Sunday, July 20, 2014
So, round 25 of the BLC challenge is drawing to a close, and one of the parts of the final WEC (Week End Challenge) is to blog about our best BLC experience!
Firstly, let me explain the BLC (Biggest Loser Challenge) to you. It is a private team of about 300 individuals, split into 18 teams, all of which, while promoting healthy lifestyle habits, have slightly different biases towards exercise, nutrition and eating, or support and encouragement. As in the TV program, team challenges are set for people to take part in, and they compete for points both within their team and across all the teams of the BLC.
Each round lasts 12 weeks, then thereís a break and registration, then it all starts again.
The mantra is ďparticipation not perfectionĒ as each person participates in the challenge according to their health and physical limitations, developing healthy habits, stronger muscles, and losing weight as they do so. It is about participation and posting on their teams thread.
So what has been my best experience? Although I know how much Iíve gained (and lost!) over both this round, and all the rounds Iíve participated in since last September, (it must be good as I keep going back!) itís quite difficult to chose one thing and put it into words!
Possibly, the fact that the whole thing is uncritical. Nobody passes any criticism of anybody else's program. It is totally inclusive, whether itís paleo, low carb, Weight Watchers, vegans or like me, fasting.
People are always very interested in what works for you, and what you do, they may then say that it wouldnít work for them, or that they wouldnít wish to do it, but I have never been criticised or told that I shouldnít do it!
My team is Azure Destinations. Iíve been an Azurita since I joined. Itís a cyber desert island, set in a sapphire sea, and as all newbies soon find, in whichever team, your team quickly becomes your cyber family.
This round in particular, I discovered how much I value and need that cyber family. Iím living in London, so Iím 5+ hours ahead of most of my team, so they post en masse while Iím sleeping. Every morning I go to the team thread, eager to find out what my team has been doing, and flicking down the entries to see who has said something specifically to me! I don't always respond instantly, but will at some point on most days.
Azure Destinations are the Ďjokerí in the BLC pack! From our hunky bartenders and cabana boys, to our mascot flying monkeys, (donít ask!) we are a fun team, who travel through the other teams staying a week, trying to spread lighthearted quizzes, encouragement and motivation as we go.
We do that teams challenges as well as our own, we play hard, but take our healthy lifestyles seriously so we work hard too.
This round I have come to realise how much that means to me. It is probably the part of the BLC that I love most. I am never more at my best than when Iím trying, by example, to motivate others! In fact, their motivation is my motivation!.
Weight loss???? this round I think itís going to be about seven or eight pounds, the last weigh in is on Wednesday. Which since Iím only about 20lbs now from goal weight is very good!
On Azure Island, weíre all so keen to keep going throughout the break that weíre opening the island to all comers, of whatever teams, to come and enjoy themselves with us, and keep on track over the holidays! And that is a great experience too.
And what about YOU gentle reader! If you have ever looked at a team and saw only yourself and another person ever posting, or lots of people and posts but none relevant to you or your circumstances, you might consider joining our close community. Although itís a private team, we are always looking for new blood, new members.
If you would fancy joining round 26, registration will open in mid August, and the round start in September. If you leave me a comment saying so on this blog, Iíll make sure you receive an invite!
Monday, May 05, 2014
I finally completed my fitness test!
Press ups in one minute: (on knees, but hands as far forward as possible): 63
Crunches in one minute: 57
Measured mile: In my case mostly uphill: 17 minutes
Pulse rate after 3 minutes stepping up and down 8" step: 100
I don't think they'll alter much over 12 weeks, but we shall see.
Sunday, May 04, 2014
1. Fast three days a week. (500 calories)
2. On 3 non fasting days, prepare and cook my food from scratch.
3. Continue with my exercise, even if that means going to karate or dancing alone.
4. Limit alcohol to one night a week
5. Practice my karate, tai chi and piano, 3 times a week.
6. Smile at myself in the mirror, and tell myself I'm beautiful every day.
7. Stand straight, shoulders back, head up, stand tall, and stride out with confidence.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
I posted about this subject on a team thread, and judging by the response, thereís a lot of misinformation around, about exactly what fasting is, and isnít.
I started fasting on 17th March 2013, after reading a book about the 5:2 fast diet, and how fasting can considerably cut oneís cancer risk, and I am already a breast cancer survivor, of a type of tumour that is aggressive and prone to reoccur.
It cuts this risk by cutting down the rate that cells divide, which cuts down the rate that mutations occur, (they repair and recycle instead), by reducing a measurable blood marker IGF-1, (Insulin-like Growth Factor) which encourages cancerous cells to divide, and by reducing glucose levels in the blood, glucose is the cancer cells prime fuel source.
The research on this program has been ongoing for over 16 years. The evidence is very difficult to refute, and is well published in scientific journals, by Dr Krista Varaday, who deserves all the credit for it.
It is not a starvation diet! On the 5:2, you can eat normally on 5 days out of 7, but I soon discovered that I could overeat on those 5 days, to a far greater extent than the 500 calories eaten on the other two allowed for.
I then decided to try Dr Varadayís own recommendation, which was 500 calories, in the form of a 400 calorie meal, and a 100 calorie snack, every other day, and eating as much as I liked, of whatever I liked, on the others. Since starting in March I have gone from 179lbs to 151lbs, a loss of 28lbs.
Iím not too precious about it, I Ďtook offí my three week holiday in the USA last September, also Christmas and New Year, and if a fasting day falls awkwardly, or I have a horrible day that needs a beer and a takeaway, or am unexpectedly asked out, I simply move the whole thing on a day. You NEVER fast two days running.
Also during this time, I have never felt weak, wobbly or faint due to fasting. I don't suffer headaches, or even much hunger. In fact I routinely do 2 hours of karate on 2 evenings a week, (Monday and Wednesday, so if I fast on one, I fast on both,) and regularly burn 6,000+ calories during a week according to my spark tracker. Which is public, so you can check! On the contrary, I have this enormous surge of energy on fasting days, so much so, that sometimes I have trouble getting to sleep.
Now whether or not you feel that this program is for you, and I am the first to say that it doesnít suit everyone, (one size doesnít fit all remember), there is also a growing body of evidence to suggest that people who cut their calorie level daily by several 100 calories a day, permanently reduce their BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate). Thatís permanently!!! Which explains why itís so difficult to maintain weight loss, as successful dieters need several hundred calories a day less to maintain, than those who are at that weight naturally. Also why, if you Ďfall off the wagoní, you regain hand over fist, much, much faster than you were losing it.
(Done that, been there, got the tee-shirt in every conceivable size, design and colour)
So may I humbly suggest, that you try calorie cycling? E.g. if the middle of your allotted range is 1,500 calories, then one day at 1,500, one at 1,000, one at 1,500, one at 2,000. The calorie intake over a week/month/year is precisely the same, but the effect on your metabolism isnít. It basically keeps it Ďon itís toes.í
If on the other hand you would like to try it, but donít see how you can achieve it, or are nervous of trying, and letís be honest, nobody LIKES being hungry, (even Iím not that odd), then try this gradual alternative.
On alternate days, aim to eat no more than 1,000 or maybe 1,200 calories, (up to you where you set the bar, this is YOUR program), but on the others eat as much as you like, of whatever you like. It has also been proved that fasting is easier and more weight is lost on a high fat diet than a low fat one, contrary to perceived wisdom!
Now, I can see you all recoiling in horror! ĎIíll gain weight,í you all wail! Bear with me though and read through to the end. Yes you might, probably will even, during the first few weeks, but this is long term remember, for life in fact, not just till the next weigh in.
As former dieters, we actually need to practice eating like this, because weíre so unused to it, and feel such guilt even thinking of it. It is necessary however to practice NOT cutting our calories since when you eat only 500 calories on alternate days, you need to eat well on the others, and anyway, you will do it like this for only one week, possibly a couple if you feel more comfortable taking more time.
The next week you cut down by 100 calories a day, on your proto-fasting days, while still eating properly on your non fasting days. Also you are going to eat your calories on fasting days, in three meals or two meals and one snack, because snacking is not fasting! On non fasting days you can snack as much as you like.
Continue cutting down by 100 calories each week on your fasting days, until you reach 500 for ladies, or 600 for men. When youíre on 800 calories per fasting day, cut it down to two meals a day, or one meal and one snack, which is what youíll be doing on 500 calories per fast day. At that point (about 800 calories) you should start to see the pounds come off too.
Iíve been doing this for 10+ months now, so it's not a fad diet, and I intend to continue for life. Itís nice to have to intentionally eat enough on my non fasting days too. I hope that a few of you will try it and succeed, but if not, at least will understand a bit more about it, and my passion about it.
Get An Email Alert Each Time STONECOT Posts