My name is Neale Bacon. I have lost (so far) 200 pounds with no pills, potions, shakes, short cuts or surgery. Join me for tips and tricks I learned along the way. There may even be a laugh or two along the way.

bfl-homepg-refresh_v5d_03 (1)First of all I want to brag a little and say I lost 4 pounds in the first week, so I was very proud of that. I also learned some things in this first week.
I learned after the first lower body workout that I have hamstrings. I didn’t know I had hamstrings before, but the day after that first lower body workout, I could hardly walk. Between my quads and my hamstrings I looked like a toy robot whose batteries were winding down.

I learned that even though I don’t eat much if any junk food anymore, as soon as I tighten up my eating plan, I want a big bowl of something I shouldn’t have. It also taught me in those moments to find something else. What a novel concept – healthy food instead of junk food.

I am not given to endorsing or even discussing products associated with “dieting” because I believe I have made my views body fortresson the shakes and short cuts very clear, but I did learn there is a difference between living on shakes and having the occasional protein shake as supplementing, especially at breakfast when I need that extra protein to get going.

I bought a whey protein powder called Body Fortress. It gave me 50 g of protein in a shake (2 scoops). I got the vanilla though it does come in chocolate and strawberry. I like to add fruit to it to vary up the flavour so I stuck with the vanilla. The taste was yummy. A little like drinking a milk shake. I add a banana or some frozen fruit to it. I have it sometimes for breakfast or right after a workout to start the rebuilding process.

I was skeptical any shake would actually fill me like breakfast but this one did. Again, I don’t recommend living on them or any other shake. This is made by Body Fortress at http://www.bodyfortress.ca

biox-protein-blast-barsThe other thing I have never been big on is protein bars. This is because most I have tried taste a lot like compacted sawdust, have know flavour and it was a workout just trying to chew them. Then I found Bio-X  Protein Blast bars made by Nutrition Zone. http://www.nutrition-zone.com. I honestly felt like I was cheating and eating a candy bar. They make a number of flavours. I tried the peanut butter, chocolate fudge and chocolate caramel. Amazing after a workout or as a snack.

Again these are not meal replacements. They are to help supplement. I have learned that there is a place for supplementation along this journey. See, even I learn something new every day.

I also have learned how important water is, and how easily we can become dehydrated when we kick it up a notch in our exercise especially. I am drinking my 8 glasses of water a day in addition to the other beverages. I have to admit part of this is because we have been having some very hot weather lately, but also I have just wanted to up my intake of JUST water.

I now understand what others have told me – that by the time you realize you are really thirsty, you are already partially dehydrated. It is also true that hunger will often be thirst in disguise. I have been finding when I get the tummy rumblings, yet I know I shouldn’t be hungry, I will have some water and it often goes away.

Something else I have discovered, though I think it is too early to attribute it all to the BFL challenge and that is my stamina. No, I mean for exercise and walking. Shame on you.

Last Saturday I took a bus down to Stanley Park (for those who know the Vancouver area) and by the time I was done and had gotten home, my FitBit (another favourite tool) showed me I had done 16,000 steps. I impressed myself. Not once did I feel the need to faint, fall down or “be ill”. I admit I was pretty pooped at the end but very proud.

There was a time not all that long ago I would have considered that impossible, yet I actually enjoyed myself. To resist the temptation for hot dogs or other park type food, I packed a nice healthy lunched (chopped chicken breast, baby carrots and some grapes) as well as a water bottle that I refilled a number of times. This also taught me how to find a lot of bathrooms in the park. Hey I’m 56. What can I say?

One of the biggest things that has changed is my mindset about “free day”. You see, the program has you work out alternating lifting weights with cardio 6 days a week and you have the 7th day off. Well a free day to me used to mean I could pig out, eat all the junk I wanted to eat and start over again Monday.

Interestingly when I look back at free day which happened to be Sunday, I didn’t do that. I was a little more relaxed but I have also learned if you tons of crap, 2 things happen. First is you FEEL like crap and second, I now know how hard it is to burn the crap off.

My free day is when I will allow a treat like a Coke Zero or something but that’s it.

I have also found something I never thought I would. I woke up today anxious to start week 2 on this adventure.Will this 12 week program get me to my final goal. Who know but it has certainly shaken things up a bit, and frankly that’s what I needed – a good old fashioned kick start.

I wonder what this week will bring? New discoveries? Will old challenges or ideas come to the surface? Will my hamstrings and quads stop whining? Who knows? All I know is I am excited. Bring it on!

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

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