have knocked off 250 calories.
After 2 weeks I jumped on the scale and I had gained 4 lbs! I upped my cardio to one hour at my pace and was consistently burning 550 calories. It must have worked because I dropped the 14.2 lbs in the last 2 weeks.
Allow me to introduce you to Mr. Greg McElveen, MS, MBA, CSCS Director of Duke Sports Performance. Greg spent about an hour preparing the Bod Pod to take my measurements. It is a very sensitive machine.
This is my official weigh in at Duke University. I'm 185.2 lbs 24.3% which is actually fat! That's 45 lbs of my total weight as fat! ughh!
This is a comprehensive blood exam that is mostly used for a yearly check up. I want you to pay particular attention to the total cholesterol of 189! My doctor wanted me to take a fish oil supplement to bring it down, I refused.
This was my second weigh in at Duke University.
So what basically happened is that I lost 14.2 lbs! The comparison sheet below will say 14.1 because a tenth was subtracted for the cap I had to wear in the Bod-Pod. 12.3 lbs of that was fat. Greg (the Director of the Duke Sports Performance Program) was very happy with the results stating that my lean weight loss was better than average (as far as not losing it) only 12% of my loss was lean.
Here you can see my weigh in results side by side:
As far as my blood work take a look at these:
The first thing my doctor said was '58 points'. It doesn't really mean much to me but apparently that is good if you are trying to lower your cholesterol. It looks like all the good stuff went up and all the bad stuff went down. That's what I was expecting.
As far as my appearance I would like to say that I gained a inch and a half to the circumference of my biceps and took 4 inches off my waist.
Another thing that I noticed was that my hair stopped falling out of my head. I used to see a lot of hairs in the tub from my head when I shower. Now I haven't seen a hair since I started this personal challenge.
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when I went in to my doctors for the blood work. My hands hurt daily. Dull and sharp pains in my fingers and toes. That went away almost immediately. I do feel the pain when it gets really cold out, but even that's getting better.
Here is how much I spent on food for the 4 weeks of this challenge:
Week 1: $85.55
Week 2: $96.92
Week 3: $74.90
Week 4: $81.99
I also spent $158.00 for my weigh ins at Duke University.
The blood work cost me $118.00
Total Challenge: $615.36
I believe I could have kept the prices down a little bit. My first week I had a Cherry Smoothie with Spinach instead of Romaine every night for dinner the first 2 weeks. Cherries are great for inflammation and Spinach is a super food! Both however can and usually are a bit pricey.
I purchased my bananas a week in advance to give them enough time to ripen. I like the brand "One" and I can only find them at Wal-mart where I live.
I then purchased my Romaine and frozen fruits at my local Kroger. I can get the lettuce for $.99 to $1.29. The frozen fruit ranges too because something different is always on sale. I buy the Strawberries, Blueberries, Cherries and Mangoes (my favorite) in 3 lb bags for about $10.00 each.
I buy the pineapples either from Trader Joes (there pineapples are considerable small usually) and BJ's which has huge pineapples and they are usually good tasting. Both places sell them for $2.99. Don't buy pineapples that have any dark brown, they just taste funny and can ruin a smoothie.
What I learned
If you want to change something you need to know what that is. For me this wasn't about losing weight it was about changing. You see I knew that if I made a dietary change then I would lose the weight so that is what I focused on, not losing weight.
People who love you will come through for you. Enough said.
If something doesn't go right, don't throw it all away. Work with it, learn from it, dust your ass off and get on with it!
All my life I have been waiting for some kind of approval to do the things I want to do. Always looking for someone to take the reigns. Today I learned by pushing myself and testing myself and allowing myself to make mistakes, that I can move forward and be a positive influence in other people's lives.
What about you?
Are you interested to see just what you can do? Please take the 3 day challenge, its free, takes about a half hour to make all the smoothies and it will refresh you in a way that just makes you feel great!
If you already took the challenge and want to be crazy about losing some weight and getting healthy please consider my challenge kit. It has everything you need in it to set your goal weight, calculate your daily calories and get you going in the right direction. I keep it inexpensive so everyone can afford to get healthy!
Leave a comment or question below. I always do my best to answer and if I can't I can surely point you in the right direction! If you have done the challenge and you want to share your experience (good and bad, this is real life) please do! The only way we make changes is with support.