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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Weigh in before and after Weigh in before and after Weigh in before and after Weigh in before and after Weigh in before and after Weigh in before and after

weigh in, woman girl fitness

Week 5 Weigh In: Perfection is NOT Required For Success!

This was one of those weeks where I tricked myself into thinking that absolutely no progress has been made. I knew that I had veered from my plan, just enough that it could have potentially effected my weekly results. My food intake has been less than perfect, and my exercise has seemed to be slightly lesser quality.

With my workouts, I’ve felt a bit less energy than normal, requiring myself continued self-pep talks to keep it up. But this can happen when we are in a caloric deficit state. Eating less means that we might be utilizing all of our food energy in other body processes. That’s ok, because the body is so smart, and adapts to the environment that we place it in. As I continue to strive to take in the most nutrient dense foods, my energy levels should balance out, and I’ll find myself dragging a little bit less.

Let’s get to this week’s results.

End of Week 5: Before and After Pictures

Week 5 Food Journal:

Here’s the log for today’s food intake. Today is one of the only few days, this week that I actually followed my meal plan. The rest of the week’s food journal entries will be at the bottom. As always, I don’t always eat the food in the order that I logged them in. (Who has time for such nit-pickiness? Not me!)

This week’s food intake was a bit all over the place. I had a couple days where my calories ended around my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), or maintenance range. There were a couple days where I did an intermittent fast as well. I feel like I had a whole bunch of mini unplanned indulgences between the bites of the Bloomin’ onion and bread from Outback Steakhouse, crackers, and homemade Mac and cheese. Mostly, I just didn’t really follow my meal plan, even with all of the food prep that I did. So the rest of the time, I was doing a bit more “winging it” by eating strategic foods, but not in the order that was planned. I’ve also caught myself drinking Diet Mtn. Dew almost daily for the last handful of days.

What the heck!?!? Haven’t I learned enough by now to know that my body doesn’t respond well to either diet soda or caffeine? When will I even learn? Today, I’m fighting the headaches, for sure!

I’m trying to decide if there was a trigger to my more rebellious eating, or a psychological reason for indulging a little bit extra. I can’t decipher anything huge. But I have recognized moments of missing my old life where I didn’t think about what I was eating (I know, totally destructive line of thought). I’ve allowed that thinking to escalate, and have recognized times when I was feeling like I was in food prison. Even with really good, strategic, food to eat all prepped and ready in the fridge. I’ve also recognized myself wanting to eat when I am feeling bored or overwhelmed.

I need to revisit my why’s for taking on this journey, and allow myself to love the process of following the rules which I know will lead me to my end goal. I need to stop allowing myself tiny tastes of the unplanned foods and need to recommit to following the meal plan, and not veering off course. Since nutrition is the largest piece of the weight loss puzzle, I need to give the rules the respect that they deserve. Time to let go of my- in the moment- wants!

But even with all of the areas I feel like I could have done better this week, progress still happened!

Week 5 bioelectrical impedance assessment results

Do you remember last week when I found myself a little bit shocked by the drastic muscle gain and fat loss? Do you remember how I questioned if my results fell within the 4% margin of error that can take place when using a bioelectrical impedance assessment machine? After this morning’s weigh in, I’m pretty convinced that was the case. Today’s progress falls much more in line with progress from Week 3 rather than Week 4. I’ll show you a comparison of both weeks in the results below. I mean, my eating and exercise were off, but really not by much.

My total body weight: 135.8 lbs (Down .7 lbs from the last two weeks, remember my weight was the same the last two weeks. Total of 7.1 lb. lost since start date).

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

  • Total Body water: 78.7 lb. (Decrease of 3.1 pounds since last week, but increase of 1.6 lbs if we are comparing this week to week three. Total of 0.4 lb. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.1 lb. (Decrease of 0.9 lbs. since last week, but increase of .3 lb. if we are comparing this week to week three. Dry lean mass is the exact same this week as it was in my first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 28 lb. (This was a 3.3 lb. increase from last week, and 2.6 lb. decrease comparing this week to week three. Total of 7.5 lb. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 60.4 lb. (Decrease of 2.2 lb. from last week, and increase of 1.1 lb. muscle compared to week three. Total of 0.4 lb. increase in muscle since start date)
  • BMI: 23.3 (Decrease of 0.1 in the last two weeks. Total BMI decrease of 1.2 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 20.5% (This increased by 2.4% from last week, and decreased by 2% compared to week three. Total of 4.3% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1427 calories (This decreased by 38 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2214 calories (Because my BMR decreased, this number decreased by 53 calories from last week)
  • Calorie target range for weight loss: 1560 calories (I’m keeping this target range the same)

Week 5 measuring tape results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 3/8 inches (Same as last week, and down 3/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 22 3/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 5/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 38 1/2 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week, Down 4 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 37 5/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week. Down 1 3/4 inch from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 34 3/4 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week, and down 1 1/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 33 5/8 inches (Down 3/8 inch from last week, and down 1 5/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 3/4 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week. Down 1 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 40 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week. Down 1/2 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 11 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and 1/4 inch from first measurement).

This is what my workouts looked like:

Summary

I’m feeling much better about this week’s results after comparing all the numbers to both last week and the week before. If we compare to last week, it looks like I did a terrible job with my efforts. But if we compare to the week before, it looks like my progress is right on track with my efforts. I think the moral of the story is that perfection isn’t required in order to succeed at weight loss. We succeed through consistent effort. Even our tiny tastes of food, here and there, are okay when the rest of our actions are about 90% consistent with the rules around weight loss.

Thanks for sticking with me through this journey. Can’t wait to see what next week brings! Talk to you soon!


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Here are the food logs from the rest of my week:

Friday, January 29

Saturday, January 30

Sunday, January 31

Monday, February 1

Tuesday, February 2

Wednesday, February 3

people toasting wine glasses

Still Working On Your New Years Resolutions?

While I was working at the gym, this morning, the employee in charge of the check-in desk made the comment that the number of people coming to workout is back to it’s “normal” quantity. For the most part, the “New Years Resolution-ers” have fizzled off. It’s something we see every year, maximum capacity for the first three weeks, and then we’re back to the sea of regulars- the same people we’ve been working out with for years. Don’t get me wrong, there are usually a small quantity of new faces who want to achieve their goal bad enough that they keep coming. But the rest…

Go get a pen and and paper and write the answer to these questions down (no seriously, stop reading and go get your writing material…)! Write down the answers to these questions: What is it that you wanted to accomplish three weeks ago? Why did you want it (check here if you need some help with your why)? Do you still want that same thing? Do you want it badly enough to push through the discomfort to achieve it? What’s your game plan that will get you there? What are the small baby steps you’re taking to make your dream a reality? Starting today, or even this hour, what is the one thing that you can do to push yourself along in your process?

pen and paper, writing material

Let’s assume that you set out to lose weight, this year. Which approach are you taking? Did you make efforts, in these last three weeks to change your habits? Are these habits becoming more a part of you? Have you stuck with your weight loss approach? Or did you happen to get derailed in your efforts?

There are so many things that can halt your progress in the weight loss game.

Perhaps you’re the only one in your household working to lose weight (Believe me, I know exactly how lonely that can feel). Get yourself a community! Join a Facebook group. Talk to your friends. Guaranteed there is someone else in your life who is also working toward their own weight loss goals. Reach out to me! I would absolutely love to respond to a message with a word of encouragement!

Maybe someone brought a treat home or to work that you weren’t planning for, and you “gave in”. Maybe you haven’t found a way to pull yourself back into action. I get that too! That has happened to me so many times! I have two things to say about this. Shake it off! What’s done is done! Move forward! Love yourself enough to leave that delicious treat (which maybe led to total derailment) behind you, and pick yourself up. Commit right now to practicing the baby steps which will lead you to meeting your goal. You can do this!

Second, maybe you have the temptation screaming at you, but you haven’t actually given in just yet. This is ok! There is nothing wrong with being tempted to eat something that is against your goals. This is going to happen. So let it in, acknowledge it, and then recognize you have options.

dumpster

Life is full of little choices, and here is one of them: you don’t have to eat it. If you haven’t planned for it, and you’re still on a trajectory of strategic behavior, then do everything in your power to maintain your trajectory! You can throw the tempting treat away! That’s right, pick it up and walk it all the way to the stinky outside dumpster! You can ask someone else around you to eat it so that it’s no longer available to you. You can ask someone in your life to hide it from you (I ask Adam, my hubby, to do this all the time and most the time I don’t find it!). Or you can put it in the freezer and save it for your planned indulgence meal. You are strong enough to not eat it. Remember what it is that you want (your why?) more than you want the unplanned treat. Focus yourself in on your ultimate goal. Take a deep breath and fully commit to not even having one little taste. You can do this!

Maybe you started working out, and your muscles were so sore that you decided you’ve done your time and enough is enough. Or maybe you decided you were too busy for all the exercise that you originally set out to accomplish. It could be that you like your sleep more than you like the idea of waking up early to exercise. Whatever your perfectly logical explanation might be (my husband calls these PLE’s aka an excuse), call yourself out! Creating new habits of exercise is challenging! I know! It took me all the way until I became a mom to find it in me to make exercise a regular part of my life. And guess what?! At first I didn’t necessary love it. But, with enough consistency, it started to grow on me, and eventually I did!

Find it in yourself to push past your excuses. Remind yourself who it is that you want to become. Make peace with the fact that getting there will require you to do the work. Do what you need to do. Set a time on your daily calendar or an alarm to remind yourself. Set out your workout clothes the night before (I’ve done this for years since my workouts typically fall in the 5:00/6:00 am hours). Go buy yourself some cute new workout clothes and shoes (monetary commitment is a powerful motivator). Find a friend to exercise with you. Start small. If you haven’t been in the habit of exercise, commit to two days a week. Then gradually increase from there. Baby steps are the way to lasting lifestyle changes!

Maybe you’ve tried some of the meal plans I’ve put on this blog and have thought to yourself, “the food she wants me to eat is absolutely disgusting! How can she even recommend that!?” Maybe you are a really picky eater, and have the hardest time talking yourself into eating vegetables in one meal, let alone six times per day.

Food preferences can be a legit challenge for some people to overcome. But guess what!? You don’t have to eat exactly what I eat. Do some research to find foods and recipes that work for you based on your goals. Challenge yourself to try new things. Allow yourself to be open minded. If you really want to meet your goals, you will do what works for you. I can’t set them for you or make you achieve them. So spend a few minutes scouring the internet, you’ll find recipes out there for every single approach that can be taken to lose weight. Move past the “I don’t want that” and ask yourself “What do I want?”. Then actively pursue finding the foods you enjoy that will keep you properly nourished while losing weight.

Let’s change the subject (sort of)…

Have you heard the concept of the “Heroes Journey?” This idea permeates all of our favorite stories. Tell me if you recognize this. A protagonist, quite often unremarkable and inconspicuous, is presented with a fantastic opportunity. One which includes both epic adventure and great reward. This character is often quite comfortable in their current situation, without much desire or want to change. That is, until either an internal/external event occurs and the new adventure is something they just can’t shake off. They understand that the road ahead will come with challenges, and there is a high possibility for failure. And yet, the call is great enough that the character knows there’s no other option than to proceed.

Perhaps this was you at the onset of your journey for change. At that time, there was no other option than to proceed on the road to your reward, be it weight loss, feeling stronger and healthier, or even something completely different.

Take a minute and assess where in the Heroes Journey you are right now:

  • Call to Adventure: The Hero sees the adventure that she/he desires or needs to go on.
  • Crossing the threshold: The hero prepares for and embarks on the journey
  • The road of trials: Reality sets in and the hero feels smaller than the challenges ahead of her/him
  • The abyss: The only options for the hero are to change, become someone different, and either press forward or quit entirely
  • Metamorphosis: The hero changes and becomes something more
  • The Ultimate Boon: The hero learns the lessons which enable further growth and change
  • Returning the Boon: The hero returns home to share what she/he learned
Hero, Hero's Journey, The Abyss

Each character has to go through this process to become the heroic version of themselves. Take the example of the heroes in the Marvel movies. The main character, or hero, is typically a human who is heavily flawed. They go on an adventure, meet obstacles, face the reality of their weaknesses, they learn essential lessons, don’t give up through the process, and they return to share their learned lessons with the team. All heroes follow the same journey. We see their story and we gain admiration and respect for their courage, conquering spirit, and endurance through their difficult challenges.

The fact is, you are the hero of your own journey. You might have just barely heard your call to adventure, you might be knee deep in your road of trials, or you might be facing the abyss where you allow yourself to become something amazing. Whatever you do, don’t quit on your yourself! Press on! You are worth finding that hero in yourself. Allow yourself the opportunity to gain the self respect for having accomplished something so great!

I believe in you! Take the moment right now to recommit to that goal you are working on. I know that you can accomplish it, and I know that you will be so glad that you did!

You are my hero!

Talk to you soon!

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burning tree

Workout Wednesday: Fire up your metabolism!

Alright folks, this is the exact type of workout plan that I teach in my bootcamp style exercise class. If there is any type of workout plan which promises to rev up your metabolism all while helping you to build strength, muscular endurance, and fire up your heart rate, it is this circuit. You will burn fat during your workout, and after! Gotta love that! This is the most frequent style of workout that I do as my own workouts, and I finish feeling so good every single time!

Here’s the workout plan:

5 minute warm up. You can jog, jumping jack, dance, stretch doesn’t matter. Just move.

You’ll perform each of these ten exercises consecutively until you’ve made it through the whole list. Perform each exercise for 45-60 seconds with 15-30 seconds of rest in between. If you’re a beginner, then one time through might feel like plenty. If you’re further advanced, see if you can make it through the whole circuit three (if not four) times. Be sure to take a short rest period of two minutes, each time, before starting the circuit again.

  1. Lateral shoulder raises + alternating lunge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQWw4qeH2fo
  2. Plank hold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWd2VXg2Mpk
  3. Gliding disk reverse lunge plus hip circle (use paper plate if you don’t have gliding disks): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD6Y4JHKAUg
  4. Kettle bell swing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKDIuUbH94Q (If you don’t have a kettlebell: https://livehealthy.chron.com/substitute-kettlebell-swings-4352.html)
  5. Lateral squat + front shoulder raises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yAofWC313E
  6. Decline push up: (with knees) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKKLCw4jlmQ or (with feet) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXIpw1JD4qw
  7. Burpees: (for beginners) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yiWAgm3DSU or (moderate to advanced) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZgVxmf6jkA
  8. Incline mountain climbers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYBDOL8h0Ao
  9. Step up or box jump: (step up) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hiWQ7pehjQ or (box jump) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaQLhH-HBH8
  10. Gliding disk knee tuck + push up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5qGSEwWcOU

Gear needed:

Box or step, Kettle bell, Dumbbell, Gliding disc or paper plate (You can get some inexpensive ones here)

Dumbell for workout plan
Kettle Bell for workout plan
Gliding Discs

Burpees! How much do we love and hate them!?!? Oh but the amazing things they do for our whole body!

Talk to you soon!

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Chronicles of the two voices inside my head, installment #2 – Before the Cheat meal

Client Amy:

Today, this feels hard!

Trainer Amy:

Okay we’re going to need to get a bit more specific than that! What feels hard?

Client Amy:

I am in food prison! I just want to eat and not think or care about the nutritional value of what is going into my mouth! In fact, this is feeling daunting enough that I even took a bite of my kid’s pizza and had like eight spoonfulls of homemade Mac and cheese, yesterday!

Trainer Amy:

Okay, it’s not the end of the world. You’ve been very diligent in your nutritional approach for over two weeks now. That’s huge! That is a long time to stick with a strict regime when before that you were eating whatever your taste buds desired.

Remember that in order to meet specific goals, we need to follow specific rules to get to that point. You’re following a specific nutrition strategy which, you have seen, is actually working to change your body composition for the better.

Let’s pause and look at the bigger picture for a minute. Tell me, what do you feel you are doing well within this process?

Client Amy:

Okay… well… I’ve planned, food prepped, and stuck with a meal plan for two whole weeks. Even though it has felt like a lot of work, I do see the value in those efforts as they’ve helped me stay the course. I’ve also diligently logged my food intake each day. I usually hate food journaling, but doing so is helping to keep me on track. Also, I’ve exercised about 5 times each week, and a few of those days I’ve done two workouts!

Trainer Amy:

That’s awesome! Those are all habits which will lead you to success. Now, tell me what areas you feel like you can improve in your weight loss process?

Client Amy:

Well… For starters, I had those unplanned bites of “non-strategic” foods yesterday…

Trainer Amy:

OK, let’s talk about that. Was that your first unplanned food indulgence? Where did you end up in your calorie and macronutrient targets for the day?

Client Amy:

Yes, that was my first time eating something that wasn’t in my plans. I really tried not to be obsessive about it once I had a little taste. Ya know, “let it go”, “brush it off”, “quickly stay the course on my food plan”, and all. But I did manage to stay under 1700 calories. The only hiccup with my macronutrients were that my carbohydrates landed around 40 grams higher than I intended (Stupid Pasta!).

Trainer Amy:

Let’s celebrate this! Yes, you took a few unplanned bites of food, but you didn’t turn that into a binge-fest, and you stayed under your calorie goal! You should totally feel good about those things! Did you enjoy those tastes of pizza and homemade Mac and cheese?

Client Amy:

Yes! It was just enough to be able to enjoy the flavor without eating too much to carry frustration and guilt! Thanks for pointing that out!

Trainer Amy:

You’re welcome! Are there any other areas that you feel like you can do a little better in to take your efforts to the next step?

Client Amy:

Perhaps adding more foods to my weekly meal plan that will help me get enough potassium and iron so that I don’t worry about supplementing. Also, not beating myself up when I do happen to miss a day of working out.

Trainer Amy:

We can work on that the potassium and iron foods, no problem. But yes, be kind to yourself! If you are unkind to yourself you will lose your focus on why you’re taking on this journey. You’ll have negative feelings toward the process, and lose your desire to continue to push through. This is a journey of self love, where you are learning to instill habits which will help you feel your best both physically and mentally. You’re human. There’s room in life for “oopses”. Just as you did with the pizza and Mac and cheese, you pick yourself up immediately and keep placing one foot in front of the other. And you’re doing that! Have you seen how your body has changed over that last two weeks? Between following your nutrition strategy and doing your five days a week of exercise you are making progress!

You say that you feel like you’re in food prison. Let’s remember that you have a planned indulgence meal in three days. You’ve already made it through 19 days sticking to your eating strategy. Let’s talk about the indulgence meal, and review what the rules around that are.

Client Amy:

Uggggggh…. More rules!

Trainer Amy:

I know, I know, but rules are the safety nets which help us meet our ultimate goals! Rules are our friend. We become our best self when we adhere to rules!

First, we don’t call this a cheat meal because cheating has a negative connotation. Cheating is being dishonest and disloyal. When it is planned out, you aren’t being disloyal to your plan, it’s literally built in! There is a plan in place which invites you to have a meal which helps you feel a little bit more free. You can eat anything that you want, all within your set hour. Itching for those Crumbl cookies? Go for it! More Mac N Cheese? Down it! Really! Whatever you want, eat it! No measuring! No Tracking! In fact, I discourage you from journaling because we are working on being balanced and not obsessive about the numbers.

Doing this also acts as a psychological break. Listen to your body through this meal. Be super mindful, slow down, and stop when you feel like you’ve had enough food. But don’t make yourself sick! Remember that this will not be the last time you get to have these foods! Beginning this next week, you get to have an indulgence meal every week, if you want! Once your indulgence hour is over, you’re right back to your weight loss nutrition plan for the next seven days.

With all this in mind, will you commit to three more days without any food indulgences?

Client Amy:

Yes, I know I can do that. And I can commit to giving the indulgence meal the respect it deserves.

Trainer Amy:

Awesome! Let’s review your “why’s?”. Tell me the reasons that you’re working on losing weight.

Client Amy:

  1. I want to be my healthiest, eliminate gross tummy aches, feel my best.
  2. I want to eliminate risk of developing cancer and heart conditions that run in my family.
  3. I want to have energy to play with my very active boys.
  4. I want to feel my best in my own skin, and like the way that my clothes fit on me.
  5. I want to teach the world that this process works, and is totally doable (even for those with binge eating tendencies).
  6. I want to inspire others to make their own healthy lifestyle changes.

Trainer Amy:

Is this enough to help you focus on three more days of intentional food intake before your planned indulgence meal.

Client Amy:

Yes. My head is in the right place. I’m excited for the additional progress I’ll see on weigh in/measurement day on Thursday morning. I’m also excited to show myself that I can last all the way until Friday evening before eating my indulgence meal.

Trainer Amy:

You’ve got this! I can’t wait to hear all about that indulgence meal! Talk to you soon!


Want more info on indulgence meals? Check out this link from the University of Colorado.

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Meal Plan

Week 3: Meal Plan & shopping list

Are you familiar with the epic cookie and “dirty soda” shop scene that is going on in the state of Utah? That is where my little family is from, and where our parents and siblings still reside. We moved away from there in 2013, not long before these cookie/soda shops started popping up everywhere. Now, every time we go back for a visit to see family, we tend to make a stop or two at these shops. The soda doesn’t do much of anything for me (they call them dirty sodas, because they take your regular Coke, Sprite, etc. and add different flavored syrups into it). But if you dangle these cookies in front of me, I turn all shark feeding frenzy mode on them! And that Dirt Ball cookie from Swig?! Holy smokes (It’s a chocolate on chocolate cookie and I’m drooling just thinking about it!)!

One of these shops, Crumbl, has made it’s way out here to Colorado. Just yesterday, they opened up a brand new location only 10 minutes from my house. I swear, in the last few days, I haven’t been able to escape having Crumbl and their Twix flavored cookie at the forefront of my mind (insert salivating emoji here!). I walked into work yesterday morning and there was a giant box of them on the supervisor’s desk. Our neighbor was given some at a work meeting, and she brought one over for my boys to split (they’re giant cookies!). I am proud to say I was able to successfully avoid masochism by refraining from taking my boys to their grand opening free cookie day! But you guys, the temptation is real! And it is heavy!

But don’t you worry, I know what I want in the long run, and it is not to be weak in the face of the baked goods! I want to continue to nurture this side of me which stays focused on the efforts required to meet goals; to practice what I preach; to show myself that I can do this. And if we’re being really honest, I want to find some ab muscles which I believe are down there somewhere. The cookies that are now 10 minutes away from me can have their place as a “once in a great while” indulgence, and that will be enough. I just need to decide if I want to include that as part of my first indulgence meal which is coming up next Friday… We’ll see.

Since we’re in the business of doing the work required for losing weight, let’s shift focus to what is really important. I’ve created another meal plan which promises placing the body in an environment conducive to weight loss. In a perfect world, I’ll be posting these meal plans every Friday. That’s what I’m shooting for so that you can do your shopping and meal prep on the weekend.

I had a few particular objectives with this next week’s meal plan.

  • First was to keep things simple. Since these meals happen 6 times a day, I wanted very little time to be required prepping in the kitchen. There are way too many other ways I want and need to spend my time than slaving away at the stove. These meals will require a dedicated few hours on one day, but the rest of the week, you’ll be able to grab and go.
  • Second objective was to decrease the calorie content to just below 1700 calories per day. If you aren’t currently very active, you’ll want to eliminate an additional 100 calories, give or take, in order to be in a weight loss calorie range. If you are really active, 6 days a week for more than an hour, you might need to increase your caloric intake.
  • Third objective was to decrease the carbohydrate ratio down closer to 100 grams per day. I’m slowly inching my way into a carb range of 50-100 grams of carbs each day. This meal plan lands at about 108 grams of carbs each day. (Next week, I’ll begin decreasing protein quantity just a bit, and increasing fat intake.)
  • Fourth objective was to include almost no dairy. I’m still getting headaches and vertigo, like crazy, from my concussion in October. I love my cottage cheese, but since dairy can cause inflammation in the body, I’m ready to see if I might be able to decrease headaches by decreasing the amount of dairy that I consume. This will also help to keep saturated fat intake a little lower, as animal fat is a source of saturated fat. Do you have aches and pains, or chronic conditions? You might notice this to help you feel a bit better, as well.

The meals in the plan, list the quantities that you’ll consume in a single meal. As you’re prepping, multiply the recipe by six in order to make food for the rest of the week. The grocery list includes enough groceries to make meals for six days. Food doesn’t always stay as fresh as we want if we try to extend it beyond that time, so be sure to use the seventh day to eat what ever leftover protein and veggies you might still have from the previous week.

Day Seven can be a “wing it” day, as long as you stay within a similar calorie and macro range as the previous meal plan. This will ensure you continue to be successful in your weight loss efforts. Also, whatever you do, don’t make that seventh day a “cheat DAY“. Remember, a pre-planned Indulgence meal is perfectly acceptable! But we don’t do ourselves any favors turning the entire day into a free for all!

Week 3 Meal Plan

Grocery List

Here are some unique products from this weeks grocery list. To make it easier on you, you can snag them on Amazon via the links below:

I have and use collagen protein powder regularly, it’s flavorless and provides fantastic nutrition. That said, I want to try this collagen protein powder (because chocolate!).

Here is a “cleaner” whey protein powder. As you may already know, there are so many whey protein powders out there! Many of these are filled with ingredients that we really don’t benefit from putting into our bodies. It can feel overwhelming to know which powder to choose. I’m still researching “the best” protein powder that I am excited to fully promote (I’ll be sure to let you know when I’ve found it!). If you have a favorite whey protein powder, let us know in the comments!

And finally, pumpkin seeds. I love these little things, like mad!

That’s it for today! For the entire food Journal for this meal plan, and nutrition information (see below). Happy meal prepping, and eating from a nutrition plan that our body can thrive on!

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