Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Weekly Weigh-In

Cut Starting Weight: 12.6 pounds
Week 1 Average: 11.7 pounds
Week 2 Average: 11.1 pounds

I think I already spent enough time yesterday complaining about the lack of progress in this process. Essentially, I am still head downward. Not with any kind of speed though. I lost 0.9 pounds the first week and 0.6 pounds the second week. And if I keep with this average I will be at my goal weight in 15 weeks.

Which is a really long time. 

But it is what it is. 

As long as it doesn't start heading the other direction. Which is what it did this weekend. 

I have done the Intermittent Fasting for 10 of the 13 days this month. I did six days in a row last week Monday - Saturday. It has its pros and cons. But I can't say it's moving the scale or melting my belly fat. I will keep with it, but if nothing changes, it's probably not worth the hassle. 

I will also keep with the 1700 calories for the rest of the month. But then I honestly don't know what to do. I don't want to cut more. I can't add more cardio. I could try to do more carb-cycling, more protein, more fasting. But I am feeling helpless right now. 

So I guess I just keep powering through. 

How many weeks in a row do I say that?

It's just that I could be eaing 2200 calories and maintaining my weight. So why aren't I?

Enough crying. It's a beautiful day. We're looking at some great weather here. I have a three day weekend to get some projects done. And it's only Tuesday. Things could turn around with the scale. I could see that 9 by next week!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Waiting for the Whoosh

I had a good weekend. Saturday the weather was great. Sunday, not so much. But I can use those days to get things done around the house.

Dan and I had a date night on Friday and went to see a movie. We rarely do things when it is just us. Like if we don't have arrangements to see a movie with other people, we don't make plans. Or we say we're going to a movie and then I get sleepy and we just stay home.

Saturday evening we hung out with Jennifer and the girls. And Ryan too! Dan had to work, but we got at least 30 minutes of daylight to play outside. Then we went to dinner with what seemed like the entire town of Denton and it took an hour and a half to get our food. But it was more delicious than ever! We followed up with coloring and a vicious game of Sequence. Dan and Sammie won, keeping their streak alive.

I have no pictures of all of that fun.

I had two great workouts. And even skipped dessert at Jennifer's house. Which is really hard. Friday night I had popcorn, but made it fit into my tiny macros. I did it by eating at home first, rather than eating out. Sacrifice.

And still my scale was up.

Friday morning I was at 10.2 pounds and really hoping that the next day or two I would see a nine. But Saturday I was up to 11.4 (thanks popcorn) and Sunday it was up to 12.4 (thanks salty restaurant food) and no matter how much water I drank on Sunday, it was still at 11.2 this morning. I hate having the scale higher on Monday than Friday. That's my indicator of a successful eating weekend.

But I did eat well. I have had two weekends in a row where I stuck to 1700 calories. And I hit my protein all weekend. I skipped dessert.

I know I just need to wait. It will come. Right?

The diet industry often talks about "The Whoosh". You're body doesn't just lose fat a little at a time. It does something where it depletes the fat cells of water, then they balooon up a little, then finally when they've emptied and dried up enough, they release from your body. Or something technical like that. But what it means on the scale is: initial water weight loss, then a bit of a hike, or a plateau, and finally a loss. It's just so hard to be patient, when the results aren't coming.

Two straight weeks of 1700 calories and my weight is exactly the same as when I started. Yes, the average is a bit lower. And yes, that's what's important. But I am making a lot of hard choices to limit myself to 1700 calories.

Gah! I just need some sort of sign. Something to let me know it's all worth it!

Friday, March 9, 2018

My Week in Workouts

This has been a pretty good week for my workouts.

I got to go back to Kickboxing on Saturday. It's my favorite! But ice days and babysitting and working, has taken up a lot of my Saturdays lately. It was super hard. I'm not sure if it's my lack of Kickboxing lately, the cold I am still recovering from, or the fact that I tried to go without eating breakfast.

Sunday it was pretty good weather. Quiet windy, but a good temperature. I took Dan out to the park and I ran five miles. It was tough. I haven't run much lately. What? Three times in February? So maybe it wasn't a smart idea to just jump back to five! But I need to log some miles. About mile 4, I had a pretty bad pain in my right butt cheek. I'm not sure if it's my sciatica, or just a glute/hip muscle but it was warn out. I had to walk most of the last mile. And I wasn't breaking any time records before that either. Still, miles are miles. And I stretched for two days and felt better.

Monday I got off work a bit early and hit the gym on the way home. I did hill sprints on the treadmill. One mile 30/30 plus a warm up and cool down. It was a good workout. Look at those perfect heartrate intervals! Then I did arms. My favorite thing to do.

Tuesday was my REST day!

Wednesday was a crappy day at the gym. I wore the wrong shoes to run in -- I have to have my running shoes or I can tell that my feet start to hurt immediately. So I ran one miles in some sort of interval mix. Then I started lifting (chest and back) but I forgot my lifting gloves, so I am hesitant to do certain exercises that dig my ring into my hand. Then I tested my plank endurance. It has gotten a little better, but not as much as I thought. Then I called it a night.

Thursday evening I talked Tracy into running after dark. It wasn't warm, but it wasn't icy either. So we powered through. Lately, if I am not running or kickboxing, I feel like I am not getting a good workout. I need to recommit to some sort of lifting plan and really work on that. Summer is coming.

Friday I took a second REST day for the week. I am feeling good about my work this week. I got 10.6 miles done for my 51 mile challenge. I need to beef up my warm-up miles just a little in order to hit my goal. I need to get something together in regards to lifting. And I need to remember to pack the right shoes. Other than that... things are good!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Weekly Weigh-In

Cut Starting Weight: 12.6 pounds
Week 1 Average: 11.7 pounds

One week down eating at 1700 calories and I would say it's going pretty well. I haven't been starving. I have been enjoying a treat now and then. So if you measure low-calorie eating by how hangry you are, I'm doing well.

However, the scale isn't dropping like I thought it would. I wanted it to come crashing down to the 9s and then slowly fall. I mean, don't we all. Yes, It's almost a pound down this week. But today I was sitting at 12.4. Right back where I started. So really, it's just all over the place. I guess I had big dreams.

I know I need to be patient. I know I am wrong when I think to myself, it isn't working! It just takes time. But I don't want to eat at 1700 calories forever. I want a big loss during the month of March so I can get back to eating more. How far have I come. I used to eat 1300 calories think that was how it should be done. And was just as frustrated at the dumb scale.

So I'll stick it out for a few more weeks. See if the scale cooperates. Eventually. And I will keep working on this Intermittent Fasting. So far, so good. But if the scale isn't moving, I'm not sure it's worth it.

I'm just down-trodden today. It's a snowy, slick-driving day. I need that sunshine back.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Intermittent Fasting

I've heard about Intermittent Fasting from several different people, and my initial response is always:

I would starve. Why wouldn't you want to eat all the time?

But the more I looked into it, it didn't seem that hard.

There are several methods, but the one I would use is an 8 hour eating window (Noon-8pm) and a 16 hour fasting window (8pm-Noon). There are two hard aspects to this:
  • I can't eat breakfast.
  • I have to be done eating all my dinners and snacks by 8:00.
But neither of those are that difficult. As long as I am aware of the time, I can be done eating by eight. And I am not a huge breakfast eater. In the past I might have a yogurt or a mocha at 9 when I got to work. But it isn't hard for me to skip that and just wait for my lunch break at noon.

Okay, so maybe I wouldn't starve! But why would want to do that?

I first got intrigued by the idea when I decided I needed to cut from 1900 to 1700 calories for a while. No more cookie dough bites at the end of the day. No more peanut butter toast. I am going to have to be a lot more deliberate with my calories. So I thought if I had a smaller window to eat them in, I would still feel like I was eating so much. 

Then I started doing some real actual research, and found that fasting (anything over 14 hours) claims to have a lot of good benefits. I just can't find anything that has me 100% sold. All the research is new and not studied enough. But here are some claims:
  • Better regulation of hormones and insulin levels (This includes things digestion and cell repair -- looking younger!)
  • Help you lose weight, specifically belly fat.
  • Reduces Inflammation in the body. (Sounds good, but I'm not really sure what it means!)
  • Helps reduce your Cholesterol (Hey, I was looking for something to help with that.)
  • May reduce cancer, Alzheimer's and help you live longer. (Well, you can't beat that!)
Day One
That all sounds great. But I can't really get any data on if that happens at 12 hours, 14 hours, 16 hours, etc... Technically I was probably doing a 12 hour every night before (9-9!) People who try it, try to push their window as far as possible. But I am not interested in a 24 hour fast. So is it even worth it for me?

Besides the smaller eating window, and living longer and looking younger, I would want to do it to see more movement on the scale. But are people who see more movement doing so because they can't eat as much in 8 hours. Are they restricting their calories more? My plan is to still eat all 1700 calories. Even if I am shoving it in at 7:58.

I can't tell if you must commit to it every day or if there are benefits to doing it whenever possible. If my metabolism and cell turn over only increases 4/7 days a week, that still seems okay. 

So I am going to try it. I did it four days last week. Three week days and Saturday. I started Monday and was battling a cold, and I am not sure if the headaches and grogginess the was from that, or lack of food. Tuesday I had another headache and let myself eat carbs for breakfast! But I tried again Wednesday and Thursday. No ill side effects. I even did storytime and ran around the library a bunch. I did it Saturday, and really struggled through Kickboxing (again, cold? or lack of carbs?)

This week I am attempting Monday through Friday. But if I need to eat. I will. 

In the end, if it doesn't make the scale move any, or if it is too difficult on my life, I will scrap the plan. But it's worth a chance.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

March 2018 Goals

It's time for some goals. It's the weekend. My cold is on the mend. It's sunny (though super windy!) and I have three months until summer. Big things can happen in three months. But I'd be happy to just get out of the ten pounds from goal range!

So I mentioned that I am cutting down to 1700 calories. My initial plan is to stay on that through March. But I also want to eat as many calories as possible, so I want to just get my metabolism going again and then maybe try 1800 calories or even back to 1900. Nothing seems to get it below ten right now.

Though a bit of consistency would help.

But I am so scared of lower to 1700, because that seems like nothing yummy, that I am interested in trying out Intermittent Fasting. I will blog more about that next week. But long story short, it's only eating for eight hours per day so that it feels like you're still eating a lot.

It's finally light enough I can run after I get off at 5:30 and warm enough that Tracy and I can plan a weekly morning run. So I am going to aim for mileage again. I ran 50 miles in November (and surprised even myself) but now I want to try for 51 or more. I know I am not at my fastest, so I just need to log some miles and get back to it. I can worry about distance or speed at a later point.

My Fit Sisters are all doing a plank challenge. It's just a daily reminder to work those abs. I am interested to see how much stronger they get.

Friday, March 2, 2018

My Week in Workouts

I have had a pretty bad cold this week. I was fighting a cold all weekend, and then it hit me on Wednesday. But I rested a bunch (though I couldn't take time away from work) and I seem to be on the upswing today. Which makes me really look forward to the weekend and getting my life back.

Still, I worked out a bit this week. I had to get out an enjoy the weather! On Monday it was 60 something degrees. I got off work at 4:30. I had to get home and change and get back out and run before it got dark. And I got finished just as the sun was setting. It wasn't a great run. But it has been weeks since I'd run three miles and I was fighting this cold. It felt so good to get some sunshine.

Tuesday was just as beautiful, but I had to work until 5:30. Luckily Tracy was free to run with me after dark. It was still nice weather and it was great. We were slow, like always, but I hadn't run with her in 4 weeks. It was good to catch up.

Wednesday my cold hit hard and I slept all night and skipped the gym. Thursday I had to work a super long day 9-8 and then we had going away drinks for one of my coworkers. So no workout then. 

I have joined a plank challenge with my fit sisters. So day one was a baseline plank time. I did it right before bed when my tummy was full of mexican food. That probably wasn't a good idea. I do thirty second planks all the time, so I really thought I could do one minute. But I gave up at 36 seconds. We'll see where I am by the end of the month.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Weekly Weigh-in

Starting Average: 15 pounds
Week 1 Average: 14 pounds
Week 2 Average: 11.5 pounds
Week 3 Average: 10.9 pounds
Week 4 Average: 10.2 pounds
Week 5 Average: 10.2 pounds
Week 6 Average: 10.1 pounds
This week's Average: 12.6 pounds

I skipped reporting last week, but I did have a loss. A 0.1 pound loss. After a week of no loss and a week of only 0.7 loss. So in three weeks, I lost a whopping 0.8 pounds. So I was frustrated. 

And then instead of doing anything productive, I stopped tracking perfectly, and let myself eat junk. 

And it was that time of the month... and I was sick... and still stressed out from this whole winter thing... 

And my average jumped up a couple pounds. Great! I am back to week 1!

It's a little bit better the start of this week, and I seem to have gotten things back under control. So hopefully I will be back to at least week 4 soon. 

And then, I mentioned that I am cutting my calories a bit more, so hopefully I'll start moving downward a little faster than 0.3 pounds per week. I would even be happy with a half a pound per week, as long as it kept happening. 

So I am officially starting my 2018 cut this week. From now on my 12.6 will be my starting point. I knew this ws coming since the beginning of the year. I just couldn't commit to big changes while Jennifer was gone and my life was devoted to them. Now I am completely in charge of my life decisions. And I hope to make wise ones.

And I honestly hope this lasts through March and maybe a week or two in to April, and then I will be back around 2-3 pounds from my goal, and I will probably reverse back up for summer. 

I really enjoy eating as much food as I can while wearing the same pants. And I wouldn't mind spending the summer having more treats, and getting stronger at pull=ups. 

But then again, I say that over and over. 

It's tough to be this close to where you want to be. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Where Have You Been?

I went AWOL for a little while. I don't even know what's going on.

  • I got a cold. 
  • We had two, maybe three days of ice storms that left driving around the city crazy.
  • Like I even skipped Kickboxing because the world was a sheet of ice.
  • Due to other obligations, I didn't work out between last Tuesday and this Sunday.
  • Jennifer came home on Thursday and that was super exciting.
  • We had Dan's 40th birthday party. 
  • Work has been stressful. Due to staffing issues, that have nothing to do with me.
  • It has just been so cold.
  • I tracked my food, but between Dan's birthday celebrations, I didn't hit my macros most days. 
And now I am turning things around.  Dan's birthday is over and Jennifer is home. My schedule is back to being totally mine. So it's time to buckle down. 

My weight is a little higher. Not as bad as it could be. But up, not down.

But starting today, I am going to cut my calories down a bit and get serious. I was eating 1900 calories pretty consistently, and was losing only slowly. I had become stuck around that 10 pound mark that I spent most of last fall hovering around. Yes, I like to eat a lot of food. But if I want to see the scale move downward, it is time to cut a bit more.

So I am moving to 1700 calories. I want to really work on hitting my 140 grams of protein. And then I am happy to disperse my carbs and fats between the remaining calories. That's a little loser than I like to be, but when I am so limited in my extra "yummy" calories, I might as well use them how I want them that day.  But in general here's what I am looking at:

1700 calories: 140p / 164c / 54f

Hopefully I can stick with it for a few weeks. If I can just get the scale to budge down a little I would feel more comfortable with a slower loss. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

My Week in Workouts

I haven't done a workout post in quite some time. But my workouts are kind of all over the place. I think I am finally piecing something together, but for right now it is just random.
  • I've been allowing myself to skip workouts when I just don't feel like going. Sometimes this is okay. I'm trying to commit to my nutrition, which is priority number one. 
  • I've been limited by the weather. Not much running. Sometimes snowstorms even close my gym early. 
  • I haven't been interested in StrongLifts much and can't get back into a routine.
  • My gym has been so busy after work. Even after the resolutioners left. Sometimes I get the last treadmill. And that room is very small and I feel claustrophobic. 
  • The free weight room is just completely full of people. When there are no squat racks for me to use, I just move on. I am not going to talk to someone and ask to cut in. Or wait around. 
  • The ellipticals and the weight machines on the other hand, are pretty empty. So I have been wanting to spend more time in there. I just can't people.
  • My schedule is based around the needs of two little girls. They're more important right now.
  • The Olympics suck up too much of my time. I need to turn them off. 
But I think I am putting together a three-day weight lifting routine, that should work well with my kickboxing and running habits. Jennifer is returning next week, which makes my whole life feel back in order. The weather has got to be getting nicer soon. At the very least, there has to be a good day every week or so that I could get outside. And as soon as Dan's birthday celebrations are over, I'm going to think about changing up my macros.

All that to say, I am stuck right now. But I see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Here's what I did do this week.

Last Friday, I was really on top of things. I knew I was busy with the kids at night, so I got up early. You read that right. I got up EARLY. To work out. On my own! I did fifty minutes on the spin bike in the basement. It's the perfect amount of time to watch a show and get a fine workout. And you don't even have to brush your hair. Just roll out of bed and throw on some not-too-smelly-clothes.

Saturday I missed kickboxing. But I got to the gym later in the day to watch the Olympics, I mean: to elliptical for thirty minutes and then I did Stronglifts. But I really toned down on squats because my legs were still so sore.

Sunday I skipped. We had a work staff event in the afternoon (Women's Basketball) and I couldn't get around to it afterward. I should have gotten up early. But I needed one day to sleep in. 

Monday I worked until 8. I told myself I would use the Spin Bike. But I didn't.

Tuesday evening is my time with Samantha and Sadie. But I got off early that day (thanks to working late) so I used that time to hit the gym. Nothing revolutionary. I did this hill-sprint thing - which was crazy hard and then just did a random full-body weight routine using the machines. 

Wednesday was supposed to be so nice. Fifty degrees. I used three hours of vacation to get a run in. Crazy, I know. But I have been going stir-crazy and I needed fresh air. It would have been warm enough to go with Tracy in the evening, but she was busy. And I won't go by myself after dark. So vacation it is. It was colder than I thought it would be. And my run was hard. I haven't run in two weeks, and I haven't run by myself in over a month. I did 3/2 intervals and just kept trucking along. 

Thursday I was planning to pick up the girls, when plans changed and I had a free night. I knew it was a sign to start some sort of routine. I did lots of arms and shoulders. Low weight - High reps. Plus I repeated that hill sprint from Tuesday. It was killer. I can do it about five times. I would love to get up to ten intervals. 

I plan to hit the gym again tonight. I will probably do a low-weight, high-rep leg day. I am planning it right now!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Looking Back

My favorite part about having a blog is being able to look back. That's really the only reason I have a blog. I like to see what fun things Samantha and I were getting up to. I like to remember the awful floods that occured in my basement. I like to see the loving tributes to my grandmother's when they passed away.

But I especially I love the ability to look back at my weight. And what I was doing fitness-wise.

I've been needing something new in my lifting life and I was thinking back through the plans I've done. I seem to think (or remember) May 2016 as being my most fit. It was right before I started my reverse diet and I think I had the best muscles.

So I looked back...

This is March 26th, 2016:

This is the best my muscles ever looked. I weighed about 3 pounds from my goal (so just 7 pounds less than now). I was actually already four weeks into my big Reverse Diet. I was eating 1840 calories (so just 60 under what I am eating now). And I wasn't following a program what so ever. I was just lifting. Lots of arms, one day of legs. No plan. Just a bunch of 3x10s and 5x10s and a few 5x5s. I poured over the weeks trying to figure out how I came up with this plan. There is no mention. 

But I want to get back to that point. I want to lose these seven pounds. But I also want my arms to look like that again. They do not. 

I need to spend less time trying to get my bench press number up and a lot more time just cranking out the biceps/shoulder/triceps. 

I love a plan. I am disappointed there isn't one. 

But now I know I don't need to have one to get to my best place.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 5

Starting Average: 15 pounds
Week 1 Average: 14 pounds
Week 2 Average: 11.5 pounds
Week 3 Average: 10.9 pounds
Week 4 Average: 10.2 pounds
Week 5 Average: 10.2 pounds

This was a frustrating week. I was slowly decreasing, maintaining for three or four days, small drop, repeat. It was annoying. But then I complained about it last week, and BOOM! It jumped back up.

But it's because I started lifting weights again after three weeks off. And my muscles (mostly my legs) we so sore for like four days. And they were retaining water. That's what happens when you lift weights. Your muscles store water.

And that must be it, because I was eating on track.

But then I saw the gain, and I was so sore and mad at myself (I don't know why, I am not personally responsible for the water retention in my muscles!) that Sunday came and I did not eat well. I had donuts and popcorn and crap.

I was trying to get 14 perfect days.

More frustration.

So the next day, I dusted myself off and got back to business and my weight is still stuck right at 10 pounds. It never ever ever wants me to see that nine. And I am still so mad at it.

But all I can do is make healthy choices.

And use three hours of vacation, to get outside today and enjoy the 50 degrees and go for my first run in a month!

And keep on going. Because five pounds in five weeks is still a fine number. And eventually, it has to go down.


Monday, February 12, 2018

I Missed Kickboxing for This?

While Jennifer has been away, my schedule hasn't been my own. I take at least two rest days a week based on when Ryan needs help picking up the girls or getting them off to places they need to be. Plus, I have been trying to plan fun activities on the weekend to take them to. I'm not gonna lie. It has been stressful. Mostly because I am just not used to that life. I generally make my own schedule and plan everything around my own needs.

I've developed a much deeper respect for moms!

But also, reconfirmed my belief that is not a lifestyle choice I want.

I like making my own schedule.

Don't get me wrong though. I love those girls. More than anything. Jennifer included! And I would do anything to make this seven week process less painful for them. I like being something they're looking forward to. I'm happy to give bedtime hugs when their mommy is too far away to do it.

And that means sometimes I get up early on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons and read books and do hairs and send Samantha off to play practice and dance around the living room with Sadie... and still not make it to kickboxing class.

And every minute was totally worth it.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Be the Turtle

I follow this guy on Instagram named Carter Good. Find him here! I don't really know him, but he seams to be a fitness coach. He posts lots of information on working out, building muscles, nutrition myths and weight loss.

And lately he's been posting about the Turtle vs. Hare mentality in weight loss.

I have embraced the turtle. Slow and steady weight loss. I realize that this is a life-long process. I've made changes that will last a life time, and I eat a diet I could follow forever.

You can imagine what the Hare is like: wants a quick fix. Jumps around from fad to fad. Loses a lot of weight and then gains it back, just to do it all again.

I might be yo-yo-ing a bit with about 10 pounds, but for the most part, I have lost and kept off 60 pounds for the last eight years.

I am the turtle.

And I hate it.

I have been stuck at 10.2 pounds for four days. That's after I was stuck at 10.6 for four days. I have been waiting patiently, telling myself that it will move soon, and when it does, it will be a pound or two loss. But this morning it was at 9.8 pounds. Yes, I was so excited, it finally went down. But not enough. What if I am stuck there for four days.

It's exhausting.

I am surrounded by all these people (especially this time of year) that tried a new diet and lost 14 pounds in January. And I'm over here tying to be excited for the four I lost.

But four is a big deal. Four is big for a turtle. Even 0.4 every four days is big. It is slow-and-steady. I understand that. I just need to remember not to compare myself to others. Not to be jealous of my coworker losing weight, because he only eats eggs now!

In the end? The turtle wins!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Weigh-In: Week 4

Starting Average: 15 pounds
Week 1 Average: 14 pounds
Week 2 Average: 11.5 pounds
Week 3 Average: 10.9 pounds
Week 4 Average: 10.2 pounds

Little by little it's coming down. Point seven pounds this week, point six pounds last week. It's not sky-rocketing, but it's going in the right direction.

My goal for February was 25/28 perfect days. But my initial goal to get there was two straight weeks. I messed up February 1st - work birthday celebration had me eating untrackable chocolate all day. But starting on the 2nd, I aimed for two straight weeks of perfect numbers.

And I made it through the first weekend. Which is always the hardest. Four solid days being consistent and I am feeling good. My weight has been stuck a lot lately. First at 10.6 and ten 10.2 and now right at 10. Every morning I get up and hope to see a nine or even a bigger jump to an eight. But it hasn't happened yet. Days in a row, I am stuck. But at least it's not jumping up. It's so interesting that eating consistent macros makes for a consistent scale.

And soon enough I will jump on and there will be the nine or the eight. And in the not too distant future a zero!