Last week I signed on for the 14-week Burn the Fat Challenge Contest. I realized I’ve been in maintenance mode for so long that I was bored to death and in serious danger of slipping. I figured if I was going to divert from the middle road, I better get off on the right exit. And that exit will lead me to a 10 on the continuum of Optimal Health, or at least to a 9.75!
My decision puts me in the middle of a debate I’ve been having with myself for about a year, regarding the differences between eating and exercising for health and eating and exercising to achieve a certain physique.
I’m perfectly healthy right now. So why do I want to take on this challenge? For the same reason that some people climb Mount Everest, I suppose…because it’s there. Once you reach a goal, you have got to have a new one, otherwise you stagnate. I’d actually begun to lose sight of that fact.
The eating plan for the challenge is just an amplification of what I already do. I consider it “boot camp” instead of “regular Army.” I’m simply cutting calories slightly and manipulating my ratios of carbs, proteins and fats (as well as the timing of starchy carbs and fruit) so that I can lose body fat while retaining lean body mass. I’ll be eating less fruit, but as many or more veggies, so nutritionally, everything is fit as a fiddle. (I’ve always found it interesting that you could never eat another piece of fruit again, but if you eat a variety of veggies, you’ll get the nutrients you need. The reverse is not true…there are nutrients in veggies that can’t be found in fruit.)
I’m changing my three-day-a-week full-body weight lifting workouts to a two-way, four-day split (working legs, back, biceps and calves two days a week, and chest, shoulders, triceps and abs the other two). It’s actually a method I prefer, but had moved away from because of time. It’s more “bodybuilderish,” and is the method I learned way back in the day when I started lifting in high school. Classic, is what it is. And you can’t go wrong with the classics.
For me, the most important part of the challenge is the members-only forum, which is a powerful source of accountability and motivation. I can tell you right now that posting photos of yourself in a two-piece bathing suit will make you straighten up and fly right, yes it will. My goodness. Not an easy thing to do, but the best things in life seldom are! I have to also keep a journal on the forum tracking my weekly results, etc. People can comment on your journal, and vice versa, which is where most of the support and motivation comes in. Oh, yeah, the grand prize is a trip for two to Maui, so that’s a nice little carrot, too.
I won’t be using this site to share my daily transformation details, but I will probably add a page to the site with some highlights, and of course I’ll be writing about any nutrition/fitness topics that my adventure brings to mind!