Sunday, April 14, 2013
Terrific! Apparently I gave my body the right kind of exercise stimulus and nutrition last week, and it has let go a full 1% of bodyfat this morning!
Using a bioimpedence device to measure my bodyfat can fluctuate as much as scale weight, so I use a moving average to 'smooth' the variations. Last week I averaged about 28.6% bodyfat. This morning I recorded 27.6%. I am 0.5 inch down on my waist.
This means the trend is going down - it's working! Incidentally, my scale weight has held steady the entire time: 129 lbs.
I need the scale to calculate my bodyfat percentage, but I'm not trying to shoot for a certain number. My body composition is the only thing I'm focused on, not my weight. I don't know what my final weight is going to be if I reach the bodyfat percentage I want. So I'm not paying attention to the scale.
Here's a recap of what I did last week:
Resistance: M-W "New Rules of Lifting" weight training program
Cardio: Walking, bicycle (low intensity less than 60% HRM)
I ate 5-6 meals every two hours of approximately 300-350 calories with a high volume of freggies and lean protein (fish, chicken, lean beef, eggs, pork). I cooked everything either in olive oil or coconut oil, added avocados to my eggs and salads, and snacked on nuts.
I ate about 80-100g of protein per day. I estimate my protein requirements by eating 1g of protein per pound of lean mass, which is currently ~93lbs.
I keep my carbs between 60-120g. Bananas and sweet potatoes were eaten on higher carb days. Minimal grains. I made an eggs benedict with Arnold's Sandwich Thins as the base yesterday.
Non diet food was a martini on Friday and a couple of glasses of wine during the week. I don't have a weekly treat food or anything, as I don't want to associate foods or desserts as a reward.
I intended to do 3 days of the NRoLL weight training, but DH had time off from work, so we spent it together with a day shopping out of town Friday, and a bike ride Saturday. We rode 14.5 miles, and unfortunately got a little bit of a sunburn! I put aloe on it this morning.
Today I'm going to take as a complete rest day to do schoolwork. Only three weeks left until the end of the term. The weather is calling for thunderstorms today, but I'm going to try to get a two mile walk in before the rain comes.
This week's plan is to continue with the NRoLL lifting starting tomorrow. I'm shooting for the full three M-W-F days, and ride my bicycle on T-Th this week. My eating plan will remain the same.
Start your week off strong!
Saturday, April 13, 2013
When discussing the obesity problem in America, the topic of portion sizes always comes up. While I agree that portion sizes are too big, saying we are eating too much is an oversimplification.
I gained 40lbs from overeating at mediocre American chain restaurants. My typical day comprised of a sausage egg McMuffin for breakfast; double quarter pounder with supersized fries and regular Coke for lunch; nachos, fajitas and an El Presidente margarita at Chili's for dinner. I put this all in a food tracker, and it adds up to:
Let's assume that I ate double portion sizes. I gained 40lbs. Cutting this in half is 1850 calories, which is about the daily recommended limit for the average person. If my weight gain was due to double portion sizes, then would I have "only" gained 20lbs if I ate half? Or maybe I would have still gained 40lbs, but at a slower rate? It's impossible to say. The only known quantity is that I gained 40lbs. No matter how you portion it, this was exceedingly poor nutrition.
I strongly believe that even eating the correct size portions at these restaurants will still lead to weight gain. That is why I avoid them like the plague. McDonald's beef is inferior quality to a supermarket. Even if one managed to lose weight eating the 'right portions' at chain restaurants, I seriously question what that person's visceral fat, the type that collects on organs, looks like.
Composition and quality of food matters.
This past week I didn't see big movements in my body composition, but I had some. I'm down about .4% bodyfat. I ate between 1600-2200 calories comprised mostly of lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, yogurt, fish, eggs, chicken, pork and beef with an occasional banana and sweet potato thrown in.
I do not for a second believe that if I replaced all these high quality calories with the equivalent numeric value at McDonald's that I would get the same result. I'm certain I would have seen an unpleasant rise in bodyfat. I would not have the energy to make it through my workouts with poor nutrition.
My obesity was a type of malnourishment. I ate poor nutritional quality food which caused excessive fat accumulation.
I don't really follow a calorie range anymore, but I was trying to get as close to 2000 calories as possible this week. My body didn't turn to fat storage mode, despite warnings I was exceeding my calories. For the past month, my weight was holding stable at 1200 calories, which means my body adapted my metabolism to maintain at that level. Now I've shifted it up to a higher value.
I trusted my body and myself that if I ate good, clean food, I would not put on fat. It seems that my diligence was rewarded. Certainly I would have liked to lose more bodyfat, but I didn't gain any, which is even more important.
I was not completely flawless, but I don't really believe in cheat days and my idea of moderation would be considered deprivation by some. I am very picky about what I chose to indulge in. I've had friends tell me to 'live a little' or that I can 'afford' the calories. I don't eat the breaded buffalo wings anymore because I don't like them. They taste like cheap oil, flour and salt with very little chicken meat. I am living well, that's why I refuse them. I cannot afford bad food any more than anyone else.
We had pizza a couple of weeks ago that was made from scratch. I made it Italian flatbread style and topped it with fresh ingredients from the store. I'd never claim it to be health food, but I still think it is better than the pizza joints. You could taste the fresh olive oil and thyme in my flatbread, and I rolled it super thin.
European style pizzas use a very thin crust. The bulk of American pizzas are in the dough, which are not made with fresh olive oil. It's most likely a cottonseed oil blend.
We had Chinese, too. I made spicy stir fried pork with asparagus and bell pepper. No MSG or corn syrup.
I prepared marinades for our BBQ grill this week. We'll be having spicy Korean chicken and kalbi. I also prepared a Mexican carne asada. It's way better than anything I ever ate at that chain restaurant I used to frequent, if I do say so myself.
One of these days I'll get around to writing how I make my "Master One Marinade to Rule Them All" that I use to quickly prepare Korean, Mexican and Indian marinades. There is a base paste that I make which is common to all three of these international styles, and it's just a difference in the spices to turn them into one or the other. Fast. Easy.
There are veggies to grill, too, of course. I'll be buying zukes and summer squashes to go on skewers along with these:
To me, this isn't a chore. I love making food almost as much as I love eating it. I don't enjoy all day cooking, though. My personal challenge is to make great tasting chef inspired food fast and efficient.
I don't carefully measure out portions anymore. If it's a fresh, whole ingredient, I eat what is necessary until I feel sated. Not full. Sated. There is a difference. One means overeating. The other means being well nourished.
I am responsible for what goes into my body. I make it myself. It's the only way to be sure.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Today I have a nice upper body DOMS going on, mostly in the trapezius, deltoids, triceps, pectorals, obliques, and latissimus dorsi. Basically the back and shoulders, which is great! I need the strength there, so it's going to the right place! I think I have the right exertion level. I'm sore, but not too sore to raise my arms or pick up the cat.
I'm thinking about what I want to get out of weight training. I mostly want to be better, stronger, faster.
I'm not too limited in the things I can do, but I know I'm not reaching my full potential. My short term goal is I want to look amazing for my wedding anniversary next month.
I've been eating a lot of my favorite breakfast fast food this week: scrambled eggs! It was probably the first food I ever learned to make on the stove. I've forgotten how fast and easy it is, and I just love them, especially with smoked salmon or crab. Can't get that in a drive through.
It was overcast this morning, but a quick check of the weather said no rain until about 4pm, so I went on my bike ride as scheduled. I've been hard on body shape these past few weeks, but I got into my cycling clothes and was happy with the fit. I have made a lot of progress, and I can pick and choose which way I want to take my fitness. It's no longer a matter of urgency because of health, but because I want to improve my physical capabilities. It's not a bad position to be in. I like my cycling skort because it covers up the thickness of my thighs, which I still feel uncomfortable with. Hoping to tighten up that belly in the next few months.
I rode for 8.75 miles in 43 minutes from one end of my community to the other, and back. I wasn't trying to cycle fast or beat a time - it was just a leisurely ride. The overcast sky was welcome as it kept the ride cool, and I didn't need sunscreen.
For fans of the LOTR books and movies, I am embarking on a there and back again walking challenge. (Thanks for the inspiration, Beechnut13!) I decided to keep my Bag End to Rivendell walk separate from my ride miles, as I want a sense of scale on how far they supposedly traveled (and how little I walk?). I'm traveling with Bilbo to Rivendell and eventually to the Lonely Mountain. I want to meet Smaug. ;) I'm still only 2 miles from Bag End, and I haven't left Hobbiton. Second breakfast was a yogurt banana smoothie and a cup of coffee, my version of an Orc vitality drink. Really looking forward to a glass of miruvor when I get to Rivendell!
[Edit: The Fellowship path is more detailed, so I'll follow with Frodo until Rivendell, then decide whether to continue to the lonely mountain!]
DH and I bought a bbq grill last night with a cash rebate we received. Once the summer gets here, I don't want to be indoors heating up the house with the stove. Grilled food is my favorite, and I've so missed having a grill. My mouth is watering with the thought of the yummy food I can make - chicken, fish, steak, ribs and veggie skewers - mmmMMM! DH and I are going to make a Costco run tomorrow afternoon to load up. We'll probably walk around the Charleston waterfront, so maybe I'll make it out of Hobbiton this weekend!
I planned to do Workout 3 tomorrow, but I've decided to take it as an easy rest day. I'll do it on Saturday instead.
Hope you are finishing your week strong!
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
A few of you have mentioned that I should use a visual guide to estimate my bodyfat percentage. Here is a picture that I've used before:
I'm roughly between the 25-30% girls, except I don't have that figure. If I looked like that, then I'd be done! They carry the weight in all the right places with a pretty thin looking waist. Now imagine reducing their fabulous bustline by half, then distributing the fat in the abs, butt, and thighs, and you have me. So my bioimpedence bodyfat estimate of 28% is probably accurate, it just doesn't look good on me.
I accomplished Workout 2 of NRoLL today, and I did better. Swapping some of the exercises was a good idea, and I felt like I got a lot more done. I give myself a 'B+' for effort. I worked hard, but I probably didn't leave it all on the mat. Nonetheless, I'm certain I'm going to get a nice DOMS burn in the morning, especially in the shoulders and back. I'm feeling it mostly in the trapezius again.
I'd really like to get back to work on my pullup goal, but I know I'm not going to be able to do it at my current body weight. I haven't forgotten about it - I still want those Sarah Connor arms! It's something to look towards as the 40,000 feet long term goal.
My eating is going well. The changes I have made with more calories and healthy fats (particularly coconut oil) may be making a difference. I saw a promising change this morning in my measurements, but I'll wait to see how things go on Friday to call it official.
Yesterday I took an one hour, two mile walk. According to the Hobbiton to Rivendell challenge, I haven't even left the hedgerows!
I got my bike back today, and I'm eager to ride! I plan on taking a one hour bike ride tomorrow after breakfast - 30 minutes out as far as I can, and 30 minutes home. One can't simply walk into Mordor, but how about cycling?
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