Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Adrian: Day 97, I'm Back

I'm wondering if the other PCPer's have been keeping up with the diet and maintenance exercise plans, because I sure haven't. I just kind of threw it out the window after day 90. But after a week of vegging out, I realize that I'm not exactly feeling too good about not working out and not paying attention to what I eat. So I decided to get back on it. I did the short work-out tonight, and it was pretty easy. Though my strength has definitely declined a bit. Or maybe just my idea of how much pain I'm willing to tolerate. Anyway, I'm going to keep posting here in an effort to keep myself motivated, and to stick to regular exercise and a healthy diet for as long as I can. So check back here every now and then for sporadic updates on my progress and backsliding.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Emiko: Day 90, A Peek Back At Day 1

OH MY GOSH IT'S DAY 90!!! I cannot believe that this Project is officially over. Congratulations Tim, Amy, Nate, and Adrian and meee! BIG big thanks to Patrick and Chen for guiding us along through the process. WOW!

Patrick had mentioned once in an email, "Tell yourself that after your 90 days you can eat all the stuff you want for the rest of your life.  But not now.  (The magic is of course that after 90 days you have little inclination to eat all the stuff you want)." At the time I felt like this was a lie, because at the time all I could think about was how much I craved all the yummy food I used to eat.

Today Adrian and I decided to celebrate by eating out for lunch and dinner, and overall it was really tasty. We shared a turkey sandwich and spinach salad for lunch. The sandwich was awesome, and the salad would have been too if it weren't drenched in vinaigrette. For dinner we had curry and naan, and even a little ice cream for dessert (left-over from our first PCP indulgence). We went kind of crazy, but it is nice to have that freedom. But we also know now that many prepared meals are not as healthy as they should be, and don't agree with our stomachs anymore. We decided to eat out only every so often, and to get quality meals when we do. Mostly we will probably be eating what we have been eating, but without weighing it all on the kitchen scale. Well, maybe sometimes :)

Our special assignment for our last day was to go back to square one, and go through an old work-out routine from the first couple of weeks. I decided to go back to Day 1. I did 688 jump-ropes just like my first night. I also did 5x20 squats, 4x8 push-ups, and 4x15 crunches. The jump-ropes and crunches both felt pretty good, and gave me the same burn that they do nowadays as they are incorporated in our current work-outs. But the push-ups were SO EASY! Doing them on the floor – as opposed to elevating our feet like we do now – made the movement feel wimpy. I used to really struggle to do push-ups, especially at the beginning. Getting through them with such ease tonight was a little way of showing myself how far I've come.

Like Adrian, I plan to write a little more and to post some photos of my new muscles! But that will probably be in a couple days, I need to recover from all that curry...!

Adrian: Day 90, The End?

We've officially completed the PCP! Congratulations everyone! I hope everyone celebrates by having cake. Emiko and I had lunch at the same cafe we ate at right before we quit eating 'real world' food. We shared a turkey sandwich on wheat bread and a spinach, feta cheese, onion and tomato salad. The salad was drowned in oil and dressing. For dinner, we followed Tim's lead by eating out at an Indian Restaurant. We both had Chicken Tikka Masala and two kinds of naan - garlic and paneer (cheese). Afterward, we both felt pretty awful. It wasn't because of guilt though, we literally felt sick. And for desert we had some ice cream. I felt physically tired. (Has anyone else ever felt winded by desert or is it just me?) It hit me suddenly an hour after dinner - a heavy wave of fatigue. I had to stop what I was doing so that I could lie down on the couch and rest it out. This was a typical pre-PCP day for us, and I realize now that I really don't want to go back to eating that way. For the past few weeks I've been thinking "I can't wait until this is over so I can whatever I want to eat, whenever I feel like it." But right now, I just want to go back to the PCP diet. I guess I'm just used to it, and it feels natural. There are so many foods that I've eaten throughout this project that I enjoy so much. And I no longer need my food to be drenched in oil and salt. In fact, I find it disgusting. I love simple things like toasted wheat bread, oatmeal, granola, sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, strawberries, golden apples, and especially limes. Also, I'm not ready to go back to being sedentary. I plan on going for a jog tomorrow morning. I want to see if I can still run three miles straight, which is something I did a few times right before the PCP. This project has been fantastic and I couldn't have spent the past three months doing anything better with my time. Thank you everyone for the support! Thank you Patrick for turning us flabby weaklings into muscle-bound health nuts. I'll be making one last post, with before and after pictures, so check back here for that.

Good luck to everyone,


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Adrian & Emiko: Day 89, Gym Night

Early on in the PCP, we would do our jump ropes inside our apartment, but eventually our downstairs neighbor got sick of it and made us stop.  He also ended up giving us a couple of 2-week passes to 24 hour fitness.  We didn't think we'd ever use the passes, but Patrick gave us an assignment last week to visit a gym, so we finally used the passes tonight.  We went down to a small 24-hour fitness in Piedmont called "FitLite."  From the outside, all we could see were women on exercise bikes.  We were expecting to have a cushy, easy work-out, and maybe mess around with some of the equipment.  The place ended up exceeding our expectations, and we got a surprisingly good work-out.

Right when we entered the gym, a middle-aged woman with tattoos and piercings, greeted us.  Her name was Jade.  She explained that all the machines were part of an exercise circuit, and that she would be taking us through each machine.  The work-out was thirty minutes long, beginning with 10 minutes of cardio followed by one minute of constant reps on each machine.  A bell chimed on the intercom every minute to signal the switch to the next machine.  That bell was the only thing that interrupted the constant stream of techno music.  The machines alternated between resistance, abs, and cardio.  There were also a couple mat exercises.  We had to do the plank at one of the stations!  We were a bit wary about that, because we went through our ab workout today, but we got through it fine.  

There were a bunch of college aged people there, mostly women, and they were all in good shape. There were also a few older, out of shape people. There was one old woman in trousers who pedaled her bike in slow motion while falling asleep and listening to her walkman.  She kept nodding off, barely conscious.  There was one woman who was morbidly obese.  But the general population was in good shape.

Anyway, we got a surprising burn; Adrian started sweating right away. We both reached failure on some of the exercises.  Adrian reached failure on at least half of the machines, because Jade set the weight really high whenever it was his turn.   After the work-out, there was also a stretching circuit, and we went through a series of about 20 different stretches, which we would hold for ten seconds on each side.  All in all, it was a satisfying work-out, and a surprising gym experience.  

It's easier to push yourself to failure when you're around lots of other people.  You don't want to wimp out.  However, we don't plan on buying memberships because we still prefer working out at home.  We've got everything we need!  Each other.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Emiko: Day 88, I Like To Eat, Eat, Eat Apples and Bananas

A lot has changed in this last week! Our exercise routines are a different structure. We rotate between two workouts: a heavy routine focusing on complementary muscle-groups, and another that is shorter but more intensely focused on abs. The longer work-out is difficult and takes more time to complete than those in the past, but I think that I like it better. We used to focus on one muscle group at a time, trying to get a killer burn. Now we get to trade back and forth between muscle groups, and the burn feels different. The muscles get worked slowly, but eventually I can reach a really good burn. It's a cool change, and it feels nice to switch it up.

We also have new, bigger diets. I am finally back to eating "real dinner" rather than my old apple/banana/milk/egg-white combo. But, like Amy, I am surprised because after waiting for so long to have permission to eat "real dinner" again, I find that I don't really want to. Eating even my small portions of meat, carbs and vegetables feels kind of heavy for me. It's odd how fast things will turn around. I think that most of my cravings are now mental rather than a physical need for extra food. I think that I will return to my old dinner for my post-PCP diet.

Change, change, change! We also have a new President, which is really exciting and has returned some of my hope. We'll see what these next two, final PCP days bring. I can't believe that the Project will be over so soon!