Week 21 WEIGH IN: Climbing the Mountain All the Way to the Top!

I’m just going to go ahead and start this post by saying that if you’re on your own weight loss journey and you feel discouraged by the lack of progress, I feel you! I see you as you are putting in the work, and the scale… or measuring tape… or tighter fitting clothes… are moving in the opposite direction that you’re wanting. I know how heavy and daunting the process can feel. The plateaus can feel frustrating. The increased water weight, or bloating for various reasons can drive you mad. It’s alright. Let yourself feel all the feelings. I give you permission to throw a pillow across the room in these moments of great discouragement. Your feelings are very real, and they need to be felt and processed. Ignoring your feelings can lead you to seek comfort in the cookie jar, and you know that may be what you want in the moment, but that’s not your ultimate desire.

Choose to be productive in how you respond to your feelings. Remember that these frustrations pass, just as your stalled or dauntingly slow progress will pass. But only if you are very intentional about not turning to the non-strategic foods or habits to comfort your feelings.

“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there”

-Vince Lombardi

I heard this quote in a Mark Batterson book, a few weeks ago. It has been on replay in my thoughts ever since, and I’m so dang thankful for that! I love the imagery and the implications. That dude (or She-beast) worked so dang hard to get to the top. While there may have been a few moments where the trail to the top was easy going. it’s most likely, that climber’s heart rate was elevated as he climbed up steep inclines. Think of all the blood, sweat, and tears that were shed as the mountain climber trudged through terrain where there was little or no trail to follow. Perhaps there were spots where she or he could only ascend with the help of a rope and harness to keep from falling off the nearly vertical slope. There could have been rain or snow storms that made the conditions nearly unbearable.

Enduring all these events, it’s human nature for the climber to question her/his ability to progress forward when the terrain seemed excessively grueling. Not withstanding, the hiker didn’t stop. She/he trudged forward, one step, climb or crawl at a time. We know that the goal was achieved, because the quote says so. That mountain climber made it to the top. She/he didn’t give up, or fall to the temptation of defeat. She/he didn’t grant any of the challenges power to stop her/him from reaching her/his goal.

climber, summit, mountain

Here’s another quote that literally was handed to me today:

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives- choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”

Aristotle

So what should we do with this pep talk, then? Let’s be intentional. Working through the storms, and steep climbs and keep pushing forward, one step in front of the other. Let’s continue to make the choices which will propel us up the mountain to reach our intended destination. Through continued effort, we will attain excellence.

Envision the incredible view from the top! The lessons and the experiences you’re working through are going to feel so empowering when you’re at the summit!


Now, I’ve gone through this whole process, myself, just today. This morning when I got my bioelectrical impedance results and took my measurements, I sure wasn’t feeling this pep talk… I was frustrated, during my workout at how heavy my legs were feeling. I was frustrated that the measuring tape revealed some expanding, rather than shrinking. Even the bioelectrical impedance readings weren’t aligned with where I thought they should be.

I began over-thinking all of the possible reasons for the heavy legs, bloated belly, etc. Perhaps menstrual cycle? Maybe my body is not pleased with the extra workout I did yesterday? Maybe the ice cream and cookies from Tuesday are still affecting my system? Perhaps my second covid shot from last Friday? What else can I blame? Not enough sleep? Diet soda detoxing? How many of these are actually plausible?

Doesn’t matter.

I’ve had the day to work through my feelings. At first I was thinking about how steep the mountain of my goal felt. But then I shifted focus to continuing on with the baby steps, regardless of the steep incline. Even though my results have been frustrating for three weeks in a row, I’m not turning around to descend back down the mountain. I will continue to climb! I want to reach the top!

Enough of that. Let me show you this week’s results:

End of Week 21 Before and After Pictures:

Week 21 Food Journal:

Since this whole experiment has felt a little extra heavy, today, I’m starting with a food journal entry that was worth celebrating. Here’s my food journal from yesterday, May 26:

The rest of the food journal entries can be found at the bottom of this post.

Bioelectrical Impedance Results:

My total body weight: 132.5 lbs. (Decrease of 1.1 pounds since last week. Total decrease of 10.4 lbs. since start date).

Breaking my total body weight down into different categories of body composition:

  • Total Body water: 80.9 lbs (Decrease of 1.1 lbs from last week. Total of 2.6 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 30.0 lbs. (Decrease of 0.4 lbs. since last week. Increase of .9 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 21.6 lbs. (This was a 0.4 lb. increase from last week. Total of 13.9 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 62.2 lbs (Decrease of 1.1 lbs since last week. Increase of 2.2 lbs since first weigh in).
  • BMI: 22.7 (Decrease of 0.2 from last week. Total decrease of BMI is 1.8 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 16.4% (This increased by 0.6% from last week. Total of 8.4% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1456 calories (This increased by 36 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2257 calories on moderate exercise weeks. 2512 calories on heavy exercise weeks.
  • Calorie target goal for weight loss: 1600 calories (May increase by upwards of 300 on days that I burn over 600 calories)

Week 21 Measuring Tape Results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 2 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 1 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 37 1/4 inches (Up 1/4 inch from last week, Down 5 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Same as last week. Down 3 1/8 inches from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 33 inches (Up 3/8 inch from last week, and down 2 7/8 inches from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 32 1/2 inches (Up 1/4 inch from last week, and down 2 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Same as last week. Down 11/4 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 39 1/2 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week. Down 1 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 10 1/2 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 1 inch from first measurement).

This is What My Workouts Looked Like:

Summary:

Although I’m down 1.1 pounds from last week, it is all water and muscle. I actually increased in fat by almost a half of a pound from last week. I did find that I increased my steady state cardio workouts a bit, this week, but I don’t think it was enough that it would eat away at muscle. But maybe?

The measuring tape results were strange. I increased in size in my hips, right below my muffin top, and at my waistline. But I decreased in my shoulders and biceps. So weird!

I’m just going to go ahead and say it. I’ve come to understand that the In-body bioelectrical impedance machine does have a distinct margin of error. I do not believe that people should be measuring their body composition with this devise weekly, as I am. I do believe that it is reasonable to measure every 4-6 weeks, though.

I’m definitely feeling the burn out from doing so, so often. And I’ll be honest, I have some orthorexia tendencies, so sometimes I feel like I’m feeding the addiction by weighing in every week. Part of my frustrations from today are that I quite frankly want to be at the end of the portion of this journey where I have to watch all the numbers so closely. So that fact that I didn’t lose any fat, and even gained some caused the mountain to feel really steep.

I’m tired. But I’m going to keep going. I’m going to keep doing my best to see all the numbers objectively, and not let the emotions be tied to them.

I’m absolutely determined to reach the top of the mountain, no matter how rough the terrain. I just have to keep up the practice of giving my strategy the respect it deserves.

That’s it for today. Talk to you soon!


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Food Journal Entries From the Rest of the Week:

Friday, May 21:

Saturday, May 22:

Sunday, May 23:

Monday, May 24:

Tuesday, May 25:

Thursday, May 27 (today):

climbing the mountain climbing the mountain climbing the mountain climbing the mountain climbing the mountain climbing the mountain climbing the mountain climbing the mountain climbing the mountain climbing the mountain

Week 16 Weigh in: After the Vacation

It has been three weeks since I wrote up one of these weigh in posts! Although this hasn’t been a dedicated time for weight loss, I have placed healthy decisions as a priority. We were so blessed to spend 9 full days in Naples, Florida. I went on my vacation with an intention not to allow myself to gain weight (You can find my pre-vacation goals for weight maintenance here). By day six of the trip, I decided I wanted to stop feeling the pressure of making all of the calorie and protein numbers align. I wanted to give myself a break from the pressures of writing down every little morsel of food. Some of the remaining days, I recorded partial food intake logs. And some of the remaining days I fully embraced the “forget this, I’m going to live my life to the fullest” attitude. In this moment, living life to the fullest looked like Wagyu beef burgers, coconut flan, excess amounts of chocolate covered key lime pie, stomach aches and no judge-y food journal entries to try make me feel guilty!


Since exercise is my favorite, I fully embraced the opportunity to go running on the beach and HIIT (High intensity interval training) workouts by the pool in the backyard of the house we rented (I even posted some workouts on Instagram: @thelast15pounds). Maintaining my exercise routines throughout the whole adventure aided in me feeling even more okay about allowing the few days of enjoying the local fare (and not just ordering salads).

Coming home has been a less than an easy transition…

Towards the end of our trip, four out of the five of our family picked up a nasty head cold (Don’t worry, we got covid tests to make sure before heading back into our regular public places, i.e. school, church, work, gym). Upon returning home, I spent a few days resting to recover. That meant not going in for my week 15 weigh-in until last Saturday morning. I also did not exercise between Wednesday of last week and this last Sunday. I began “re-entry” into my workout routine, and regular daily tasks on Monday. But, I’m happy to say that my nutrition has been back in strategic mode since we returned. Still with a few more carbs than intended, but those haven’t hindered any progress in coming back from vacation weight gain.

Enough chit chat. Let’s get to the weekly results.


End of Week 16 Before and After Pictures:

Week 16 Food Journal:

I can’t help thinking that looking at three weeks of food journal entries is really not worth your time. So, I’m going to show you the snapshot of the average seven day nutrition intake, calories, and macronutrient ranges that I ate in over the last three weeks. It won’t show specific foods that I ate. Just the general nutrients consumed.

The days that I decided against food journaling will either show up as calories/nutrients/macros that are significantly lower than a normal day. Or there will be a blank space. It’s safe to assume that those days included large amounts of calories, sugars, and deliciousness!

Week of April 2-April 8:

Week of April 9-April 15:

This past week: April 16-April 22

Bioelectrical Impedance Results: Week 16

I’m going to compare my pre-vacation (week 13 results) and today’s results (not the results that were collected Saturday after my vacation. I will show a picture of the three separate scans, below. So you’ll be able to see what 4 days of clean eating and exercise can do to improve the post vacation body.)

My total body weight: 132.5 lbs. (Increase of 1.1 pounds since week 13. Total decrease of 10.4 lbs. since start date).

Breaking my total body weight down into different categories of body composition:

  • Total Body water: 79.4 lbs (Decrease of 0.4 lbs. since week 13. Total of 1.1 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.5 lbs. (Decrease of 0.3 lbs. since week 13. Increase of 0.4 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 23.6 lbs. (This was a 1.8 lb. increase from week 13. Total of 11.9 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 61.1 lbs (Decrease of 0.2 lbs. from week 13. Increase of 1.1 lbs since first weigh in).
  • BMI: 22.7 (Increase of 0.2 from week 13. Total decrease of BMI is 1.8 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 17.8% (This increased by 1.2% from week 13. Total of 7% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1437 calories (This decreased by 7 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2230 calories
  • Calorie target goal for weight loss: 1600 calories

For more info on Bioelectrical Impedance, check out this link here.

Comparison of Bioelectrical impedance readings before and after the vacation:

Week 13 Measuring tape results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/4 inches (Same as week 13, and down 2 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 3/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch week 13, and down 1 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 37 inches (Same as week 13, Down 6 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 36 1/4 inches (Same as week 13. Down 3 1/8 inches from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 33 1/4 inches (Down 1/8 inch from week 13, and down 2 5/8 inches from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 32 1/2 inches (Up 1/2 inch from week 13, and down 2 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 5/8 inches (Same as week 13. Down 11/8 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 39 5/8 inches (Same as week 13 week. Down 7/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 10 7/8 inches (Same as week 13, and down 5/8 inch from first measurement).

This is what my workouts looked like:

Summary:

The most notable change in my body composition from before my vacation is an almost 2 pound increase in body fat. I’m not in the least surprised by that. I know those two pounds will be shed fairly quickly as I proceed with my nutrition strategy. All in all, I’m content with how my nutrition, exercise, and weight maintenance played out over the last three weeks. Sure, I gained a little bit of weight and fat. But I don’t regret anything. I really enjoyed the eating experiences that I had on my vacation. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing! (Except for maybe getting to the street taco restaurant one more time before leaving Florida!)

That’s it for today! Talk to you soon!


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Before and After

Week 13 Weigh in: Loving Yourself Means There’s No Room For Regret!

Spoiler Alert: This week was not a weight loss week, and I’m 100% okay with that. As I mentioned the other day, my brain has been trying hard to be in vacation mode before I actually leave on vacation. My actions have been slightly more aligned with my goals in the last couple days. But not enough for me to see improvement in my weekly results.

Let’s talk about regret!

I listened to a podcast episode from Jody Moore on the topic of regret that I think you should go listen to immediately after you finish reading this post! My take away was that regret is not a productive feeling. Unless you have a time machine to go and change the past, regret does us no good! We can look at regret as feedback. It’s simply telling us that we are momentarily torn between two morals, ideals, or matters that seem most important to us in the moment. We should not feel guilt over it and it isn’t something we should beat ourselves up over. It’s an opportunity for us to recognize and put to words the two ideals that we are juggling. Acknowledge them, and say “Thank you for the information.” We then recognize the greater priority in the moment (forward progression), make peace with the decision of which ideal we chose to favor in the past, and then proceed with our best efforts towards our end goals!

I am choosing to recognize that my eating decisions of this past week were very delicious.

I allowed myself some snacks that I haven’t eaten in a really long time (my sister’s amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe, chocolate covered raspberries, cheddar and sour cream potato chips, etc.). With those decisions, though, I’m not allowing these types of thoughts: “Why did I do that? I wish I hadn’t. Now the scale is up, and I look and feel a little bloated…”.

No way! Instead, I’m choosing to treat myself the way I’d treat a best friend. I’m feeding myself thoughts of, “How good were those cookies? So good! I think I’m going to choose not to eat those today, though. I’m going to analyze why I felt like I needed those snacks when I did (and the quantity I ate them in). And yes, I feel a little bit inflamed today and yes the scale is up a little bit today and that’s okay. I can handle all of that because I know how to fix the natural consequences of those food choices.”


I believe that life should be lived, and part of that living includes learning from our more human tendencies.

Just like the next gal, I appreciate good tasting food- not just the strictly healthy stuff. I believe that there is a time and place for those foods. I believe that my efforts should be my very best. On occasion, like this week, my very best looks more like weight maintenance rather than weight loss. It’s worth celebrating that I didn’t fall into my old cycles of all out binge eating after allowing myself a little bit of leniency in my snacking, this week.

And what do I do now instead of beating myself up and dwelling on regrets of my past week? I keep working to be conscious of my decisions and to be intentional with my eating. I ask myself, who do I want to be today, and I live like that version of myself. Don’t quit! Just consistently keep moving forward. That’s how we reach our goals- not allowing any room for regret!

I want you to offer yourself the same kind of kindness! Will you?

Alright, let’s get the the weekly results.

End of Week 13 Before and After Pictures:

Week 13 Food Journal:

No avoiding the truth on this one. The food was delicious and abundant. And exceeded the quantity and quality conducive to weight loss. It is what it is. Let’s pick something to celebrate. How about the fact that I ate enough protein and fiber all week! Can’t complain about that!

Here’s the food journal from last Friday, March 26. All of the rest of the week’s food logs can be found at the bottom of this post.

Week 13 Bioelectrical Impedance Results:

I’m continuing to test my hypothesis that some wild physiological changes have occurred on weeks 4, 8, and 12. For this reason, I’m going to be comparing today’s results with that of both weeks 11 and 12.

My total body weight: 131.4 lbs. (Increase of 3.3 pounds since last week, and an increase of 2.4 lbs since week 11. Total decrease of 11.5 lbs. since start date).

Breaking my total body weight down into different categories of body composition:

  • Total Body water: 79.8 lbs (Increase of 1.7 lbs. since last week and increase of 3.7 lbs since week 11. Total of 1.5 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.8 lbs. (Increase of 1 lbs. since last week, and increase of 1.6 lbs since week 11. Increase of 0.7 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 21.8 lbs. (This was a 0.6 lb. increase from last week, and still a 2.9 lb decrease from week 11. Total of 13.7 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 61.3 lbs (Increase of 1.3 lbs. from last week and increase of 3.1 lbs from week 11. Increase of 1.3 lbs since first weigh in).
  • BMI: 22.5 (Increase of 0.5 from last week. Total decrease of BMI is 2 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 16.6% (This is the same as last week and decreased by 2.6% from week 11. Total of 8.2% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1444 calories (This increased by 27 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2187 calories (This will be my calorie target range while I’m on vacation in Florida, next week)
  • Calorie target range for weight loss: 1600 calories (I’ll be coming back to this calorie goal after I come back from my trip.)

For more info on Bioelectrical Impedance, check out this link here.

Week 13 Measuring tape results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/4 inches (Same last week, and down 2 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 1/2 inches (Up 1/4 inch from last week, and down 1 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 37 inches (Same as last week, Down 6 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 36 1/4 inches (Down 1/8 inch since last week. Down 3 1/8 inches from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 33 3/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 2 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 32 inches (Up 3/4 inch from last week, and down 3 1/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 5/8 inches (Same as last week. Down 11/8 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 39 5/8 inches (Down 1/4 inch from Last week. Down 7/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 10 7/8 inches (Same as last week, and down 5/8 inch from first measurement).

This is what my workouts looked like:

The Myzone system recorded tonight’s Zone class weird. Between 5:35 pm and 7:00 pm, I actually burned around 750 calories (give or take a bit).

Summary:

So, big increase in water weight in the last two weeks. This could be due to where I am in my menstrual cycle. It could also be because I have been liberal with my consumption of carbohydrates. If you look at all the food logs, you’ll see that there were only one or two days where I stayed below the recommended amount of sugar. My muscle mass and dry lean mass actually increased, significantly (Here’s a teaching moment: If increasing your muscle mass is your main goal, a calorie deficit isn’t in your best interest. Muscle mass increases when your calorie intake is higher, paired with muscle strengthening exercises). I also gained a little more than a half a pound of fat. I’m not hung up on this, because my measuring tape measurements still showed a slight decrease in some areas.

I am definitely not calling this week a loss. Just a slow down, and I really am okay with it.

I’ll come back in a day or two and lay out my strategy for weight maintenance while on vacation. I don’t mind having an intentional break from weight loss. I just want to show you that I will not be gaining weight either!

Talk to you soon!


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Food Journal Entries From the Rest of the Week:

Saturday, March 27:

Sunday, March 28:

Monday, March 29:

Tuesday, March 30:

Wednesday, March 31 (yesterday):

Thursday, April 1 (Today):

Loving Yourself Loving Yourself Loving Yourself Loving Yourself Loving Yourself Loving Yourself Loving Yourself Loving Yourself Loving Yourself Loving Yourself

back day

Workout Wednesday: Back Day! 7 Great Back Muscle Exercises

Why on earth would you possibly need to spend time strengthening your back? I’m so glad you asked!

Our back muscles do so much for us. They help us maintain good posture. They provide us with stability and help us maintain balance. Ever have a sick toddler that wants you to do nothing but carry them around all day? A strong back will allow you to do so without tiring out. Having a back full of muscle even allows you to carry heavier loads (like your child as they continue to grow bigger).

The main muscles of the back include the latissimus dorsi (aka the lats),  rhomboids, trapezius, and erector spinae. These muscles provide our body with power. They also play a role in our movement of the shoulders, arms, and hips. In addition to this, they keep our body upright and provide some stability to our hips and lower back. Because of the essential role that the back muscles play, strengthening these specific muscles is an absolute necessity!

If aesthetics are your priority, strengthening your back will also provide you with a trimmer waist line and set the stage for the hourglass figure.

If you’re more interested in the scientific aspect of balanced muscles throughout the whole body, there is a counterpart to every muscle contained in the body. For example, the quadriceps and the hamstrings, biceps and triceps, upper back with chest, and the lower back is the counterpart for the abdominals. This being the case if you want to create a six pack, you need to work your lower back to provide the strength needed to perform abdominal exercises. If you don’t have the lower back strength, it can be difficult to properly perform leg raises, planks, crunches, etc. The back provides the means and support to do the movements which strengthen the abs and core muscles. Likewise, for substantial chest muscle strength, it is requisite that we work our upper back muscles.

Functionally, those who sit down for hours on end might be facing back pain and untrained posture. Especially if you are hunched over a computer as part of your work. Training your back muscles on a regular basis is the way to fight off poor posture and subsequent back pain. Strong back muscles are essential and directly correlated to good posture.

Enough talk. Let’s workout!

For this week’s workout, you’ll need a Yoga Ball, some dumbbells, a mini band and a long band, and make sure you have a door anchor! Perform the following seven exercises with 10-12 repetitions and 3-4 sets. Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.

As you perform each exercise, really focus on pulling back until you can feel the muscles actively engaging. Keep your core muscles tight throughout.

The exercises:

Yoga Ball Reverse Leg Raise:

Supermans:

Kneeling Dumbbell Single Arm Row: (10-12 repetitions on each side)

Bent Over Reverse Fly:

Bent Over Row:

Mini Band Lat Pull Down:

Long Band Face Pull:

That’s it for today! If you like what you see, make sure to like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more work outs! Happy workout!

Looking for other workout ideas? Check out these posts here!


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Week 9 Weigh in: Milestone Week! 10 Pounds Lost!

There’s something so satisfying about adhering to a strategy which leads you to an end goal! With every passing day of following the weight loss rules, and not caving to the unplanned food temptations, my confidence in my abilities continues to strengthen. I’m happy to say that this was one of those weeks that my focus on the necessary tasks was greater than my focus on the distractions. Trust me, the distractions were still there. I successfully refrained from eating the pizza, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, and soda, that the rest of my crew enjoyed for my oldest child’s 13th birthday! But the resounding “No!” in my head was loud enough to help me keep my sights set on the actions (or inactions) that I really wanted to be taking. And, despite my injury from last week I was able to work in some additional exercises into my fitness plan!

I’m happy with the baby steps that I took, this week, and the progress that I achieved from those baby steps! I was able to push myself past the self-inflicted plateau from the last two weeks!

Let’s get right to these results, shall we?

End of Week 9 Before and After Pictures:

(Maybe I should have brushed my hair and fixed my pony tail after my workout, this morning. Oh well. What you see is what you get!)

Week 9 Food Journal:

I’m happy to say that I stayed within a strategic calorie and macronutrient range, this week. My carbohydrate intake, each day, fell anywhere between 90 grams and 110 grams. So on the high end of my goal range, but still close enough that I’m totally ok with it. I practiced and succeeded at saying “no” to all of the sneaky little food temptations. It feels good to have a week behind me where I followed my plan as intended!

Here’s my food journal from last Friday. Just remember that I don’t always log my food in the order it was consumed. But the foods and quantities are accurate.

The remaining food journal entries can be found at the bottom of this post.

Week 9 Bioelectrical Impedance Results:

Do you remember back in week 4 when I seriously questioned the accuracy of my Inbody assessments results? I believe the same thing happened in last week’s assessment, where I got to experience the machine’s 4% margin of error. In the results, below, I’m going to go ahead and give you a comparison of both last week, and the week before (just as I did in Week 5’s results post).

Here goes…

My total body weight: 133.8 lbs (Decrease of 2.5 pounds since last week, but decrease of 0.9 lbs if we are comparing this week to week seven. I don’t doubt that my total body weight was right, last week. But I don’t think that the different aspects of my body composition were right. I’ve had a total decrease of 9.1 lb. since start date).

Breaking my total body weight down into different categories of body composition:

  • Total Body water: 79.1 lbs (Decrease of 3.6 lbs since last week, but increase of 0.6 lbs compared to week seven. Total of 0.8 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.3 lbs. (Decrease of 1.4 lbs. since last week, but increase of 0.4 lbs. compared to week seven. Increase of 0.2 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 25.4 lbs. (This was a 2.5 lb. increase from last week, and 1.9 lb. decrease compared to week seven. Total of 10.1 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 60.8 lbs (Decrease of 2.9 lbs. from last week, and increase of 0.6 lbs. of muscle compared to week seven. Total of a 0.8 lb increase in muscle since start date).
  • BMI: 23 (Decrease of 0.4 from last week, and decrease of .1 compared to week seven. Total decrease of BMI is 1.8 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 18.9% (This increased by 2.1% from last week, and decreased by 1.4% compared to week seven. Total of 5.9% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1433 calories (This decreased by 47 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2099 calories (Because my exercise capacity still isn’t all the way up to what it was before my back injury, my maintenance calories are decreased by a couple hundred.)
  • Calorie target range for weight loss: 1560 calories (I’m keeping this target range the same)

Week 9 Measuring Tape Results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/4 inches (Decreased 1/4 inch from last week, and down 2 1/2 inch from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 7/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 11/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 38 1/4 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week, Down 4 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 37 1/4 inches (Down 1/8 since last week. Down 2 1/8 inch from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 34 1/8 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week, and down 1 3/4 inch from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 33 1/8 inches (Down 3/8 from last week, and down 2 1/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 3/4 inches (Down 1/8 since last week. Down 1 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 40 inches (Same as last week. Down 1/2 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 11 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 1/4 inch from first measurement).

This is what my workouts looked like:

My back was feeling good enough by Tuesday of this week, so that’s when I began reintroducing exercises more than just walking. I’m so thankful for the quick recovery!

Summary:

Although my total body weight has decreased by 9.1 pounds from the beginning of this journey, I have put on close to 1 lb of muscle. I care less about the total body weight decrease than I do about the body fat mass decrease. After all, the ultimate goal is to shed fat and not weight! This is why we get to celebrate the 10 pounds lost milestone today!

This week feels like a win! We see success in our goals when we push past the distractions and the set backs! I’m feeling really optimistic about my abilities to stick to the plan. I’m even kind of excited to go a few weeks without an indulgence meal, because I know that I’m also erasing the battle (wanting to keep eating the non-strategic foods at un-planned times) that comes after the indulgence meal is over.

Can’t wait to see the progress that this next week brings!

Talk to you soon!


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Food journal from the rest of the week:

Saturday, February 27:

Sunday, February 28:

Monday, March 1:

Tuesday, March 2:

Wednesday, March 3

Thursday, March 4 (today):

fitness plan fitness plan fitness plan fitness plan fitness plan

Core Workout

Workout Wednesday: Abs and Core

I remember back when I was pregnant and I struggled with simple, every day, things like climbing up the stairs and getting in and out of our tall bed. Man, that was rough! That was because my core strength was completely shot as I grew babies in my belly. After having babies, it took months of solid effort to rebuild the core strength so that my functional fitness was up to par.

Did you know that you use your core muscle for EVERYTHING from moving between sitting to standing, climbing up the stairs, lifting up your babies or your groceries? As you strengthen your core muscles, you’ll have a greater capacity for all of your fitness endeavors, whether it’s to lift weights in the gym or train for a marathon. Even if having a six pack isn’t a goal of yours, you’ll thank yourself for putting in the time and effort to have a strong core.

You guys, I did something big this week!

Big for me anyway. I took baby steps to let go of a fixed mindset about refusing to be in front of a camera! I’m embracing the idea of getting over my stage fright to be in my own exercise demonstration videos (Letting go of fixed mindsets is always a good idea as it provides us with the opportunity to grow and become a better version of ourself).

YouTube Channel, core workout

So each of the exercise videos, below, are brought to you by yours truly (And my dear girlfriend behind the camera!)! I also have a YouTube channel now! I’m going to go ahead a say it… if you like what you see, go ahead and like and subscribe to my channel (insert winky face here)!

This week’s workout:

This core workout requires the use of a single weight (you can use a dumbbell, kettlebell, medicine ball, gallon of milk, etc). You’ll also need a yoga ball. Here’s one that you can pick up from Amazon for under $20! If you don’t have a yoga mat, here’s one you can also pick up on Amazon. The last thing you will need is a weight bench, plyometric box, piano bench, or stair.

For the workout, you have eight exercises. I’m going to give you two options for how to perform this workout:

  1. A high intensity interval training (HIIT) circuit. Perform each exercise in consecutive order for 45-60 seconds. Rest 15 seconds before moving on to the next exercise on the list. Perform the whole circuit 1-4 times for a complete workout.
  2. Perform 3-4 sets of 12 repetitions of each individual exercise. This type of workout focuses on one exercise at a time, and allows for more rest breaks.

Your Core Exercises:

A-Frame Russian Twist:

Plank-Ups:

Plank Jacks:

Leg Raise With Hip Twist: (Rotate your hips every time your legs are up. Rotate right, middle, and left).

Side Plank Hip Dips: (On feet or knees)

Yoga ball Ab Switch:

Yoga ball knee tucks:

Bench V-ups: (Can be performed on the floor, too)

And there you have it, a full core workout! Come back tomorrow for my week 9 weigh in results!

Talk to you soon!

Want more exercise ideas? Check out this workout plan with mini-bands.


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core workout