It may be the end of the month, but it’s just the beginning of this new journey. I love trying out different things and new diets are no exception.
Some of you (especially you ladies) may have read about the Bikini Body Program that jason and jen ferruggia were recruiting women for a few weeks ago. I happened to be browsing the Internet right when they posted about it on their Facebook page, and I didn’t even think – I popped open my e-mail, whipped up a paragraph about why I wanted to work with them, and I waited (not so) patiently to hear the verdict about whether or not I’d been accepted.
Well… needless to say, I was one of the lucky few ladies selected to work with them for the next 60 days. We spent the past week hammering out the eating rules, preparing our kitchens (ie. tearfully bidding adieu to any and all forms of junk), and generally settling into the groove of things.
(For what it’s worth, I’m in the Group A “Get Jacked” group. I believe there are 24 or 25 of us in there. It’s a grand time.)
For those of you familiar with the Renegade Diet, the nutrition is more or less the same, although things like nuts, nut butters, fruits other than berry varieties, etc. are out for the duration of these short 60 days. Everything is organic, grass fed, free range, and/or wild caught. Of course, from the food list, there are some items that make me want to gag and I have taken the liberty to not subject myself to such torture In other words, if I don’t like it, I won’t eat it. The foods I have been consuming on a regular basis are spelled out below.
Protein: eggs, chicken breast, top sirloin, lean ground beef, salmon, cod, tuna, whey protein
Carbs: fresh blueberries, spotted brown banana (for PWO only), cucumber, swiss chard, kale, butter lettuce, spring mix greens, sweet potatoes, jasmine rice
Fats: fish oil, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, avocados, coconut milk (occasionally)
Miscellaneous: coffee, Himalayan sea salt, fresh herbs, garlic, kimchi, sauerkraut, stevia (NuNaturals is the only one I will purchase)
What my fridge looks like after a Whole Foods run. Not very full, but I’ll be going to the store twice a week to keep my food fresh.
Most of the dry food items.
These are the only things I’ve been eating. My holiday eating was suuuuper fun, but I’ve flipped the switch now and I’m gettin’ down to business.
I’m still going back and forth over whether I should really throw out the almonds, cashews, walnuts, and peanuts I have sitting abandoned in my kitchen cupboard. I mean, I’ll technically be allowed to eat them again in two months’ time… but by the same token, they’re just so yummy and they may attack me in a moment of weakness. And what about my grassfed butter? They did nothing wrong!
Also, this emergency chocolate…. The story behind it is that a girlfriend of mine (hi, Country Cat!) sent it to me as part of a care package at the beginning of ranger school along with a bunch of other really cute goodies. Because we’re the Ranger Stepford Wives, obviously (haha! we’re so funny!). It’s unfortunate that I wasn’t able to pick this up until yesterday, aka day 2 of my Bikini Body Program, aka 59 more days until I get to scarf this baby down. Honestly, I’m really not much of a chocolate girl (although I will do just aboutanything for white chocolate) but damn – last night was really a struggle. I had a huge hankering for something sweet that was not Stevia and this chocolate bar was literally the only thing in my entire apartment that fit the bill. I may or may not have paced back and forth in my kitchen trying to justify tiptoeing away from the diet on Day 3 for one sinful minute. Day 3, seriously! Who am I? No. I’m better than that. Noooooo.
This thing is dangerous. I pray for no emergencies.
I won this epic battle, by the way. Sohee: 1. Emergency chocolate: 0.
Alright, so moving onto macros. Jason took a look at my starting photos and effectively doubled my carb intake. Yeah, my jaw was on the floor when I read that, too. I’m carb cycling, which is something I haven’t done in years, so this will certainly be interesting.
Naturally, anyone who’s familiar with the Renegade Diet knows that just about all carbs are consumed in the evening. I’ve been training at 3 or 4pm, so this means that I have some coffee with 2tsp coconut oil in the morning, a protein shake and a brown spotted banana for PWO, and then my giant meal of meat/poultry/fish and heaps and heaps of carbs with a side of veggies. I consume all my food within a 10-hour window (previously I’d eat within a 6-8 hour window so it’s been a little difficult trying to spread out my food more) and I get to go to bed every night feeling absolutely stuffed. Mmm, carb coma.
It’s been AWESOME.
I’ll be taking my body temperature over the next four days just to make sure my metabolism is all gravy. Ideally I’d like it in the 98-degree range.
Ahh, now here’s the fun part. I know that training is the “easy” part of fitness for most of us, and the situation’s no different for me. Love love love training. I hope I can have my own sick home gym set up one day. With a power rack and dumbbells spanning an entire wall. No mirrors. And equipment like Olympic bars and trap bars and probably fractional plates, too, because I’m a girl, you know, and sometimes I have to get stronger in increments of 1.5lbs (seriously).
But back to the point.
We’re training 4 days a week. All compound movements, oooobviously – just the way I like it. As I write this, my behind is relishing every minute of this day off from training after hitting it hard for 2 days straight. Those Bulgarian split squats with a 3-second hold at the bottom really did a number on me. Yeow.
Some brisk walking thrown in there, too, which is a piece of cake because I take my dog out every morning anyway. I’ll just have to jack up the intensity a good bit.
And the best part? No cardio.
Can’t tell you how ecstatic I am about that particular part. You know how much I despise cardio. I’ll go for a run once in a blue moon when I mistakenly think it’s a good idea to support my boyfriend’s running, but then I’ll remember about 2 minutes in how positively boring it is for me. So then I just go on living my life.(<– Extra points for anyone who knows what movie that quote is from!)
Other miscellaneous activities like yoga, hiking, the occasional hill sprint sessions, etc. are allowed, but I doubt I’ll partake. For one, yoga puts me to sleep. (Sorry.) And two, I want to start with the bare minimum I need to do to start out with and add on extra activity as deemed necessary. If I’m prescribed 30 minutes of brisk walking, I’m gonna cut down to a leisurely stroll as soon as that half hour is up. Smarter, not harder.
Why I’m Doing This
So now that that’s all out of the way, I know that some of you may be wondering what I’m trying to do with this program. I mean, I’m more or less happy with the way that I look right now, right? And I have no qualms about eating junk food on occasion and I’m kind to my body and wasn’t I training for strength just a few weeks ago? Yes to all of them.
I’m pretty stubborn with my training and nutrition “philosophies,” if you will, but I also like to consider myself pretty open-minded and willing to experiment. I’ve known about the Renegade Diet for a while now (I used to sift through Ferruggia’s blog while sitting in my college classes – heh), so it was a no-brainer for me when an opportunity arose to work closely with Jason and Jen themselves.
I do have some business plans in the upcoming months related to this journey that I won’t be able to reveal just yet, but suffice to say that all of this has a purpose.
Besides, nothing quite like public scrutiny to keep my ass in line, eh?
If you’ve read this far, thank you for putting up with my rambling. It’s gonna be an interesting ride for sure – especially during those moments when I’m seriously contemplating heading to the store in the middle of the night to pick up a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Sixty days is not a very long period of time at all, so it’ll go by fast, and I know that I can do anything for that long.
Check back again soon. I’ll be updating here more regularly than you think!
About Sohee Lee
Hi there and welcome – I’m so excited you’ve made it here! My name is Sohee Lee and I’m a formerly California-, now NYC-based fitness buff. I recently graduated in June of 2012 with a BA in Human Biology (concentration in Psychosocial and Biological Determinants of Health) from Stanford University. I’m also a nationally qualified NPC bikini competitor (though my opinion on competing at this point is pretty mehh) and am currently studying to become a Precision Nutrition certified nutritionist and obtain my NSCA-CSCS.
If you don’t feel like reading everything below (which I completely understand – I mean sometimes I don’t shut up), then here’s a bullet-point version of me in a nutshell:
- eating disorder for 8 years, discovered weightlifting and fell in love
- shipped off to Stanford thinking I would study sports medicine, but discovered that fitness was my true calling
- graduated in June 2012 and spent the summer interning at Cressey Performance, the nation’s elite baseball training facility
- currently working in Connecticut as a strength coach
- also an online training and nutrition consultant and a contributing writer to Bodybuilding.com (woohoooooo!!)
How I Got Into Fitness
I’ve been physically active my entire life, starting with swimming at the age of 2. I’ve since participated in gymnastics, tap dancing (yeah, really), cheerleading, baseball, track, soccer, swimming, and cross country. I was an endurance athlete and, at one point, dipped into some dangerous territories. Read more about my battle with my eating disorder here and how I climbed my way out of the abyss.
My Take on Training
I believe in prioritizing the compound movements and saving the accessory movements for later, if at all. I believe in lifting heavy, regardless of whether you’re leaning out or trying to build mass. I believe that training should complement your diet, not compensate for your crappy nutrition. I believe that pink dumbbells should be used for rehab purposes only (ladies, I’m looking at you), and that nothing is quite more badass and sexy than a man or woman who can dominate in the weight room.
My Take on Nutrition
Hearing the following statements make me cringe:
- Too much protein will damage your kidneys.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and if you skip it, you. Will. Die.
- Small, frequent feedings keep your metabolism up and everybody should eat this way.
- Not eating for more than 4 hours at a time will cause your muscles to atrophy.
- You should never, never eat junk food lest the calories race straight to your hips, ass, and face. And stay there forever.
- You can say goodbye to alcohol.
Why I Created This Site
I made this site for you, dear reader. For years, I’ve spent every minute of my free time absorbing everything I could about fitness. I’ve worked with a number of trainers, learned what worked and what didn’t, and stumbled through many roadblocks to get to where I am now. Also, I like to write, and I want to share my stories with you. I have many.
I’m a lover of all things psychology (hence my academic area of focus); I’m intrigued by everything that makes us who we are as humans. Social relationships, the psychology behind our decisions… they all play into making us unique individuals.
When it comes down to it, fitness in and of itself is not what I’m passionate about; it’s you and what’s inside that noggin of yours. It’s what exists between me and you – this thing called a connection. A bond. I get such a high off of nurturing something so intangible and watching as we help each other in some way. How can you help me? You can start by helping me help you. Ask me questions, prod my brain, contact me! I’m here to make your life better. Whether that’s by providing you with a thought-provoking or entertaining blog post in the morning as you sip your heavenly java or by working with you as your training and nutrition consultant to transform your physique, I’m here, and I’m ready.