VHALKYRIE   16,233
15,000-19,999 SparkPoints
VHALKYRIE's Recent Blog Entries

Weekly Recap, and the Week Ahead

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)

Carbs/Fat/Protein(%): 25/50/25
Calories: 1500-2200

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!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

A*L*P* 4/15/2013 8:01AM

    Awesome girl! Keep it up!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYOTIC 4/14/2013 11:43PM

    Great work there! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 4/14/2013 8:42PM

    Great results! Like!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANASARI 4/14/2013 10:30AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 4/14/2013 10:22AM

    Congrats...way to go on week 1 of ST

Here's to another successful week, month...and dare we say year?!?!

Stay strong!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEECHNUT13 4/14/2013 8:59AM

    Woohoo, way to go!!!

I have some good news to report today in a blog... when I get to it. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment

Composition and Quality of Food Matters

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:

3700 calories
295g carbs
201g fat
158g protein

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.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYIRISH317 4/14/2013 9:31PM

    Amen, sister! You're preaching to the choir on this one. Fast food chains do something to their so-called food to make us crave it. It's not nutritious and doesn't even taste that good. There has to be a reason besides speed that we keep going back.

Your photos are making me HUNGRY!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 4/13/2013 5:36PM

    I'm with you, it's about the quality, not the quantity....regardless of what people say about the "Twinkie Diet", what you put in your body matters....we are designed to break down macro & micro nutrients to strengthen and build our bodies up...it's not simple math problem like putting gas in your car, "If I just eat this many calories, I'll gain/lose weight"

Now, about those marinades......

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEECHNUT13 4/13/2013 1:05PM

    Absof*ckinglutely, lady! :-D

Also, looking forward to when this day comes:
"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."

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANASARI 4/13/2013 11:46AM

    You raise some excellent points here, and I really enjoyed reading this. I never thought about "too much" still being "too much" even with half. Thanks very much for sharing it! (and lol I loved the "rule them all" comment!)

Woubbie: How about something like "For the want of a nail" in reverse... "For the want of an Oreo, my fanny didn't expand!" hahah :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 4/13/2013 11:34AM

    We need to devise the succinct, perfect response to "live a little" and "just one won't hurt" and other phrases in that vein, encouraging us to "give up our monastic vows" or somesuch. How do you concisely tell someone that you feel sorry for THEM because they're still slaves to bad food without starting a food fight? LOL!

Why does everyone think I'm deprived?

Report Inappropriate Comment
CCBULLDOG 4/13/2013 11:22AM

    Great blog! I've often thought food chains make our bodies crave their products after we have had them. No doubt our bodies didn't get the vitamin's and nutrients we needed by eating there and we crave more food. emoticon Your recipes look wonderful!!!! you can come cook for me any day! emoticon Good luck on your spark-journey!

Report Inappropriate Comment

New Rules: Day After Workout 2

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYOTIC 4/12/2013 1:16PM

    I keep seeing recipes for eggs with smoked salmon, I need to put that on my list of things to try! Thanks for the reminder....

And super-cute bike outfit!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 4/11/2013 8:02PM

    Sounds like a pretty good plan all around; food, lifting, walking, & biking.

See, you should have moved to Florida....we grill food outside all year round!

Oh and btw, please tell me you have a bike helmet!?!?!

Comment edited on: 4/11/2013 8:03:07 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEECHNUT13 4/11/2013 3:37PM

    Weight training has been eating the chubby bits on my thighs...

Your cycling outfit is cute!

Report Inappropriate Comment
A*L*P* 4/11/2013 2:38PM

    Enjoy your rest day tomorrow! Love DOMS! I can't wait to get back to it next week!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANSASROSE67 4/11/2013 12:13PM

    I love your LOTR walking plans. Scrambled eggs are a favorite of mine, too. We have about 15 hens and there is nothing better than a farm-fresh egg!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PRETTYPITHY 4/11/2013 12:09PM

    I've also been on a major egg kick. We get the farm fresh ones in our CSA box. So good!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TKTMTA 4/11/2013 12:04PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
CAALAN23 4/11/2013 12:02PM

    Oh my goodness, I just got back from my walk and you are making me so hungry with talk of salmon and eggs and grilled food. ;)

I think you look like a very proper rider in your gear and all I see are nicely toned legs and a lovely smile.

Must put Rivendell on my to do list so I won't forget. Gotta finish my Zombie Run first though.

Have a great day!

Report Inappropriate Comment

New Rules: Workout 2

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?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARCHIMEDESII 4/11/2013 2:46PM

    I want Sarah Connor arms too ! I'm close, but not yet. I think at some point I'm going to have to reconcile myself to the notion that I have to start working on pull ups again. I long time ago, I read an article about her strength training workouts to prepare for the role and it mentioned that she did a lot of pull ups.

Oh and that LOTRs challenge is really cute. On Saturday, I at least made it past Green Hill Country. Hobbiton was at least hidden behind the slopes. I had a long walk that day !

Speaking of walks, if I do the Walk for Hunger (charity walk in may), that's 20 miles. That will at least get me to day two. phew... it's a long walk to Rivendale ! I wonder how long it takes to get to Mordor !

Comment edited on: 4/11/2013 2:47:08 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
CBLENS 4/11/2013 12:50PM

    Great to see the images of what the body fat looks like. thanks for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYOTIC 4/11/2013 9:51AM

    Those pics look like good representations, I agree with your assessment about the body types, we aren't all hourglass, it would be nice to see some other body types in these kinds of bodyfat representations. Sounds like we have similar types!

Have fun walking to Mordor (and biking!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
GIANTMICROBE 4/11/2013 8:06AM

    That visual is very cool. I am about maybe 32.5%, and imagine baggy skin rolls and that's me.

Love the nerdiness tooooooo!!!!!!! If you are going to walk that far don't forget your 2nd breakfast :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEECHNUT13 4/11/2013 7:55AM

    Ooh, you're walking to Rivendell too!? Awesome! :-D My friend from work and I are walking it together (our mileage is adding up together). I thought we'd be separate, but the chart didn't work like we expected, and so we just decided to roll with it anyway. We can walk back home and then to Gray Havens if we feel like it. ;)

Every week, aim to add more and do what you can, and track how far you've come, and it makes working out a lot more fun. There are still things I do in Stage 1 that I hate. I hate pushups. I hate doing planks (I'll be doing those forever - up to 120 seconds... blech) but not as much as worthless crunches.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 4/10/2013 10:22PM

    good going....just stay steady with it & keep pushing.

In lieu of a pull up bar, have you seen these doofers?


It's a band that allows you to offset your body weight for pullups....still need to find a place to put it, maybe a hook screwed into a doorway

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHARTHESTAR 4/10/2013 10:00PM

    I like the 25% one- I don't like to see bones sticking out. I like the visual pictures thank you.
If you are there then you just need to do some exercises to move the weight where you want them to be. although I don't think you can add more to your breasts Naturally. sure would be nice if you could

Sara Connor arms- she did look really good then.

Not sue what or where Mordo is. let me know if you answer your question.

I have done a hour long two mile walk. Also have done a 5K in less than an hour.
I clicked the link. looked to detailed for me. :) I like the simple walking routine.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PRETTYPITHY 4/10/2013 9:52PM

    Cool! I like hearing about your progress.

Report Inappropriate Comment

New Rules: Day After Workout 1

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Today I'm feeling a little DOMS in my abductors, obliques and trapezius, most likely due to the side plank, plank with pull and elevated pushups from yesterday. The book says that Phase I is about strengthening core, so it seems I am on track. I guess I expected full body soreness and was 'disappointed' - I really wanted to get my butt whooped - lol. I'm going to thumb through the book today and see what I can pump up for tomorrow because maybe I didn't pick the right options for that to happen. I need to find a substitute for the elevated pushups - it's just not going to work with my wrists. I'll dig the internet today to see if I can find something equivalent with resistance bands or suspension cables.

My weight is up, but my bodyfat reading is the same (for whatever that is worth). I'm trying hard to eat more, but it is tough. Intuitive eating seems to have me eating too few calories if I just follow when I'm hungry and full (a 'problem' I never thought I'd have!) I'm going to try having meals spaced out every 2 hours. I'm starting with 'second breakfast' this morning before I take a walk.

Hope my bike tune up is finished on time. The weather is perfect, and I'd love to be riding.


Edit: Here are my swaps

Workout A:
Bodyweight jump squat -} Kettlebell swings
Goblet squat -} Dumbbell front squat
Step up -} Offset loaded stepup
Elevated pushups -} Bench press

Workout B:
Elevated pushups -} Single arm shoulder press
Split squat -} Dumbbell reverse lunge

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAYNINNE 4/10/2013 12:10PM

    I can't wait to learn what all of these exercises are.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYOTIC 4/9/2013 9:48PM

    Looks like you worked out the swaps, good job! Hope you work the push-ups out eventually too, but the bench press seems like a good alternative. Maybe throw some planks in there to make up for the positioning difference?

Report Inappropriate Comment
VHALKYRIE 4/9/2013 6:44PM

    I have a wrist injury and the angle required to put my bodyweight on it is uncomfortable. I'm hoping those joints will get stronger as I build up strength around it. I have pushup-bars, but those are harder than regular pushups!

Comment edited on: 4/9/2013 7:04:49 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 4/9/2013 6:38PM

    The soreness will come, esp as you add more weight.

What's the deal with your wrist? Is it too sore to put your bodyweight on it? If so, then doing bench presses and overhead presses are the way to go.

For upper body work, I just break down exercises into pushing movements and pulling movements....everything else is about legs!

You'll be amazed at how strong your core will get over time as you practice stabilizing your body through all these movements.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEECHNUT13 4/9/2013 3:17PM

    Go as hard as you can - you want the most results with the least amount of time! GO BIG OR GO HOME! :-D

I'm so excited you're sore. Hahahaha!!!

I find it easier on my wrists to do elevated pushups off of a bar. I've used the Smith machine or and the Oly bar on the bench (in the holder for presses). Doing them on the bench is a lot harder for me. I go to exhaustion in only 6 or 8 reps. It is a little lower though. And I feel like my form totally sucks. But I'm trying, and it's better than none at all.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PRETTYPITHY 4/9/2013 3:03PM

    Maybe you should stick with intuitive eating, rather than trying to make yourself eat more. Your body is pretty wise.

Report Inappropriate Comment
A*L*P* 4/9/2013 2:46PM

    Crud, I totally felt my midsection after doing both A and B! Yowza!!!

Sounds like some good swaps, just find what works for you!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 Last Page