Monday, May 23, 2011

Buff Up Week 8 Recap

Eight weeks ago (Here's my original post "Confession: I wanna get buff," and recaps for week 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, 6, and 7) I said I wanted to get buff. I didn't really set up goals, though -- I wanted to see it more as a fact-finding mission. But now that it's been eight weeks, it seems like a good time to evaluate what I've been doing and where I want to go from here.

I went through every blog post from the past eight weeks, looking through my exercise and food logs. Here's what I came up with:

Week 1: 390 minutes of cardio, 6 days of weights
Week 2: 480 minutes of cardio, 6 days of weights
Week 3: 395 minutes of cardio, 5 days of weights
Week 4: 155 minutes of cardio, 5 days of weights
Week 5: 35 minutes of cardio, 4 days of weights
Week 6: 275 minutes of cardio, 5 days of weights
Week 7: 330 minutes of cardio, 5 days of weights
Week 8: 285 minutes of cardio, 5 days of weights

I have to say, I'm pretty happy with this. Week 5 was affected by a pulled muscle - hence the lack of cardio. But for eight weeks with a pulled muscle, a week-long vacation, a wrist injury, and the aches that come from an increased workout schedule, I am proud of the work I've done.

As far as eating goes, I ate a lot of broccoli and a lot of bean and lentil soup, a fair amount of pumpkin pudding, edamame, and salad, some seitan, tofu, and Dr. Praeger's veggie patties, and some roasted veggies, oatmeal, fruit, and whole-grain cereal. I didn't really have any sugar or refined carbohydrates (minus a few slices of pita bread I had one night). Not too much caffeine -- coffee a few times a week, and no alcohol. And no added oils besides the small amounts in the seitan and veggie burgers. That's not any different than usual, though. I feel best on a diet made primarily of vegetables and vegan proteins, with some starchy vegetables and a little fruit.

As far as physical changes, I am stronger than I've ever been. I've always been very quick to pack on lower-body muscle but upper-body muscle is always more difficult. My arms have never been this strong and my legs and core are super strong, too. In some ways it can be a little annoying, though. I've realized that I am going to have a hard time clothing my butt because my glutes go kaPOW. I've always had a big butt - a sprinter's butt, like my mom says.

I've learned that I LOVE lifting weights. I also really like working out twice a day - I enjoy feeling like movement is my standard, and sitting is the anomalous part of my day. Starting and ending the day with a workout just feels great. I didn't always manage to do this, and my cardio minutes for the week are directly correlated with how busy I was.

For the next eight weeks, I want to keep working out hard. My best two weeks were the first two, which isn't a surprise because I had a lot of free time and no injuries. But I'd like to keep that momentum. I'd also like to eat with a little more purpose. I didn't change my eating habits at all for the last 8 weeks but I'd like to try and focus on supporting my workouts with my diet. Like I mentioned a couple weeks ago, sometimes I eat a little too much fiber so I bought some Sunwarrior protein powder (it's in the mail now) and I'm going to try drinking some protein shakes sometimes if I feel like I need a lower-fiber meal.

So, that's my 8 week wrap-up. I hope you stick around to hear how the next eight go!

This weekend's food and exercise:

60 minutes bike
Weights/strength: hamstrings, deltoids, glutes, upper back

60 minutes bike
20 minutes yoga
Weights/strength: inner thighs, chest

10 minutes shadowboxing
20 minutes bike
20 minute walk
Weights/strength: obliques, upper back, abs

Food Diary:
Breakfast: 1 cup lentil soup
Lunch: 1/2 cup split pea soup with broccoli, 1/2 cup corn chowder
Snack: Pumpkin pudding
Dinner: 1/2 Sai Sai Donburi Macro Bowl from Seed (brown rice, beans, sea veggies, sauerkraut, carrots, daikon)

I didn't write down everything this weekend but a lot of it looked like this:
Pumpkin smoothie

and this:

Green smoothie with kale, almond milk, banana, mango, protein powder, spirulina, and my green stevia.

As well as my leftover split pea soup I made last week. Here is my fridge, full of jars of soup and smoothies:

I have so much more to write about but this post is getting long enough as it is.

If you haven't weighed in on my book cover options I wrote about on Friday, I'd really appreciate it!


  1. Great re-cap!

    Isn't it such a great feeling to look at what you've accomplished in this way?

    It's pretty motivating to read too!

  2. Thank you, Lisa! Hearing that I motivate other people is seriously the greatest feedback I could ever get. And yes, it does feel good to see that I'm really working hard and it motivates me to keep going!