Before and After

Week 20 Weigh In: Every Food Action Has A Consequence

I tell you what, the food has been LEGIT TASTY this WHOLE last week! And I’m not talking about the kind of food that LillieEatsandTells makes which helps in the process of weight loss through macronutrient counting. I’m talking about the stuff that our taste buds can’t get enough of, that we probably eat in too large of quantities, and that make us feel like our rolls are expanding at an undesirable rate!

weight loss

The hubby and I spent the weekend in St. Louis, Missouri, learning how to implement the process of “becoming financially free in 10 years or less” through real-estate. (It was a great educational experience, and we’re really excited to go down that road.) But while we were away…and since we’ve been back… the food choices have been at the opposite end of strategic.


I am having the hardest time being willing to pull myself together! I even picked up Crumbl cookies (and ate more than my fair share) today, even after my weigh in revealed that I’m on a trajectory away from the results that I want. (Perhaps it was an emotional reaction to undesirable results? I know… I know… Counter productive).

Uggh… And even though my exercise has been on point, the saying goes, “you can’t out exercise a ‘bad’ diet”.

You’re welcome for the visual!

So here I am, pondering how I can turn this into a teaching moment for you. As I was growing up, my dad seemed to frequently remind my sisters and I that EVERY ACTION HAS A CONSEQUENCE. (I remember him saying that often, but I guess I don’t remember why. I must have enjoyed all my actions too much and not cared about consequences… until it was time for them to show up… hmmmm, not much has changed with that)!

Actions and Consequences

It’s simple, really. You make the sacrifices of not eating the foods (or quantities of foods) that usually contribute to weight maintenance or gain, and you slowly see the results that you’re working towards. In contrast, if you allow yourself to say “yes” to the non-strategic foods, it’ll become that much harder to maintain the necessary mindsets to see your goals realized. And if you have binge eating tendencies like me, saying yes once can QUICKLY escalate to a “bag it all, I’m eating all of it” ending.

In the results below, you’ll see that I’m teaching you exactly how to gain weight! But I really want to turn this around so that I can show you just how quickly body composition improves when the body is properly nurtured with nothing but power foods from whole sources, in a macronutrient and calorie range it can thrive on. Not only that, I’ve invited some inflammation into my body with the excess sugars, diet sodas, and processed foods. I can feel it in the headaches, sluggishness, and bloat/gassiness (TMI?).

Here I am, making a commitment to show you how weight loss is achieved. I’m not embracing any extreme diets. I’m going to commit to eating within the calorie deficit that I have seen success in, and yet not starved in. I’m also committing to the macronutrient range that I have felt really good in (high protein, moderate fat, low carb). Mark my words… next week’s results are going to be awesome because my actions are going to reap the consequences that are conducive with my weight loss goals!

Alright, confessions/lesson/pep talk/commitment time is over. Here are the results from this week’s weigh in.

End of Week 20 Before and After Pictures:

Week 20 Food Journal:

I will fully own the fact that my food journaling was inadequate this last week. I started each day keeping a record of my food consumption. I think, more than anything, I just didn’t want to know. So I gave up part way through the day. If any of my food journal entries, at the bottom of the page seem unnaturally low on food. You can probably safely assume that food consumption was well into a weight gain range on those days. It is what it is. It’s happened, and we’re moving on with our life… Best foot forward, here on out!

Here’s the food journal entry from last Friday, May 14th.

The rest of the journal entries can be found at the bottom of this post.

Bioelectrical Impedance Results:

My total body weight: 133.6 lbs. (Increase of 4.8 pounds since last week. Total decrease of 9.3 lbs. since start date).

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

  • Total Body water: 82 lbs (Increase of 2.6 lbs from last week. Total of 3.7 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 30.4 lbs. (Increase of 0.8 lbs. since last week. Increase of 1.3 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 21.2 lbs. (This was a 1.4 lb. increase from last week. Total of 14.3 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 63.3 lbs (Increase of 2.2 lbs since last week. Increase of 3.3 lbs since first weigh in).
  • BMI: 22.9 (Increase of .8 from last week. Total decrease of BMI is 1.6 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 15.8% (This increased by .4% from last week. Total of 9% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1437 calories (This increased by 36 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2283 calories on moderate exercise weeks. 2541 calories on heavy exercise weeks.
  • Calorie target goal for weight loss: 1600 calories (May increase by upwards of 300 on days that I burn over 600 calories)

Week 20 Measuring Tape Results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 2 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 1 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 37 inches (Up 1/2 inch from last week, Down 6 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Up 1/2 inch from last week. Down 3 1/8 inches from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 32 5/8 inches (Up 1/8 inch from last week, and down 2 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 32 1/4 inches (Up 1/4 inch from last week, and down 3 1/8 inches from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 1/2 inches (Same as last week. Down 11/4 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 39 5/8 inches (Same as last week. Down 7/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 10 5/8 inches (Same as last week, and down 7/8 inch from first measurement).

This is What My Workouts Looked Like:


The bioelectrical impedance displayed a significant increase in total body weight (+4.8 lbs), water weight (+2.6 lbs), body fat mass (+1.4 lbs), and muscle mass (+2.2 lbs). I’m confident that the In-body machine’s margin of error is on it’s higher end, simply in the amount of muscle it is saying that I’ve gained since last week. I’m not surprised by the increase in water weight or fat. The measuring tape revealed a slight expansion in my hips, booty, muffin top, and belly button line.

This last week there were the wrong kind of consequences. I’m feeling more and more excited about embracing the actions which will lead to all of the right kind of consequences- weight loss, decreasing inflammation, more energy, and overall feeling good.

Talk to you soon!

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Food Journal Entries From the Rest of the Week:

Saturday, May 15

Sunday, May 16

Monday, May 17

Tuesday, May 18

Wednesday, May 19 (Yesterday)

Thursday, May 20 (Today)

Diet Actions and Consequences Diet Actions and Consequences Diet Actions and Consequences Diet Actions and Consequences Diet Actions and Consequences Diet Actions and Consequences


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!


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 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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Escaping the binge mindset

Disclaimer: I am not clinical therapist, psychiatrist, or even an eating disorder specialist. But I am an expert on what it’s like to struggle with a binge eating disorder. I think it started for me as a survival mechanism.

My mom passed away in a car accident when I was eight years old. My dad did his absolute best to meet the needs of my sisters and I, but we were in survival mode from that point on. He made Sunday dinners consistently, but we mostly grew up on frozen and box meals that we could easily fix to fend for ourselves. Please know that I have zero intentions of discrediting my dad. He made sure that we never went hungry, or without any other basic (and sometimes not so basic) needs. My amazing grandparents (oh how I miss them), and aunts and uncles did so much to also help us feel the support that we needed (my heart bursts with gratitude as I reminisce on all they did for us).

I think my extended family were all gifted as some of the most amazing cooks that I have ever known. At every extended family gathering we went to, on either side of my family, there was always the most amazing spread of food. I mean, growing up in a home where most of my meals were processed in a factory made it so that these family events, always containing the most delicious homemade foods, were a real treat. And believe me, I would take full advantage of the opportunity to feast, and I wouldn’t stop until I was sick. This same thing happened each time my grandma, my aunts or my neighbors would bring a prepared meal over to our house. It was such a gift to eat delicious food that didn’t come from a box!

I didn’t realize that it was actually something I should be embarrassed about to go back for un-needed seconds (and thirds, and fourths) until my early college years while living in an apartment with a bunch of girls (I miss those days!). That’s where I started to learn ideas around nutrition, and portion size. But, since old habits die hard, it has not been an easy struggle to shake. I mean, that combination of really good homemade food mixed with the feeling of being completely stuffed puts me in that deep psychological place of feeling safe. This in turn triggers a dopamine response for me, and I feel as if I’ve been rewarded in that state. But because of all of the things I’ve learned about nutrition since that point in my life, I’m immediately so mad at myself, feel shame, and totally frustrated after the binge happens! Beyond binge eating, depression and anxiety have been fairly regular companions of mine through much of my life. So that combination has triggered a vicious cycle of feeling depressed or anxious, eating all the comfort food, feeling stuffed, feeling shame/anger/embarrassment, swearing I’ll never do it again, maintaining control for a period of time, feeling emotional again, repeating the whole process all over again.

I’ve met with a handful of therapists over the years, which has been helpful. But I have also instilled some habits of my own which have been effective in moving past the binge mentality. I want to share with you the tools that I’ve found to be the most effective in helping me to reign in the inner binge monster.

Tools to overcome the binge mentality:

#1 – The most recent therapist that I worked with was in the summer of 2019. He had me memorize a passage that has stayed with me and proven useful countless times since then. It goes like this:

“I want to binge. I am able to binge. But when I do, problems start. So, for this moment, I am choosing to refrain from eating (Insert food item here), So that I will gain:




(Fill in the numbered spaces with three rewards you’ll gain by choosing to not eat the foods which you know will trigger a binge).

This has actually been a really empowering tool as it has helped me to recognize that I’m the one who chooses what goes into my mouth and why. The food never forces me to eat it (although, often it feels that way). I have power. I have control. I get to decide. Plus, I get to recognize the natural consequences that occur from choosing to abstain from eating said item! That’s huge! I have power, and I get rewards!

#2 – Have you ever heard the phrase “educate your desires”? I’m obsessed with it! I’ve heard it in religious settings, but the principle applies to anything that we want to achieve in life. Educating your desires is an empowering tool as we recognize that self improvement is in our own control.

Neil A. Maxwell said, “It is our own desires which determine the sizing and the attractiveness of various temptations. We set our thermostats as to temptations… Only by educating and training our desires can they become our allies instead of our enemies!.. Your deepest desires will control your choices, and your choices will then control the consequences to be felt. (“The Education of Our Desires,” University of Utah Institute of Religion Devotional, 5 January 1983).

Educating our desires is the process of recognizing and honoring what it is we want. Not what we want in the moment, but our larger goals that we want to attain. We educate our desires by surrounding ourselves with the influence which will nurture us to become that thing we want to become.

For example, the times that I have been most in control of my binge eating have been during my studying to obtain my fitness nutrition certification, and my college nutrition course. As my focus zeroed in on what happens as we properly nourish our body, my desires changed to where I wanted that nourishment for myself. This same thing has happened as I’ve listened to podcasts about binge eating, or even just general health podcasts. I’m currently listening to the fit2fat2fit podcast, and I tell you what, there are little snippets that I grasp from that every single day which have motivated me to honor the process of taking care of my nutrition, physical fitness, and even mental health! Surrounding yourself with like minded people is also a strength building way to turn weaknesses into strengths.

So educate your desires! What do you want? Who do you want to become? Who do you need to talk to, listen to, read books from, surround yourself with so that you can effectively change your thought patterns away from current binge eating habits?

#3 – I have found that I need to practice being mindful about what I’m eating EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I wish that I was one of those people who were gifted with intuitive eating, but I’m not. I have to make the choice every morning to be conscious of what I am putting in my mouth. I have to force myself to be conscious about the nutritional value of each morsel of food. I even have to force myself to be conscious of desiring to eat the right foods. This is work for me. But work is never a bad thing! Someday, I hope that practicing mindfulness will become so second nature that it won’t feel like a burden, anymore. But until then, I have to ensure that I’m actually allowing myself to feel what hunger feels like. Sometimes I set a timer for 2-3 hours after I eat, and tell myself that I have to wait until that point until I can eat again. I have to train myself to respect that the feeling of hunger serves a purpose. It tells us that we are due to nourish ourselves again. If I don’t pay respect to this natural body process, then I’ll always be overfeeding myself. There are so many unwanted natural consequences to over feeding ourselves beyond just gaining fat. Over feeding brings on risk of developing type II diabetes, hypertension, heart disease (which runs in my family), and other health conditions that we have a high chance of avoiding by not allowing ourselves to be binge eaters. So with this, I work hard to constantly measure my serving sizes, and keep a record of the food that goes into my mouth. I’m far less likely to eat something if I know that it is going to be recorded in a food journal.

#4 – The last tool in my arsenal is to be mindful of and avoid any “all or nothing” approaches. Do you know what happens each time I say I’m going – X amount of time – without any sugar? I set myself up for failure and inevitably find myself in the same cycle of crashing, bingeing, gaining control, crash again (I did go three months, once, but guess how that ended? With me binging on sugary treats!). Yes, eating sugar scares me because I never feel like I can have enough. But it’s important for me to be mindful that I can have treats. I need to respect treats for what they are, just that, treats. They should be a part of life. There is nothing inherently immoral, or evil about treats. But as I said, I have to force myself to respect them for being the rare occasional item. It is way healthier for me to plan for a specific serving amount of the treat that is calling to me, and be completely conscious of the way each bite tastes in my mouth. Then when I’m finished, I need to honor the fact that I was allowed the treat, and move on with my life. But man, this is the hardest tool for me to leverage successfully (Have you ever tried drinking a swig of apple cider vinegar after a treat to erase that dire need you feel to eat more of your binge trigger foods after your serving is finished? It’s nasty! But also effective)!

My last little plug, here, is to tell you that getting professional help is a gift and blessing! If you have ever had even the tiniest thought that maybe you need help beyond your own strength, then do it! There are professionals out there who have been trained to help you with the very thing you are struggling with! Side note, did you know that there are Overeaters Anonymous (OA) meetings (like Alcoholics Anonymous, AA, meetings) out there? ( How awesome is that!?!? YOU DO NOT NEED TO SUFFER ALONE! First, call on whatever higher power you believe in, then do the work required to find yourself the help that you need to overcome. You are not meant to suffer alone. Do not delay! You are not meant to carry a burden which lasts excessively long. Allow yourself to get the help required to become the best version of yourself. I promise that you are worth it!

Rant over! Talk to you soon!

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