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

Before and After

Week 10 Weigh In: Down 3.5 Lbs!

Another week is in the books. I’m happy with my consistent efforts. I have gone two full weeks without an indulgence meal, and I don’t even feel deprived. I’m pretty excited about the progress that I can see, and feel (Even my hubby has made multiple comments about the visible differences, so I know it isn’t just me noticing it!). My meal plan for this week has been legit (watch for that to come out tomorrow)! Forward progress is being made, and that feels good! Check it out:

End of Week 10 Before and After Pictures:

Interesting how the stretch marks become more pronounced as the fat decreases!

This is my explanation for the stretch marks and loose skin:

Before and After
The first picture is just over three years ago, when I was 8 months pregnant w/progeny #3

Bringing three incredible children into this world, has been extremely rewarding. That said, child birth truly takes a toll on a momma’s body. From peeing my pants a little while running and jumping (you moms know what I am talking about) to the beautiful stretch marks that now permanently adorn my body. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything, but wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic wand to correct after effects of child birth?!

Week 10 food Journal:

I’m feeling really good about my food intake, this week. My calorie intake has ranged between 1455 and 1716. My carbohydrate intake has remained low, coming in between 70 grams and 114 grams. I’ve stayed really close to the macronutrient target range that I’ve set for myself. Saturday being the only exception, where I veered a little higher on the carbs. But I allowed for it because I knew I was about to begin a 24 hour fast for religious purposes. I actually did a few intermittent fasts, this week. But I manipulated my food intake so that I consumed all my calories for the day by 2:00 pm, and began fasting after that. Two of those fasts were around 18 hours, and the third fast was 24 hours.

I have done really great without an indulgence meal, and I’m just over half way since committing to three full week without one!

I’ve actually allowed myself little “treats” or snacks, here and there. But I’ve logged it all. A few crackers, Chipotle for lunch (but keeping my order within my nutrition strategy). I don’t think we’ve talked about this, but I’m kind of obsessed with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I actually find ways to have substitute versions of PB&J sandwiches almost daily. Although, instead of peanut butter, I use almond butter (Not that that there’s anything wrong with peanut butter, I just don’t have any on hand that doesn’t have sugar added, but I do have almond butter). I have been using my keto bread from Costco or Joseph’s Lavash Wraps in place of regular bread. For the jam, I either use Smucker’s Sugar Free Jam, or find jams with minimal added sugar. Allowing these altered versions of PB&J sandwiches have been the exact treat I need to keep me happy and moving forward. The best part, I’ve made it so that they fit within my macronutrient and calories target goals!

Anyway, here’s my food intake from last Friday, the day that Progeny#3 (3 years old) asked if we could go to Chipotle for lunch while Dad took the big boys skiing.

The rest of my daily food logs can be found at the bottom of this post.

Week 10 Bioelectrical Impedance Results:

My total body weight: 130.3 lbs. (Decrease of 3.5 pounds since last week, and a total decrease of 12.6 lbs. since start date).

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

  • Total Body water: 76.7 lbs (Decrease of 2.4 lbs. since last week. Total of 1.6 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 28.5 lbs. (Decrease of .8 lbs. since last week. Decrease of 0.6 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 25.1 lbs. (This was a 0.3 lb. decrease from last week. Total of 10.4 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 58.9 lbs (Decrease of 1.9 lbs. from last week. Total of a 1.1 lb decrease in muscle since start date).
  • BMI: 22.4 (Decrease of 0.6 from last week. Total decrease of BMI is 2.1 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 19.3% (This increased by 0.4% from last week. Total of 5.5% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1400 calories (This decreased by 33 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 10 Measuring Tape Results:

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

This is what my workouts looked like:

Summary:

I lost a ton of water weight this week, probably due to a longer period of time without a carb re-feed in the form of an indulgence meal. Of the 3.5 lbs I lost in total, only 0.3 lbs of that is fat loss, which led me to be curious about why my fat loss is so low. A couple ideas: as we get down to lower body fat percentages, our bodies can resist the fat loss. It does take longer to lose fat the closer we get to our goal. Another idea, I wonder if I’m not eating enough calories. This could explain the muscle loss, this week. There were a few days where my calorie intake came in below 1500. Perhaps my body is working harder to protect against starvation mode. Another thought, there were a handful of nights where my sleep came in closer to 6 hours than the 7.5 or 8 hours which are better for our hormone levels. Anyway, we’re moving in the right direction, so I’m not mad about the progress!

Can’t wait to see what next week brings! Talk to you soon!

Want to see more of my weekly results? Check out these posts here!


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Food Journal Entries From the Rest of the Week:

Saturday, March 6:

Sunday, March 7th:

Monday, March 8th:

Tuesday, March 9th:

Wednesday, March 10:

Intermittent Fasting Results Intermittent Fasting Results Intermittent Fasting Results Intermittent Fasting Results

Beat the Weight Loss Plateau: Part 2

Weight loss plateaus can be frustrating! Some people get to a plateau and think that weight loss just doesn’t work for them, so they give up on their efforts and goals. It doesn’t have to be this way! Earlier this week, we had a chat about some strategies for breaking through a weight loss plateau. Today I’m coming at you with another eight tools that you can implement if you find that the scale hasn’t budged for two or more weeks.

1. Keep a record of everything that goes into your mouth

Calories can be sneaky. Sometimes the smallest foods can contain surprisingly large quantities of calories. We think we’re eating something healthy only to realize later that it caused us to over-consume foods, and take us out of the weight loss range. (This happens all the time in salads. We think we’re doing something so awesome by putting a bunch of veggies into our body, but we don’t pay attention to how quickly the large quantity of dressing puts us over our numbers. Salad dressings aren’t the only place we can get hung up. Are you drinking your calories? Take a look at any beverage you consume. If they’re not a zero calorie beverage, you’ll easily run yourself past your daily targets for both calories and carbohydrates (Although, we do need to have a conversation at a different time about those sodas that are zero calories, and how you’re not really doing yourself any favors by drinking those either). You also might be shocked at how many calories and carbohydrates your favorite sugary foods contain.

But Amy, food journaling can be tedious…

I know this, and feel this, just as well as anyone. But studies have actually shown that keeping a food journal can help enhance your weight loss in multiple ways. The act of logging your food intake helps you feel in control of your weight loss process. Tracking your food, and seeing your eating patterns can help you understand habits that you are better off changing. Accountability is a necessary part of working towards your weight loss goals. Food journaling can be that source of accountability that you need to find success in your weight loss.

Tracking your calories and macronutrients — protein, fat and carbs — can produce the cold hard facts about how much you’re consuming. This will allow you to modify your nutrition plan as needed.

Food journaling

Do yourself a favor and keep a food journal, even if it’s for a long enough time to understand the nutrition content of the foods you’re eating and how much you’re taking in throughout the day. I like using the myfitnesspal app for my own food journal. I use the free version, and it provides everything I feel like I need in order to be successful.

2. Boost your exercise intensity and frequency

As you adapt to your weight loss regimen of nutrition and exercise, your metabolic rate may begin to slow down.

One study including more than 2,900 people found that for every pound (0.45 kg) of weight they lost, they burned 6.8 fewer calories, on average. As weight decreases, the gradual decline in metabolic rate can make continued weight loss challenging.

All is not lost! Exercise can boost the metabolism and keep it revved up. You might need to change up what you’re doing. If walking is your thing, you might want to consider including 30 seconds of jogging every couple minutes. If you’re a runner, add in some sprint intervals. Same thing on an elliptical or a bike. If weight lifting is your jam, lift heavier weights.

Exercise

Resistance training is actually a more efficient form of exercise for weight loss. As you build muscle, you burn more calories throughout the day both during activity and rest. Cardio exercise has its place too. While you might burn more calories during a cardio session than a weight lifting session, unlike weight lifting your calorie burning ends when the cardio session ends. While with weightlifting, increasing your muscle mass is what keeps the calorie burn high all throughout the day.

If you’re already exercising regularly, you might want to consider adding in another day or two of exercise to help push yourself past your weight loss plateau.

3. Increase your movement throughout the day

Did you know that fidgeting, changing position, parking at the back of the parking lot, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking your kids to school instead of driving them, playing with your kids at the park or in the swimming pool, and walking during your work break are all sure fire ways to boost your metabolic rate?

This is known as Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).

If you find yourself in a weight loss plateau, find ways to move more throughout the day. Check out this post for some ideas to increase your NEAT, and rev up your metabolism.

4. Manage Stress

Stress has the ability to halt our weight loss progress.

We have within us a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is important because it helps our body respond to stress. But it alway can causes us to store belly fat. This can happen in women, especially.

We produce more cortisol in times of stress, which can cause our weight loss to freeze.

Life can provide us with some really stressful circumstances. But implementing stress reducing techniques can help accelerate you past your weight loss plateau.

Stress

5. Give intermittent fasting a try

Intermittent fasting is a nutrition strategy in which you go an extended period of time without eating. There are different approaches to fasting which typically range from 16-48 hours.

The practice has been shown to decrease insulin levels, increase blood levels of the human growth hormone, repair cells and removing waste material from cells, create longevity and protection against disease, reduce inflammation, heart health, but most relevant to our community- weight loss.

Intermittent Fasting

According to a very thorough article on the benefits of weight loss on healthline.com, “Intermittent fasting enhances hormone function to facilitate weight loss. Lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels and increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy. For this reason, short-term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories.”

If your weight loss is lagging, you might opt to implement an intermittent fast to boost the process.

6. Avoid alcohol

You’ll find 100 calories in 4 oz. wine, 12 oz of beer, and 1.5 oz of hard liquor. These beverages contain no nutritional value. Additionally, people tend to consume more than one drink at a time.

Alcohol impairs judgement and loosens inhibitions. In this state, people more easily make non-strategic food choices or overeat. This will provide an extra challenge for those working to overcome a tendency toward impulsive food-related patterns.

Research has shown that alcohol suppresses fat burning and may lead to belly fat accumulation. 

If alcohol is a part of your life, it could be what is holding you back from seeing the results you want to see. Eliminating it from your diet may be the strategy you need to push past your weight loss plateau.

Alcohol

7. Have an indulgence meal

Sometimes when we have been in a weight loss state for some time, and have decreased our body fat, we’ve also decreased the amount of leptin (the ‘satiety hormone’) that we produce. In this state, the brain is receiving signals that it needs to conserve calories to prevent starving. A sure way to amp up leptin production is to eat more carbohydrates. Unlike fat and protein, the carbs tell your brain that you are not going to starve and to burn calories at a normal rate.

The indulgence meal does more than give you a psychological break from the rigid nutrition strategy. It also acts as a reset to your hormone function. So allow yourself that sugary treat that you’ve been craving. But remember to respect the rules. Keep your indulging to one meal, and not a full day or weekend.

8. Get enough sleep

Sleep is extremely important for good mental, emotional and physical health.

Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain by lowering your metabolism and changing your hormone levels causing you to eat excess calories and fat storage.

When the circadian rhythm is interrupted, the body goes into a state of self-preservation. Lack of sleep leads to metabolic changes aimed at conserving energy.

Our bodies need a full 7-8 hours of sleep in order to support weight loss and overall health. Sleep loss can prevent weight loss by shifting our hormone levels to stimulate both hunger and fat storage, also slowing down the metabolism.

So turn off Netflix, close up that book you’re sucked into, or put your phone down, and fight for your bedtime like your weight loss depends on it!

Summary

Weight loss plateaus can be frustrating! But you’re not doomed to be stuck in a plateau forever! You have the ability to control the situation. So if the scale hasn’t budged for you, go ahead and create habits of food journaling, increase your exercise frequency and/or intensity, increase your NEAT, reduce stress, try intermittent fasting, avoid alcohol, have a reset meal, and make sure you’re consistently getting a full night’s sleep.

Check out the results of my success in moving past my own plateau.

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


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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

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting: What is It?

Intermittent Fasting. Have you heard of it? It’s a total buzz word in weight loss circles. Some people swear it to be an effective weight loss tool. Other people view the breaks in food consumption as totally unnecessary, and possibly even torture. Some people fast as a regular part of their religious practice (my hand is raised on this one). And some might read this and ask, “What the heck are you talking about?”.

As a nutritionist, it is out of my scope of practice to prescribe an intermittent fast. But I am allowed to teach you what intermittent fasting is and why it may be a beneficial approach for you. It is, then, up to you to decide if it is worth incorporating fasting into your lifestyle (or not). I’m going to do this in a small handful of installments, since there are various key points to discuss around intermittent fasting. Before I chat with you about the “how to” and “why or why not”, let’s talk about what it is.

What is Intermittent Fasting, Anyway?

Intermittent fasting is a nutritional approach which has you alternating between periods of eating and periods of not eating (fasting). When you are in an “eating window”, and shortly thereafter, you are in a fed state. The fasting state begins to occur several hours after your last food intake when nutrients are less available and your body must conserve energy and resources. Once you are in a fasted state, your cellular metabolism completely changes from when you were in a fed state. Your metabolism transitions from a carbohydrate burning state to a fat burning state.

Ketone

In a fed state, your body extracts the nutrients it needs for immediate energy and function. Anything leftover is either stored as fat or turns to waste. In a fasted state, carbohydrates from previous meals are utilized for energy first. After that, fat and other energy-storage compounds are broken down. The liver converts some of these fats into ketones, which are another fuel source for the brain and other tissues in the body. After enough time (well beyond twelve hours without food), the ketone levels rise and the body transitions into utilizing fat as it’s main energy source instead of carbs. Ever heard of ketosis? Well that is what this process leads to (but fasting isn’t the only way into ketosis). That’s a topic for another day.

There are no hard and fast rules about which foods you should eat during your feeding time period. But it’s always in your best interest to consume foods from whole food sources, first. (Foods containing minimal ingredients on its nutrition label, or more likely than not has no label at all. Think meats, fruits, veggies, dairy, whole grains, etc.). During a fast, you are restricting calories, so some people appreciate that they can consume a bit more (but not excessively more) in their feeding windows.

My Experience with Fasting

As I eluded to, above, fasting is included as part of my religious practices. I have practiced fasting since I was eight years old. The first Sunday of every month is referred to as “Fast Sunday” in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Our purpose for fasting includes both the not eating aspect, as well as spending the day praying in gratitude of His blessings, or praying for our own specific needs or the needs of others. We go without food and drink (even water) for a whole 24 hour window. We then donate the money we would have spent on food to bless the lives of those in need (this is known as a fast offering). This blog post teaches a little bit more about the religious aspect of fasting.

Beyond fasting for religious reasons, I find myself intermittent fasting an additional three to six times a month. I do it because it just makes me feel better. Plus, it brings me peace of mind knowing of the health benefits that come with intermittent fasting. In installment two of this intermittent fasting series, we’ll talk about the benefits of intermittent fasting. We’ll also talk about why it may not be for you.

Church of Jesus Christ

Besides Fast Sunday, I don’t have a set approach that I take on fasting. There are varying timing approaches that can be taken to intermittent fasting. We’ll talk more about that in installment three of this intermittent fasting series.

Talk to you soon!


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When Willpower Isn’t Enough…

Saturday night, the hubs and I went out for our Valentines date. He’s the best, he let me pick where we were going to eat. I like to think it’s because he adores me so much that he chooses to let me make these kind of important decisions (insert winking emoji here). But in reality, it’s probably because he knows that he can go eat out wherever and whenever he wants without being tied to strategic eating rules, and I’m choosing not to go out except on indulgence meals. Since it was my decision, can you guess where I chose? CAVA! (What can I say, I like what I like!). It was such a treat, based on our current covid guidelines, we were even able to eat in the restaurant!

Cookies

While we were out on our date, we got a FaceTime call from Progeny #1 telling us not to pick up any dessert because Grammy and Poppa had Crumbl cookies delivered to us as a surprise Valentines present! Are you kidding me!?!? This night could not get any better! If you’ve been on this journey with me long, you might be starting to comprehend how much I LOVE COOKIES. And oh my goodness! Grammy and Poppa were GENEROUS! They even had us sent the BIG BOX of cookies! When we buy them for ourselves, we only buy the box that fits four cookies in it! They spoiled us!

And, if you have been following this blog for any amount of time, you also know how there are certain aspects of this weight loss journey that I have a real battle with. Namely binge eating. For the most part, over the last 6.5 weeks, I’ve been able to eat “with my head”. I’ve been able to make logical decisions on which foods have gone in my mouth. I’ve been able to talk myself out of most emotional eating, or excessive eating… until this weekend.

Maybe it was the idea of “letting loose” with the two holidays in a long weekend.

I already knew that I was going to give myself a break from any studying of my Nutrition Coach certification. I was going to let myself have the full long weekend off from any blog writing (mental breaks are critical to ones health, and ability to sustain their goals). So aside from a few client sessions, I was going to just take a break to focus on family.

With all of that, I also found myself letting loose with my nutrition. I really did make some concerted effort on Sunday to resist the leftover cookies. There were at least 30 times throughout the day that I found myself looking in the direction of the giant pink cookie box. Each time, willing myself away by screaming the thought in my mind “DON’T EVEN OPEN THE BOX!” That worked all day long, until it didn’t anymore. My will power just wasn’t strong enough. The last thing I ate on Sunday was a half of the Nutella Sea Salt cookie. (I know, I know, it could have been worse… but I still gave in)!

Then Monday happened, and the “DON’T EVEN OPEN THE BOX” was a much weaker thought in my head. I didn’t even make it until mid-afternoon before I had eaten just as many cookies as I did on Saturday night indulgence night, when my cookie consumption was perfectly acceptable. That was when I practically ordered my husband to come to the kitchen and hide the remaining cookies from me so that I could no longer self-sabotage (Why didn’t I think to do that right after the indulgence meal was over on Saturday night!?!? Lesson learned!)

At this point, the cookies were no longer the culprit to my demise. It was the weakened willpower toward my weight loss goals, which has extended even into today with some Oreos and Kroger Maple Creme cookies (Maybe I need the hubs to put a padlock on the pantry, too….).

Willpower vs. Definitive Decisions

Today I’ve been contemplating on the role that willpower plays in success. It’s an excellent starting point, but our wills are malleable. I have been battling two separate wills, this weekend. Namely, the will to eat all the cookies, and the will to eat none of the cookies so that I could cling to my nutrition strategy. Since the old me is still so much a part of me, the game of tug of war ended in favor of the old me. We can want one thing one minute, and then be easily distracted by something shiny, and want that the next moment.

Since I preach the principle of being kind to yourself through all the ups and downs of the weight loss journey, I’m choosing to look at this weekend as a learning experience. In hindsight, I recognize that I was missing a very key element which would have helped me to be more successful against the cat calls from the cookie box. I was indecisive!

If you’re a quote person, you’ll absolutely love this article by Benjamin Hardy, PhD. He lists a bunch of motivational quotes by some wise famous people, and then inserts his own really profound interpretations of those quotes. This, below, is his own words. It’s exactly the message that I want you to take from my blog post today:

“The more you desire specific things, the more you have to say “no” to nearly everything else. True decisions mean you cut off all alternative options. Decision is the opposite of willpower, because willpower means you never actually decided and you never shaped an environment to facilitate that choice. Willpower means you never trained your desires and you never reshaped your brain and identity to match those desires. In other words, if you have willpower in your life, it means you’re still battling your old self, and you haven’t made a true decision about what you are and what you’re about. It becomes much easier to say “no” when you’ve made a real decision.”

Benjamin Hardy, PhD

During a client personal training session, this morning, we were talking about willpower.

This client, of mine, has a gift for helping me to put things in the right perspective. He suggested to me that maybe my problem was that I was trying to rely on my own, mortal and weak willpower. I need to call on God to ask Him to lend me His willpower to strengthen me against the distractions which are hell-bent on derailing my efforts.

I’m not sure where you stand in your religious beliefs, but for me, religion is EVERYTHING! This client and I have different religious backgrounds from each other. And that’s 1000% okay! We share enough belief to know that we are nothing without our God and His divine guidance in our lives.

So after the Oreo and Maple Creme cookie incident, this afternoon, I remembered our conversation from this morning. I turned to prayer, asking for God to lend me some of His will as I embrace a definitive decision to stop my non-strategic behaviors in its tracks.

From vocabulary.com: A definitive decision by a court of law is one that will not be changed.

My conversation in prayer, with God, was really powerful! As I was making commitments to Him on the course of my actions, and asking for His strength to accomplish these goals, I had some really cool imagery come to mind. In my mind, I saw a secure knot formed from a rope and then turn to metal. To me, this symbolized a uniting between Him and I. As I am completely unwavering in my intentions, actions and decisions, He will lend me the strength that I need to continue to be unwavering. This gives me greater courage to ensure that my decisions toward my strategy go unchanged as I move forward!

Looking back over my nutrition intake over the weekend, my macronutrient ranges differed greatly from my goals. I’ve nurtured my sugar addiction, and that needs to be stopped in its tracks. A longer intermittent fast has always succeeded in helping me to overcome sugar addiction and reset my focus. So I’m going to go ahead and take that on over the next couple days. After my extended fast, I’m re-embracing a high protein (35%), higher fat (45%), low carb (20%) macronutrient plan (Except at the indulgence meal, because that is also part of the plan).

Come back tomorrow and I’ll talk you through intermittent fasting, why it’s beneficial, and different approaches (including the exact approach I’m going to be taking).

Talk to you soon!


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