BLC Chronicles: The Culinary Challenge

Last year was quite a fulfilling one, in terms of my running life, at least. I was able to tick both the half marathon and the duathlon in my to-do list. But one major goal I missed in 2009 was to reach my ideal running weight (about 114lbs.).

I thought the semi-serious 21k training would help me attain it. But it’s harder than I thought. To begin with, I guess I don’t really belong to the lightweight division—I’m no ectomorph.

When my teeth got wired four years ago, I dipped to about 123 and I looked like I was chronically ill. Back then I did nothing to lose weight—it was purely the wires’ power of hindering food that made me lose that much. During the first week, I subsisted on instant oatmeal (sans the milk, sugar, honey and cinnamon; it was basically the oats and water), mashed potato, a few strips of chicken meat, sodium-filled cream soup from Country Style and Jollibee, and water.

I gradually gained back a few pounds when I learned to live with braces.

June 2006
June 2006: Six months after wearing the braces, I was gaining the weight back.

A year later, my strange case of migraine, which causes dizziness spells, pushed me to sign up at the gym. It helped me maintain the weight, and the semi-consistent work outs kept the dizziness spells at bay.

Enter running—and how it made me want to upgrade gradually to longer distances and faster times.

The quest to become a loser
And boom. I wanted to lose weight to reach the “ideal” weight of 114 (according to one ideal running weight calculator), which until now, I still deem inconceivable. So I gave myself some allowance and put 120 as my target. *Gulps*

As I mentioned earlier, the half mary training didn’t help much. Banditing at the Biggest Loser Contest (BLC) Season 1 didn’t help me, too. Back then, I lacked the dedication and discipline of the official contestants. In addition to that, I got injured mid-November that I altered my training plan for the race (*gulps again*) this February—no speedwork/tempo runs, cutting training distances shorter, employing Galloway’s run/walk strategy, and doing very easy crosstraining and little strength training.

So come Season 2 and with a pair of knees surviving the Rizal Day run, I confidently signed up for BLC Battle of the Abs Edition. I was confident that serious Condura training spiced with semi-serious dieting would help me lose the holiday fat. 😀

The pressure
To get some ideas on how to go about the competition, I read Rico’s recap of BLC Season 1, a blog entry that led me to Bryan’s (BLC Season 1 champ’s) revelation of how he lost 34lbs.

Not everyone has weighed in yet, but the competition was already brewing. Commissioner Rico wanted to push himself to win this season that he said he’d give PhP500 to every contestant who’d beat him. Natz, I later learned, began using Bryan’s online tool to track his diet. Carlo, who thinks counting calories doesn’t work for him, sticks to his whole-grain breakfast and is seriously doing Condura training.

What now? With my right knee still having some mood swings, my first step was to not push it for speed training and strenuous crosstraining. Hence, the diet begins.

The hurdle: Diet plan
Last week, I signed up at to track my daily calorie intake, ensuring that I take in the recommended number of calories, but still get enough carbs, fat and protein for each day. One easy 15k run with the group that included BLC masters Bryan and Allan also loaded my brain with tips and tricks.

A shoutbox discussion with Selle and her detailed explanation of what I suppose is the Holy Grail of dieting (which, I bet, every BLC-er now knows) made me realize that when it comes to diet, we actually have a lot of options! 🙂

One of the several attempts: I can't even make hard-boiled eggs. 😦

The trouble, however, lies in food preparation. Five years ago, I had a kitchen accident that caused a second-degree burn. And since then, I haven’t been spending much time in that part of the house. For two weeks now, I have attempted to make hard-boiled eggs and I still haven’t succeeded. I can’t distinguish a sweet potato in its raw form. I can fry almost anything, but BLC-ers were advised to avoid fried food.

To be fair with myself (and to boost my BLC morale), there are a few culinary stuff that I can now perform. I’ve marinated chicken and cooked them by myself when I got back to Makati, and when I served some to my dorm mates, they were nice enough to tell me that it wasn’t bad. Haha. 😛

So this whole BLC thing is not just about serious fartleks, long runs, cross training and strength training. It’s about having that dedication to the ideal running weight goal—and it’s not just about diet and exercise. It’s about tweaking one’s lifestyle and learning which among a group of root crops is kamote.


16 thoughts on “BLC Chronicles: The Culinary Challenge

  1. Culinary challenge? Eat fresh and raw foods na lang para you don’t have to cook. Hehe. Healthy salads and pasta should be easy to prepare. Been subsisting on these lately not by choice but because our office foodcourt temporarily close down! (I miss my half-rice with fish, beef and veggies).

    I see you are doing dailyburn. Hmmn, maybe I should also start counting calories.

    1. Haha, right, Rico. Cucumber and other veggies that may require boiling lang. 🙂 Uy, your foodcourt is cooperating with your BLC efforts ah. Haha. 😀

      BTW, I invited you to 🙂

  2. Here’s the trick:

    I saw several research saying that if you eat 2 eggs each morning (hard boiled or fried) you’ll feel full the entire day. Eggs is a nice and cheap form of protein so you may try it. Screw cholesterol by removing the yolk. What I tried before, is I ate oatmeal every morning. And egg alternate days. I ate more fibre rich foods because your stomach will utilize a lot calorie just to digest them. I also drink a lot of water and succeded in avoiding coffee for almost a month.

    Good luck!

    1. thanks for the tips, sam! 🙂
      and yeah, been taking in water lang (except non-fat milk for breakfast and swiss miss 25-calorie choco drink, and when i do 10k and beyond runs).

  3. hahaha except for pasta, rice, & fried goodies, i don’t know how to cook as well. 😛 for hard-boiled eggs, you place raw eggs in a deep pan filled with water (with the level higher than the egg by about 1 inch), heat until boiling, remove from heat but let the eggs stay in the water for 12 minutes. afterwards, drain the water and let cool. 🙂

    another option is bodhi. i used to buy 2-3 viands of bodhi every weekend and split them during the week so that i have a complete lunch all the time with brown rice.

    the real key to BLC is self-discipline and a change in eating lifestyle. 🙂 although you count calories right now, it’ll be much easier for you to eat less later on once your body gets used to it. good luck, tracy!

    1. whoa, ok. no wonder. after letting it boil for 5 minutes, i drain it immediately. haha.
      thanks, bryan! ok, the eating lifestyle is getting into me. i miss the sweets. and waah, i haven’t lost a single pound yet!

  4. You can fry the egg but use water instead of cooking oil. If you want it well cooked, regularly pour water from the pan on top of the egg yolk.

    The trick in cooking hard-boiled egg lies in the time:

    1. Put water in a small pot where the egg will be completely submerged.

    2. We use hot water so that it will boil easily but whether you put in cold or hot water, wait for the water to boil before you put the egg.

    3. Step 3 is very important. As soon as the egg goes inside the boiling water, turn off the fire after 10 minutes flat. You’ll have a perfect hard-boiled egg.

    See you at Condura, Tracy!

    1. whoa, whoa, i never thought there are other ways to cook it. thanks! haha. yup, see you at condura! 🙂
      and oh, that’s me third from right, with the super duper short hair. 🙂

  5. I AM JOINING YOU TO THE QUEST TO WEIGHT LOSS!!! 🙂 Whats the game plan and I am endearly jealous and envious to all of you who has already ticked mark the HALF MARATHON done! and the fact that you all have been training for it. Haaay, this weight has to go.

    :s see you at condura!

    1. hi chefsy! 🙂
      yay, that’s great! 😀 hay, diet + exercise + discipline, they say. good luck! may we all be “losers” of fat. haha. 🙂
      how’s training going for condura? see you at condura! 🙂 btw, which event will you be joining?

      1. hi! The discipline part sounds easy but quite a milestone to get into but yes, may we all be “losers” of fat! 😀

        Training so far is not as good but still going on for whatever there is just as long as I can run, jog and walk 😀 I’m joining a 10km will register friday or sat.

        not unless i get to tag a friend to do a half marathon for the skyway coolness, have fun, take pictures and yes, for kicks. Heh! 😀

        See you? 🙂 I’d love to meet everyone!

  6. Food was the hardest thing for me when I did BLC. A week after replacing rice with sweet potatoes(kamote) i felt so depressed. Imagine not having rice, wala din akong sugar, chocolates, no more fried food.

    I loveed eating and I felt so depressed.

    Don’t be too strict on your diet, just avoid eating oily foods and eating in fast foods. Avoid coffee with lots of sugar or not drink coffee at all. Like what Sam said, drink lots of water. Don’t over eat.

    Have a “cheat” day para you won’t slip into depression like me. pero once a week lang a. haha

    1. haha. food’s hard nga, i realized. i thought by just picking the healthier option at a restaurant, it would make a big bunch of difference. di pala. i should boil, grill, and cook food myself to make sure it’s not that oily. 😦
      thanks for the tips, gerard! right now, it really is difficult. but the fact that you BLC1 guys conquered it makes me think that it is possible. 🙂

  7. discipline is the real key here, trace. =) easier said than done.

    so far the whole-grain breakfast every morning seems to work. yebah. and i’ve been substituting pasta for rice. when i have no choice but to go fried, i use olive oil. =)

    as for the boiled eggs and dailyburn? hmmm, considering. =)

    1. yeah, easier said than done, carlo.
      you’re lucky you’re seeing results now. ako, null! wahaha. 😀
      i’m not ramping up my xtraining and running, too. afraid that i’d get injured. after condura na. 🙂

      go for boiled eggs. bryan and nora have tips on how to do them. haha. take it as a culinary experiment. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s