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Cziffra: The quest for single digits body fat

Discussion in 'Fitness Journals' started by Cziffra, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. Cziffra

    Cziffra Well-Known Member

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    This thread is going to be the catalyst of my journey for the next few months. There are several reasons which have induced me to start this journal, the main being my lack of commitment during the past ten weeks. I reached my peak shape by mid-December, weighting 146 lbs. and being 11% bodyfat. I was eating smart, training hard and getting results. I was almost there.

    Then, Christmas arrived. I went to Spain to meet my loved ones. I relaxed slightly. Then relaxed a bit more. Started my marathon training program and relaxed even more, yet. No weights during Christmas. No tracking calories. No weighting myself.

    I came back to UK with 153 lbs. Not bad, uh? Maybe 13% bodyfat, more like 15%. I decided then to get right on track inmediatly. And so I did... For about a week. Then I decided it was time for a cheat meal. And, oh my, what a cheat. I screwed up a whole weekend. My life was becoming a mess in every single aspect: fitness, work, personal relationships... so subtlely that I hardly noticed. I needed a couple more of binge sessions to realize that there was something wrong here. I was not losing weight, nor fat. I could not hold a considerable caloric deficit due to the large amount of miles I needed to run weekly. And trying to do so did nothing but triggering binge eating.

    So, all that said, it is clear that my lifestyle is lacking equilibrium everywhere. Let's make a few statements before defining the goals:

    1- I cannot start an agresive fat loss program until I will run the marathon on April the 17th.

    This needs no further explanation: with a schedule of 55-60 miles a week and peak sessions of 20 miles, my main concern is to avoid muscle loss, rather than promote fat loss. I could, though, reach 10-11% by the time of the race if I'm clever in my dietary approach. But my carb intake is necessary going to be high til then, something like 50% of my total intake.

    2- I have a problem with chocolate.

    Let's face it. There have been days this February when I started the day strong and commited. And all of a sudden, mid morning, I would decide to have a little bit of chocolate. And then, boom, nothing but chocolate for the rest of the day. Maybe 500 g. of chocolate. Yes, that's half a kilo: 2500 cal. I ended up feeling like rubbish. I need to address this issue sooner or later. Better sooner than later.

    3- There are some other personal conditions which are not making anything easier.

    That only means that I will need to work harder. Period. Stop making excuses. You want a healthy, lean body, or you don't. It is not more complicated than that. So I'm gonna get over all that and I'm gonna succeed.

    PLAN OF ATTACK

    I am a male. Age 28. 5 ft 5 inch. At the moment around 150-152 lbs. Let's say 13-14% bf.

    I am going to divide my strategy in two phases, namely:

    PHASE I.

    From March, 1st until April, 17th.

    This is running time. Too many miles to be worried about fine-tuning details.

    GOAL: 145 lbs. 10% bf. Also to run a 3h. 30' marathon.

    CARDIO: Can you guess? Running. I know there are people on these boards who don't advocate running as the most optimal cardio. But I think it becomes the optimal cardio when it represents a way of living. I'm a runner, intrinsically. I know I will not stick to any other form of cardio. So the best cardio you can do is the one you are going to do consistently. In my current schedule I run every day but Friday. Mondays and Wednesdays are easy days (3-5 miles). Tuesdays are "sorta" long run days (10 miles or thereabout). Thursdays, speed days (hills, intervals, tempo run). Saturdays are race pace days (anything from 6 to 9 miles) and Sundays are slower, long sessions (typically 18-20 miles). I run Mondays and Wednesdays on an empty stomach. Any other workout is not suitable for fasted state, IMO.

    DIET: In this first phase I will aim for a macronutrient breakdown of 50/30/20 C/P/F. Anybody suggesting 40/40/20, please, go and run the stated mileage with that macro ratio and give me the feedback. I could not do it in the past. Maybe I was doing wrong something else. Well... Surely I was, but still I think I need the carbs to run. My exact nutritional approach will be posted in future entries.

    WEIGHTS: I will lift twice a week, always in the evenings. Too little, I know. But I was lifting three times a week premarathon and one of them was leg day. I dropped that one. I'm doing chest/back on Mondays and shoulders/arms on Wednesdays. The running is interfearing with further resistance training.

    I will try to reach 10% bf with the above.

    PHASE II.

    From April, 18th until May, the 31st.

    Hard running is over. I'm sick of it, hopefully, and I survived (?) the race. It is time for new goals and new strategies. Everything matters from now on in order to achieve SINGLE DIGITS BODYFAT.

    GOAL: Stated ---> 140-141 lbs. and 8% body fat by the end of May. I think it is quite attainable and slow enough to prevent muscle loss.

    CARDIO: Well, I'm used to run now. I can hold a nice pace and still keep my heart at around 65% of my maximum HR. Heck, I've run a sub 3 30' marathon, my cardiovascular system is supposed to be pretty good. Why should I stop running now? So program is going to be 45 minutes (5-6 miles, roughly) gentle run every morning on an empty stomach. 6 days a week, Saturdays off.

    DIET: 40/40/20 This gave me awesome results in the past. Now I can attack single digits with no additional worries. 6-7 meals a day, as usual, and everything will be made clear in this thread at the due time. Also, I will keep my carbs mainly around workouts, but still will have oats for breakfast, since I've learnt that my body performs much better with a slow release carb source in the morning than with a protein fat meal.

    WEIGHTS: FOUR days split. Trying to catch up? Maybe. I've never done more than three days a week, but I'm curious at how my body will respond to that. I think resistance training plays a key role in fat loss and my intention is to maximize its efectiveness. Will lift in the evening, again. Still didn't decide the split. Will make that up in April. Any suggestions are welcome.

    A WORD ABOUT CHEAT MEALS: From phase I there is not going to be ANY CHEAT MEAL AT ALL until I meet my goals. As long as cheating is concerned, there are as many opinions as people reading these forums. I'm an expert in the effect that cheat meals have in my body and mind. They kill any progress done the previous week. And that is simply not allowed.
    Food (some foods) has become an addiction for me. I'm gonna quit cold turkey. Period. I don't care if I have cravings, cold sweats, abstinence syndrome, whatever. I'm gonna tie myself to the bed's leg, I'm gonna pray, I'm gonna cry, I'm gonna swear... And I'm gonna succeed. Junk is over. Chocolate is over. I'm stronger than that.
    Now, a word of caution. I'm not saying that one should deprive itself from treats. I'm saying that I'm not psychologically prepared for eating chocolate or pizza. Not now. I'll reintroduce those items into my daily diet after reaching my goals, if I feel like it. Everything is good. Everything is evil. The difference lies in the dosage.

    But, FOR GOD'S SAKE, STOP EATING CHOCOLATE!

    #########

    Hehe, by now you should be wondering one thing: "Why don't this nerd starts his plan RIGHT NOW, rather than waiting until the beginning of the month? "

    Well, one and simple reason. I'm off this weekend to meet my sweetheart. I see her maybe once every two months. I will not have access to a scale or calory tracking. Tomorrow morning I'm running 20 miles at 6 a.m. and then taking the train to London. Staying there until Monday morning. Then straight to work. I'm still gonna eat as clean as possible. Messing around with my body is WAY OVER for me.


    The journey begins. We'll all meet at the finish line. If you arrive earlier than me, be patient. I'll be right there. And we will congratulate each other.

    On Tuesday morning, ladies and gentlemen, you will be provided with a nice set of measurements and details like weight, bf%, waist, arms, thighs, suprailiac, hairlength, resting heart rate, mood, colour of my undies... whatever you fancy. I also just ordered the second worst digital camera in the world (I'm the proud owner of the first one) and will start posting pics as soon as I receive it (maybe in a week time).

    Be amazed. I will, too. Wish me luck. It's going to be tough. It's going to be extremely illuminating.

    Czi.
     
  2. wh0rume

    wh0rume Senior Member

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    hey - tell me about your chocolate situation...?

    i used to have the same problem, if there was ever chocolate in my house, i'd eat it. if there was any junk food in my house whatsoever, id eat it. the problem was solved when i got rid of all of it one day, and kept the house stocked with good stuff.

    another thing you have to do is when you go out to buy groceries, make sure you go after your stomach is full. if you'r going through the isles when your hungry as hell, all of a sudden that cookie dough in the glass door is irresistable.

    is there chocolate in your house? at work?
     
  3. Cziffra

    Cziffra Well-Known Member

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    No, my problem is of a different kind. There is not chocolate near me. My compulsion to eat chocolate is absolutely deliberated. Which is worse, I guess. When it is time to be tough, I'm the toughest. I could be starving to dead and avoid chocolate like the plague even if I saw it in front of my nose. No problem. When I feel rubbish, I could walk three miles to the grocery store, even with my stomach full and my legs broken, to get chocolate. Just for the sake of it. Just to damage myself. I said in some other post that I have a kind of self-destructive personality. That's the problem. It is a state of mind. Doesn't matter if I have or not chocolate at home. If I'm all-out into my plan, the chocolate is going to get rotten in the cupboard. If I feel miserable, I will find chocolate under the stones, no problem. And then will feel a bit more miserable. Feedback loop, like in analog circuits.

    Wow! This is my post number 100. I'm gonna celebrate it with a few oz. of nice chilled mineral water.
     
  4. wh0rume

    wh0rume Senior Member

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    well i hope you find a psychological resister for that shit.

    i really can't relate to that selfdestructive thing. i guess all i can say is stay away from sharp objects :D :lol:

    yah, i know, im a sensitive guy. ;) Just try not to get destructive i guess... think about what things make you get that way, and just avoid that.

    maybe i'll run a marathon with you someday - do you plan on doing the New York City (americana) one this coming year?
     
  5. Cziffra

    Cziffra Well-Known Member

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    NYC Marathon is undoubtely the best popular marathon in the world. I surely will run it some day, but just not this year. For two reasons:

    1- By November I'll be writting up my Ph. D. dissertation. No way I could fly to America to run a marathon.

    2- Running London Marathon in April and NYC Marathon in November is pretty tough for my body. Let's stick to one marathon per year for now. We'll see in a couple of decades time.

    We are young, man. Of course we will run a marathon together. I'll go to NYC and you'll come to London. And we'll run shirtless, with 10-packs, and we'll be so tough that we'll attach the safety pins with our numbers to our bare skin...

    And we'll smile at the finish line. :D
     
  6. wh0rume

    wh0rume Senior Member

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    horrible reason. a marathon only takes 3-4 hrs, the flight only takes.. 6? then the flight back is another 6. thats not even a full day.

    What does running marathons do bad to the body? have there been studies? my uncle is addicted to marathons now, and i guess he was doing a couple per year, but now he just does 1 per year. he's also a dentist.

    Did you say this is going to be your first marathon? or have you run one before? My first one is may 17 i think, im not sure. i was going to try to do 3 this year, but since you said that now im having doubts.
     
  7. bisous

    bisous Well-Known Member

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    Dude - if you are training for a marathon and want nutrition advice - go NO further than Chris Carmichael's Food for Fitness. He's Lance Armstrong's nutritionist and a former professional cyclist. His carb ratios will blow you away, but training for a marathon you will need it. Endurance training and recovery requires a whole different set of rules than bodybuilding. A study of Olympic athletes showed the leanest hardly ever went below a 300 cal deficit while training.
     
  8. wh0rume

    wh0rume Senior Member

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    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/039915194x/026-2362622-8954016

    "To think carbs make you fat is wrong. You're fat because you're not exercising. There are some nine million people in this country swimming, running, biking, regularly going to the gym, or doing whatever, and no one's been talking to them about their diet. Low-carb diets are exactly what you should not do if you're active. Carbs are the fuel that drives your life; suddenly everyone's forgotten this. If you're working out five days a week, you need a minimum 60 percent [daily caloric intake] of carbs a day. You need protein to help you recover after you work out, and you need fat to help you digest those carbs. You can't just cut carbs—or cut protein or fat, for that matter—like every trendy diet has for the last 20 years. That's dysfunctional. You need them all. To simply blame a food type for us being fat is bullshit." ~that guy

    What this obviously doesnt touch on is people in the fatloss process, but while training i'd go his route. I on the otherhand won't begin my training until i reach sub-10% bf. Until then i will run as a form of fatloss, and not to increase endurance. But since you are going for endurance enhancement, maybe it'd be worth picking up his book.
     
    #8 wh0rume, Feb 25, 2005
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2005
  9. Cziffra

    Cziffra Well-Known Member

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    I already stated when I started the thread that my cal deficit is not going to be agressive until I finish the marathon. My main goal is to avoid muscle loss during the marathon training. Carbs are of uttermost importance. I'm gonna skip that book, though. I'm not a professional athlete. I'm not aiming for sub 2:30 marathon. I will be OK with my current diet. I think 60% carb is a bit too high.

    wh0areume, thanks a lot for the link. To run a marathon means more than 3-4 hours race to me. It means 18 weeks of sweating blood, of running when you fancy it and when you loathe it. Running under the snow, or under the sun, or hailing, or whatever... Last Sunday I ran for three hours under the snow and my hands were so cold when I finished that I thought I was gonna lose a couple of fingers. Tomorrow seems is going to be similar.

    In November I need to keep my mind focused on physics.

    I want to run a sub 3:30 marathon. I could run a 4 hours marathon tomorrow. That's not the point. It's a challenge. I could succeed or i could fail. I will find the answer in 49 days.

    I wouldn't advise anybody to run more than one marathon a year if you want to perform well and you are not a professional runner. But, of course, there will be people who could just do it perfectly. So don't get discouraged because of my opinions. Try it yourself. Get to know yourself.

    If you're interested, this is the program I'm following at the moment. I'm on week 11. 7 to go. Since 13th of December, when I started, I haven't missed a workout.
     
  10. Cziffra

    Cziffra Well-Known Member

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    Tomorrow is the day when all my dreams will begin to become true. I've been a very bad guy for the last three days. Whatever the scale will tell me tomorrow, I'm not gonna be surprised. It was a good thing that I started this journal, because at the moment I just don't care much about anything. I'm doing things mainly out of inertia. And if I wouldn't have started this thread the other day, I'd never have done it. But I'm gonna crack this low mood of mine. I'm going full power toward my former shape. It has been only a few weeks off-wagon. I can get back on track.

    I will like now to present my plan in more detail. My diet will have the following aspect:

    MEAL 0: 50 g. Oatmeal (old-fashioned)
    some melon or grapefruit
    5 egg whites.

    MEAL 1: 100 g. skinless boneless turkey breast
    50 g. brown rice or shreddies
    100 g. chopped tomatoes.

    MEAL 2: Cauliflower or broccoli or spinach or sprouts (200 g.)
    Salmon (150 g.) or tuna+turkey breast (65 g. tuna, 100 g. tk breast)

    MEAL 3: 250 g. Green beans
    65 g. Tuna

    MEAL 4: Big salad (Lettuce, green pepper, cucumber, tomato) with 150 g. cottage cheese and 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar (on days when I have the salmon).
    If I didn't have the salmon in meal 2 I would have here 300 g. cottage cheese + 2 Tbsp. Peanut butter (natural)

    MEAL 5: Whey+casein shake with soya milk. (just before bed)

    This was for non-lifting days and adds up about 1800-1900 calories with a breakdown of 40/40/20 c/p/f

    On lifting days I would have a banana Pre-workout and 25g. whey 40 g. dextrose PWO. That's a few of hundred calories more and carbs now are ~ 50% of my total caloric intake.

    When I run shorter than 5-6 miles, I'll do it before meal 0, at 6 a. m. When I run long, that is, more than 6 miles, I would add 100 calories per each mile over 6 miles. That is, if I run 10 miles, I would have 400 additional calories to my day, mainly from fruits and grains. And would not run on a fasted state. I try to avoid muscle catabolism in that way. There are days when I run 20 miles. Then I would have about 3300-3500 calories with 50/30/20 c/p/f. I expect to lose 1 lbs. a week with this approach until 17th of April, day of the marathon. Then I will switch gears in some way or another. Things will get definitely easier.

    My working out split is the following:

    Mondays, 20:00 h. Chest and Back

    30 push-ups (as slow as possible)
    Stiff Leg Deadlift
    Barbell Pullover
    Dumbell Bench Press
    Barbell Bent-over row
    Dumbell Pullover

    Wednesdays, 20:00 h. Shoulders and Arms

    30 push-ups again
    Dumbell shoulder press
    Dumbell Upright row
    Dumbell curl
    Dumbell lying triceps extensions
    Dumbell lat pulldown

    For each exercise, I do 3 sets, aiming for 12 reps in each set. Whenever I reach 12 reps in all three sets, I increase the weight by 10%.

    That much for information. I am aware of the fact that the stated routine is not ideal. I've been working in that way for a few weeks, now, but still didn't sit down and design a more varied workout. I am not sure the muscle groups involved in the workouts match together, but at the moment I'm too much absorved by the dammed running. I do crunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays (normal crunches, reversed crunches, leg raises, scissors, etc...)

    ++++++++++

    So each Tuesday I am going to post my weight and my bodyfat percentage. And every 1st of the month I will post my waist, arm, suprailiac, etc...

    I cannot wait to receive my camera to post some pics. Although it's gonna hurt, because now I look like Homer Simpson with my shirt off. And just a couple of months ago I was not looking that bad. Thanksfully, the nightmare is over. I will post a pic every Tuesday, as well, but not tomorrow, since I'm still waiting for delivering.

    And, if I had the guts to eat all that damned chocolate, I'll have the guts to post the pictures.

    See yall.
     
  11. wh0rume

    wh0rume Senior Member

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    hey Cziffra,

    the diet looks great! you obviously know what you'r doing, just hope you can stay away from any temptations. if it helps, just look at your diet/excersize and tell yourself "if i just do what i planned, the goal is easy"

    at work my boss was passing out a bag of hershey kisses to everyone for our company's 25th anniversary. hershey chocolate, to me, is the best thing on earth. so for me to pick up that bag, and give it back to him when he came by again was a huge thing. i told him i was on a diet, and he looked at me like i was crazy. (im 6'2, 179lbs)

    anyway - when i did that it reminded me of your chocolate addiction. stay strong bro... stay strong!
     
  12. Cziffra

    Cziffra Well-Known Member

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    Day 0

    Current goal is 145 lbs. and 10-11% bodyfat by April 17th.

    There we go. Deep breath.

    Weight: 159.6 lbs. (O-H-M-Y-G-O-D, that was worse than expected. What a nice bulk I did over the weekend. But, hopefully, it is in part water weight, that is lean mass :D )

    Bodyfat: 15 % I measured it by four different methods and websites. I got results as high as 19.37% and as low as 10.69%. Averaging all of them gave me 14.79%. Guess 15 % is kinda right. The mirror tells me the same. And the incoming pictures wont tell you otherwise.

    Tape measurements:

    Waist: 33'
    Hip: 37'
    Thighs: 23'
    Neck: 14.2'
    Biceps: 12.5'
    Forearms: 10.5'
    Wrists: 6.5'
    Chest: 36.8'

    Skinfolds:

    Suprailliac: 10 mm.
    Abdominal: 18 mm.
    Chest: 9 mm.
    Thigh: 9 mm.

    I ran 6 miles today. In the evening I will do some crunches and weights, since I didn't do them yesterday.

    I will be updating this sort of randomly during the week, but every Tuesday morning is going to be a religion to post my numbers here.

    Hope I will succeed in that way.
     
  13. Cziffra

    Cziffra Well-Known Member

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    I have a camera now. On my hands, that's a dangerous weapon. I'm gonna inaugurate my little museum of horrors and wonders.

    These photos show that there is plenty of room for improvement. I needed every bit of courage to take them, but I know one day I'll be glad I did.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Cziffra

    Cziffra Well-Known Member

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    Day 2

    Even though I've lost about 4 lbs. in these two days, I still feel bloated as hell. I decided to wear a pair of jeans I haven't used for a couple of months and they are a bit tight. That works wonders with my will power. It's a curious effect: whenever I feel that clothes fit a bit loose I get hungry, for some reason. But if my waist feels enclosed, somehow, I can manage my hunger much better. With these jeans today I feel like a just came from a wedding banquet.

    Anyway, I'm raising my water intake for a few days. Later in the day I'll run 7 series of 800 m intervals at 3:15 sec each interval. I love intervals and hills: they make the minutes to go much faster.

    Next Sunday I have a race which I'm not very keen on running. First, because I'm fed up of running with an eye on my watch and want a break from competitive running (although I'm only competing against myself). Second, because the race is gonna strongly interfere with my intention of watching the Australian Grand Prix of F1, which is at 3 a.m. Greenwitch time. Maybe I'll go to bed early on Saturday evening, then wake up at 3 a.m. watch the event and back to sleep at 5 a. m. until 7 a. m. or so.

    I would like to run the half-marathon in less than 100 minutes, but I doubt it's gonna happen, since I don't really feel like pushing it.

    Hope that feeling will change before Sunday...
     
  15. Cziffra

    Cziffra Well-Known Member

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    Day 3

    Eh! 154 lbs. today! That's 5.6 lbs. lost since TUESDAY! :jumping:

    So, I've lost all my reatined water, or most of it. Now any weight loss is mainly gonna mean fat loss provided I keep my workouts up and my caloric deficit is not too agresive. I've been eating an average of 1900 kcal/day.

    Side note: avoiding junk foods works wonders on a cutting diet. If everything else has failed, try it! :lol: I woke up in the middle of the night last night with a massive craving/hunger. My system is so messed up that I cannot distinguish between the two anymore. Hopefully that will change in some near future. But I was saying... Massive craving at 3 a. m. I drunk 5 l. of water yesterday, so I had to empty the bladder at those unconvenient hours. You see, one problem I have is that there is a 24-hours grocery store within 10 minutes walk from my place. I could go and get a kilo of snickers before I would have time to completely wake up. But, however, this is what I did: 2 tbsp. of peanut butter. That completely killed the craving, but only after 15 mins or so. Not ideal, 200 unexpected kcal, but, hey, imagine the damage if I start eating chocolate like I'm gonna die tomorrow... So this morning I weighted myself and felt proud to be still dropping weight.

    If I manage to eat clean today, it will be 4 days in a row eating clean, something I haven't done this year so far.

    It's happening!!! I'm gonna get a 6-pack!!! I'm gonna break hearts this summer in the beach!!! And my sweety will finally agree that I look awesome.

    Is the second Friday in a row that snows heavily. I don't run on Fridays, so I'm finding snow beautiful. If it would snow on Sundays, probably I would decide that the snow sucks. Interesting how a training schedule can make you change your views on snow.

    Have a nice day. Make something positive for your life. :d_smile:
     
    #15 Cziffra, Mar 4, 2005
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2005
  16. wh0rume

    wh0rume Senior Member

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    proud of ya man! :tucool:
     
  17. Cziffra

    Cziffra Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I'm glad the way this thread is making me strong. Simply the thought of signing-in in the morning and posting another little victory makes the weakness fade away.

    When I'll reach my goal there will be only one thing for my life to be perfect:

    Getting rid of the damned hair in my back!!!

    :mad: :mad: :mad:

    Because I look like half an Oreo cookie. And that's because I shave my torso. Otherwise I would look like a whole Oreo cookie. There is no way I can reach my back with a razor blade.

    I'm gonna get rich and I will get rid of the hair with laser. No matter how many sessions, I will be disgustingly rich.
     
  18. wh0rume

    wh0rume Senior Member

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    ....did someone say laser?....
    :D
    just wondering - when did you start growing back hair? i have some on my middle lower back, but i can easily get to it.
     
  19. Cziffra

    Cziffra Well-Known Member

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    Difficult to say. One day in my early-twenties woke up and it was there. Never has gone since. My football mates called me grizzlie before I gave up football for running. I would like to run shirtless when I go down to 8%, but it might seem like the yeti running away.


    Edit: when I say football, I mean soccer.
     
  20. sox311

    sox311 Well-Known Member

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    Get some Nair you should be able to reach that stuff. It can get sort of tricky and you may pull something trying to reach all of it, but you can do it.

    I have one of my sisters wax mine. I don't know why I have it, I have 4 older brothers, and none of them have back hair. My family thinks it is becasue of taking creatine and whatnot.... It may be true, I probably first used creatine when I was 19. And I don't think I had the hair there then, but I am not sure. But I sure as hell do now!

    I actually think it is becasue of the hormones that are put into food now-a-days..... My closest sibling is 9 years older than me, so they are all a generation apart from me, and my closest brother is 13 years older than me. So, I think it has to do with the food we eat.
     

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