It’s the morning of day eight and I’ve gotten through my first full week including the binge day. I’ve iced my neck, swung around kettlebells, and had eggs every morning for breakfast, all firsts for me. It’s been an interesting experience.
Weight Lost / Inches Lost
First and foremost, I lost six pounds (as of yesterday, pre-binge) and 3 7/8″ off my body. Most notably I lost one inch off each thigh so more than half the shrinkage came from there. I lost only a little from my waist and hips (which frankly is where I wanted it to come from) and zero, yup zero, from my arms. This morning, the day after the binge, I was up one pound; I’ll see if that comes right off again. One big caveat to all of the above, I had my period this past week which can cause me to fluctuate between two and four pounds.
So I’m eating less, but am I moving more? Actually no. I had a busy week in my Pilates studio with lots of new clients but I actually worked out less than I normally do because I followed Ferriss’ bare minimum workout of 15 bird dogs, 20 bridges (whatever he calls them is dumb; everyone else calls them bridges), and 50 kettlebell swings.
This was literally my first time using a kettlebell and I used my own blog post as a source for proper form! (I found that amusing and also cool.) On the first day, I overswung three or four times and my upper traps (neck) were really sore the next day. I kept it under better control for the Wednesday and Friday workouts and haven’t had the soreness again. My mistake? I didn’t keep my arms completely stiff for every swing. I purchased a 25-pound kettlebell which was in the midrange of his recommendation for women. If you are very, very new at this, definitely get the 20-pounder.
My reaction to the bridges and bird dogs was no biggie, whatever. My reaction to the kettlebells was a lot of huffing and puffing. On Monday, I had to rest twice to get 50 swings in. On Wednesday, I split the 50 into two sets, and on Friday I did one set of 30 and one set of 20. Every time I was breathing hard, really hard, when I finished. I felt a little muscle soreness in my tush the next day, but just a little. Keep in mind, I’m a Pilates instructor and I work out a lot.
Which brings me to: I miss Pilates! Usually I’d have to have the flu if I went a week without Pilates. So I’m a bit on the fence: stick with the program as Ferriss has it written out, so that you, dear reader, can see exactly what “the program” does. Or sneak in a quickie Pilates session so I don’t go batty and so I can keep my back nice and strong. Please feel free to give your opinion on that one.
Automating your eating is nothing new. As Ferriss points out in his book, most of us do it anyway; we have our “go-to” meals that we tend to prepare again and again. There have been studies that show automating your eating can help with weight loss. What was different for me was a pretty big increase in protein, absolutely zero starches, and adding legumes.
I hate legumes! Hate ’em! It’s a texture thing for me. I have to hide them. I like peas (which Ferriss classifies as a vegetable in the book, but I’m yanking ’em back to the legume category) and peanuts. So I snuck some kidney beans into a soup (could still taste ’em) and I’ve been eating peanuts and peas. I blame this entirely on my Mom who used to make me eat eight lima beans when she served them for dinner. I ate them whole and gulped them down with milk like a horse pill. Sigh. If anyone has suggestions for ways to sneak in legumes, I’m all for it.
Oddly, the no starch thing turned out to be no big deal to me. I was expecting to really crave them and I wasn’t. I think it was the extra protein I was eating but I’m not sure. I think I stayed 100% on diet with one exception; I ordered steamed veggies at a restaurant and they came with a dollop of butter on them. I soaked it up a bit with my napkin (weird looks from my lunch partner) and ate them anyway.
I was dreading binge day. I was cruising along well, the scale was moving in the right direction, and I didn’t want to fall off the wagon and backslide into oblivion. So I didn’t really want to do it. But I had breakfast as usual (eggs, spinach, onions, peanuts, one slice of bacon) and then waited a bit and had a cup of coffee with one teaspoon of cinnamon as Ferriss suggests (to keep blood sugar fairly level while you binge). It tasted gross! Next time I need a bigger mug of coffee. The coffee is also supposed to cause a bowel movement.
I wound up eating shepherd’s pie for lunch with some french fries nicked off my son’s plate (about 400 calories total), about two ounces of peppermint bark left over from Christmas (320 calories), a bowl of pasta with pomodoro sauce and meatballs at Bertucci’s (I ate less than half of it and was stuffed; about 500 calories), one and a half of their rolls (200 calories?), half an apple tart (about 300 calories), and finished it off with a small ice cream cone (500 calories). So overall I was somewhere around 2,400 to 2,500 calories for the day. Ferriss details a 9,000 calorie binge in his book and I don’t know how he did it. I’m writing this the next morning and I’m fine with what I ate and I don’t feel cravings for anything.
Fun with Thermogenics
Ferriss details different ways to make yourself shiver in the book. The idea is if you’re cold, your body will respond by increasing your metabolism to warm you up, thus burning calories. There is no way that I am ever taking an ice bath and the only way I would consider taking a cold shower is if there was no hot water and I positively stank. (Yes I’m a wuss, so for those of you who want to do it, go crazy, but it definitely won’t be me.) But I did drink 500-ml of ice water first thing in the morning and try out the ice pack.
First, let’s disptach with the ice pack on the neck and upper back. I’m doing it, I can feel my back getting cold, I did it for over 30 minutes each time (mostly because I was reading a magazine and got into an article or two), and it was no big deal. I felt a mild coldness for a few minutes afterward and that’s it. I have no idea if it’s working and if any brown adipose tissue is doing anything.
Now the cold water in the morning is a different story. I drank it, took a few minutes getting ready for my day, then made breakfast (within 30 minutes most days). The first two days by the time I was getting ready to walk out the door I had broken into a sweat; literally beads of sweat on my forehead. The one day that I walked to worked, I was super sweaty by the time I got there. (It’s only half a mile; we’re not talking much exertion here and I do it all the time.) The third day, nothing; the fourth and fifth day, sweat again. The sixth and seventh day, nothing.
That was surprising. So I’m either really good at being psychosomatic or something was happening. If any of you had similar results, let me know. I was really floored to have that response. I also don’t know if having the high-protein breakfast in conjunction with the cold water had anything to do with it. I should add that I did the exercise routine three mornings during the week and I didn’t sweat during the workout (although I was huffing from the exertion), but I did break out into a sweat on all of those days about 30 minutes later when I was leaving for work.
Supplements scare me. I just don’t completely trust what’s in them and what they’re going to do. Yes they’re “all natural” but hey, so is heroin and that’s an excellent weight loss supplement with a few disastrous side effects. So I’m leery. I ordered the supplements, they came on Wednesday, and I just kinda looked at ’em for a while. On Thursday, I had the AGG in the morning (the AGG is one combination of the supplements) and within a few minutes I was pretty nauseous. I lied down for a few minutes, had a massive burp, and instantly felt better (sorry if that’s TMI). I only did one “dose” that day. On Friday, after my ice pack, I did the PAGG at night (a different supplements combo) and didn’t have any problems at all; ditto for Saturday.
Again, is this doing anything? I have no idea and I’m not doing the four doses per day that Ferriss recommends, frankly because I think I should work up to it. I’m going to go with a lunch AGG and an evening PAGG today and see what happens.
I also know I’m going to get a ton of grief at the studio when my co-workers see me popping pills. That being said, several guys at the health club where my studio is located talk about whey proteins all the time, so I’ll just throw that back in their face.
So that’s my week. Six pounds and almost four inches gone, I miss Pilates, the eating’s really not that bad, and thermogenics is fun to play with. Also, I’m scared of supplements.
What do you think? I realize this is a pretty long post, so if you read this far, thanks for sticking with me. Please chime in if you’re doing this yourself and let me know what your results are. I’m still not endorsing this yet, but I have an appointment with my nutritionist tomorrow and I’ll be sure to report back. I’m expecting a pretty big eye roll from her.