weigh in, woman girl fitness

Week 5 Weigh In: Perfection is NOT Required For Success!

This was one of those weeks where I tricked myself into thinking that absolutely no progress has been made. I knew that I had veered from my plan, just enough that it could have potentially effected my weekly results. My food intake has been less than perfect, and my exercise has seemed to be slightly lesser quality.

With my workouts, I’ve felt a bit less energy than normal, requiring myself continued self-pep talks to keep it up. But this can happen when we are in a caloric deficit state. Eating less means that we might be utilizing all of our food energy in other body processes. That’s ok, because the body is so smart, and adapts to the environment that we place it in. As I continue to strive to take in the most nutrient dense foods, my energy levels should balance out, and I’ll find myself dragging a little bit less.

Let’s get to this week’s results.

End of Week 5: Before and After Pictures

Week 5 Food Journal:

Here’s the log for today’s food intake. Today is one of the only few days, this week that I actually followed my meal plan. The rest of the week’s food journal entries will be at the bottom. As always, I don’t always eat the food in the order that I logged them in. (Who has time for such nit-pickiness? Not me!)

This week’s food intake was a bit all over the place. I had a couple days where my calories ended around my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), or maintenance range. There were a couple days where I did an intermittent fast as well. I feel like I had a whole bunch of mini unplanned indulgences between the bites of the Bloomin’ onion and bread from Outback Steakhouse, crackers, and homemade Mac and cheese. Mostly, I just didn’t really follow my meal plan, even with all of the food prep that I did. So the rest of the time, I was doing a bit more “winging it” by eating strategic foods, but not in the order that was planned. I’ve also caught myself drinking Diet Mtn. Dew almost daily for the last handful of days.

What the heck!?!? Haven’t I learned enough by now to know that my body doesn’t respond well to either diet soda or caffeine? When will I even learn? Today, I’m fighting the headaches, for sure!

I’m trying to decide if there was a trigger to my more rebellious eating, or a psychological reason for indulging a little bit extra. I can’t decipher anything huge. But I have recognized moments of missing my old life where I didn’t think about what I was eating (I know, totally destructive line of thought). I’ve allowed that thinking to escalate, and have recognized times when I was feeling like I was in food prison. Even with really good, strategic, food to eat all prepped and ready in the fridge. I’ve also recognized myself wanting to eat when I am feeling bored or overwhelmed.

I need to revisit my why’s for taking on this journey, and allow myself to love the process of following the rules which I know will lead me to my end goal. I need to stop allowing myself tiny tastes of the unplanned foods and need to recommit to following the meal plan, and not veering off course. Since nutrition is the largest piece of the weight loss puzzle, I need to give the rules the respect that they deserve. Time to let go of my- in the moment- wants!

But even with all of the areas I feel like I could have done better this week, progress still happened!

Week 5 bioelectrical impedance assessment results

Do you remember last week when I found myself a little bit shocked by the drastic muscle gain and fat loss? Do you remember how I questioned if my results fell within the 4% margin of error that can take place when using a bioelectrical impedance assessment machine? After this morning’s weigh in, I’m pretty convinced that was the case. Today’s progress falls much more in line with progress from Week 3 rather than Week 4. I’ll show you a comparison of both weeks in the results below. I mean, my eating and exercise were off, but really not by much.

My total body weight: 135.8 lbs (Down .7 lbs from the last two weeks, remember my weight was the same the last two weeks. Total of 7.1 lb. lost since start date).

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

  • Total Body water: 78.7 lb. (Decrease of 3.1 pounds since last week, but increase of 1.6 lbs if we are comparing this week to week three. Total of 0.4 lb. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.1 lb. (Decrease of 0.9 lbs. since last week, but increase of .3 lb. if we are comparing this week to week three. Dry lean mass is the exact same this week as it was in my first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 28 lb. (This was a 3.3 lb. increase from last week, and 2.6 lb. decrease comparing this week to week three. Total of 7.5 lb. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 60.4 lb. (Decrease of 2.2 lb. from last week, and increase of 1.1 lb. muscle compared to week three. Total of 0.4 lb. increase in muscle since start date)
  • BMI: 23.3 (Decrease of 0.1 in the last two weeks. Total BMI decrease of 1.2 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 20.5% (This increased by 2.4% from last week, and decreased by 2% compared to week three. Total of 4.3% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1427 calories (This decreased by 38 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2214 calories (Because my BMR decreased, this number decreased by 53 calories from last week)
  • Calorie target range for weight loss: 1560 calories (I’m keeping this target range the same)

Week 5 measuring tape results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 3/8 inches (Same as last week, and down 3/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 22 3/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 5/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 38 1/2 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week, Down 4 1/2 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 37 5/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week. Down 1 3/4 inch from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 34 3/4 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week, and down 1 1/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 33 5/8 inches (Down 3/8 inch from last week, and down 1 5/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 3/4 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week. Down 1 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 40 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week. Down 1/2 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 11 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and 1/4 inch from first measurement).

This is what my workouts looked like:

Summary

I’m feeling much better about this week’s results after comparing all the numbers to both last week and the week before. If we compare to last week, it looks like I did a terrible job with my efforts. But if we compare to the week before, it looks like my progress is right on track with my efforts. I think the moral of the story is that perfection isn’t required in order to succeed at weight loss. We succeed through consistent effort. Even our tiny tastes of food, here and there, are okay when the rest of our actions are about 90% consistent with the rules around weight loss.

Thanks for sticking with me through this journey. Can’t wait to see what next week brings! Talk to you soon!


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Here are the food logs from the rest of my week:

Friday, January 29

Saturday, January 30

Sunday, January 31

Monday, February 1

Tuesday, February 2

Wednesday, February 3

We already Know that You’re Supermom. But Are You Taking Care of Your Own Physical Needs, Too?

Let’s imagine, for a minute, that we are bumming a ride with Doc and Marty in the DeLorean beefed up with a flux capacitor. Our destination is the year 2008. During our adventures there, we come to know this girl:

We quickly learn that she carries a misconception that it is her role to do everything for everyone else. She feels massive amounts of guilt asking, even her hubby, for help. She doesn’t feel like she can take time away from her baby, who has made it clear that he doesn’t want to be with anyone but her. Even when he’s sleeping, she believes that she can’t leave the house because what if he wakes up? She can’t possibly impose on her husband to take care of this baby (Insert eye roll here).

Now, it’s really important to mention that her husband has never said or done anything to cause her to think this way; this way of thinking likely stems from her growing up years where she was forced into the mindset that she had to carry the load. This gal knew she was very blessed, and loved her family like you wouldn’t believe. But she had an emptiness because she allowed almost no room for taking care of her own physical needs.

She knew that she needed to do something different because she was actually very uncomfortable in her own skin. She didn’t like that she was the largest she had ever been, outside of pregnancy. It made her uncomfortable that she was still wearing maternity clothes for a handful of months after her baby was born. But she felt like it would be selfish for her to take a little bit of time in her day to go exercise.

weight loss, overweight, mom

Can you relate?

Thankfully, there was enough desire in her to begin making changes to her health. In the early days, she pushed the baby in the stroller as she walked circles around the University Village, where they lived. She had a couple workout DVD’s that she followed along to in their tiny apartment living room. Her husband even bought a Wii Fit that she dabbled with (remember those?). Taking these baby steps kindled a desire to train to run a 5k. She mustered the (will power? courage? drive?) to allow herself to leave the baby in the loving care of dad. Once again, that was only difficult for her because of her own flawed perspective, never because dad gave her any reason to think she shouldn’t. He has always been a safe and loving father. The issues only resided in her.

She finally committed to lacing up her running shoes, and spending a half hour, a few times a week following the Couch to 5k training plan. My goodness was that uncomfortable in the beginning! I believe that it’s safe to say that it took months before running felt like a comfortable endeavor for her. But the training process was empowering for her. She was able to lose weight. Her muscles and joints became stronger. She began to gain an appreciation for the way her body was able to move. She recognized how good she felt after a good sweat session!

Soon after, she got a student’s spouse pass to the University’s gym. Once baby was consistently sleeping through the night, she created a habit of waking up extra early to get in her exercise while he was sleeping. She didn’t have very much experience with weight lifting at that point. But she was very happy to go and utilize the various cardio machine options.

It didn’t take long for her to realize that a love for exercise was kindled in her. She knew that was going to be an important thing for her to do for herself for the rest of her life. Once she recognized that dire need, the unnecessary mom guilt dissipated quickly. She realized that consistent exercise actually “filled her cup”, and gave her a greater capacity to carry the responsibilities of being a mom.

The baby steps from that year expanded to bigger baby steps within the next few years. During that time she had another baby, trained for and ran a half marathon and full marathon, and switched from the University gym to a big box gym where she learned some of the ins and outs of weight lifting. Her confidence in her abilities expanded. She formed habits which became very ingrained in her. Plus, she fell in love with exercising in the 5:00 am hour. That became her time. She knew no one would need her then. Those uninterrupted hours were absolutely blissful. Plus, she no longer felt guilty for acknowledging that bliss!

Hop back into the DeLorean and travel back to today.

Weight loss, Fit Mom, boy mom
Boy Mom, Fit Mom, weight loss

I can stop talking in third person now, right?

Although there are many things I have yet to figure out, I can say with absolute firmness that moms need to take care of their physical needs!

It was silly of me to feel like I was imposing upon my family for working to get my own exercise in. In all the years that these boys have been mine, they have never complained about me going to workout. Even in the seasons of marathon training where I was gone running for four hours at a time. They have always been completely supportive of my efforts at taking care of my own health.

If this is something you struggle with, making yourself a priority, I’m asking you to realign your priorities. You are important! Your physical well being is important! If your needs aren’t being met, then you’re going to find holes in your capacity to meet the needs of those who rely on you.

I’m not joking. Start today! Go look at your schedule. When can you take a half hour to get your body moving? Yes, if you haven’t been exercising it will be uncomfortable at first! It might feel difficult physically, mentally, and emotionally. But that passes! It all becomes easier, and then when you keep at it, it eventually becomes second nature. Try different types of exercise (You can find some new ones here). The options are plentiful. Just go. Don’t overthink it!

You are important enough to have your physical needs taken care of! So go pick out your workout outfit, and get it done! You’ve got this!


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Workout plan #2: Got a Stair?

Estimated time: You Decide (15 mins, 30 mins, 45 mins)

As I have been thinking through some of the many workout ideas I could share with you, I really wanted to show you how you can get an amazing workout without any equipment that you don’t already have (especially given the current COVID environment when your gym might be closed or you prefer working out at home still). I’ve chosen the one thing that you, for sure, have in your home or at the park: a step of some sort. This may look different for everyone. Some of you might be able to use the stairs in your home. You may choose to use a kitchen chair, step stool, front porch, couch seat, playground stairs, park bench, or a combination of these.

This total body workout is a circuit style program which promises to get your heart rate up while also helping to strengthen your muscles. This is the type of workout that revs up your metabolism, and in turn helps to burn unwanted fat. There are 10 exercises in the circuit. You’ll perform each exercise consecutively until you’ve made it through the whole list. Perform each exercise for 45-60 seconds with 15-30 seconds of rest in between. If you’re a beginner, then one time through might feel like plenty. If you’re further advanced, see if you can make it through the whole circuit three if not four times. Be sure to take a short rest period of two minutes, each time, before starting the circuit again.

Have fun with it! Blast your favorite tunes that make you want to move! My favorites: “The Fighter” by Gym Class Heroes and Ryan Tedder, “Drop That” by Jacob Plant, and “Whatever it Takes” by Imagine Dragons, (who am I kidding?! almost everything by One Republic and Imagine Dragons!).

Alright, here’s the workout:

Stair/Step circuit:

Begin with a brisk 5 minute walk or jog up and down the stairs.

I want to be working out where she is!

(One of these days I’ll start making my own videos of these exercises, but until then, this will have to do…)

And there you have it! Do this workout two or three times during the week, and work in some cardio the other days! Let me know if you completed this workout, and which exercise you loved (or hated) the most (If I were an emoji person, I’d insert a “winky face” here)!

Talk to you soon!

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Workout Plan (and other lessons learned)

Holy Moly! I had grand plans to do it all today! I was going to go to work for a couple of client’s personal training sessions, get in my own workout, get my grocery shopping done, all my food prep done, write an epic post for you with a beautifully designed workout plan that came completely from my own programming, and get to sleep by 8:30 p.m. (since I wake up at 4:30 am). Unfortunately I made it all the way through grocery shopping and a teeny tiny bit of food prepping from the meal plan that I put out yesterday and then stalled out. I decided to make the creamy chicken pot pie soup, and double the recipe so that my family could have some for dinner too (check it out here). So, if you set out to make this soup, let’s just say that I now have a few pointers to pass along.

*If you’re roasting your own chicken, choose a bigger whole fryer chicken from the store and roast it yourself. Then keep the bones in your freezer until you’re ready to make bone broth. (I’m obsessed with bone broth! We’ll talk about that soon.)

I learned this next tip the hard way:

*Steam your cauliflower and cut up all of your veggies, before you are ready to actually make your soup. This isn’t really a measure and prep the ingredients as you go kind of recipe. If you do it like that (like I did), you’ll end up with a hint of burn’t flavor (which is super lame since I made a double batch)!

*Don’t forget to stir frequently!

*If you don’t already have one, I highly recommend that you purchase this veggie chopper. It’s an absolute game changer in speeding up the chopping process!

Let’s change subjects…

Given the current COVID environment, and the impact it has had on gyms, rec centers, etc. I want to tell you about some of my favorite exercise equipment that I have here at home. A majority of these you can find fairly inexpensive, but will still be able to get in a killer workout (especially if your gym is operating at limited capacity and on a first come first serve reservation system…).

First, resistance bands. These bad boys are so awesome because you can get many of the same muscle strengthening and building movements that you’d find on the expensive equipment at the gym. They’re effective at targeting calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, chest, shoulders, and arms.

I also love using these resistance cables will effectively replace the cable machines you’ll find in the gym. The variety of exercises you can do with these cables are huge! They’ll hit every muscle group, and you can increase or decrease the resistance simply by adding or subtracting cables to the handles.

The newest addition to my own stash of home workout equipment are these gliding disks. I love gliding disks, so much! There are some really killer core, chest, and leg exercises that you can do with these!

Yoga balls are so great to have around. They’re awesome for core and stability strength. I’ll show you some fun core and gluteus exercises with these in the not too distant future (and your kids will love playing with them too!).

The next items on the list are a bit more spendy, starting with my most favorite piece of at home exercise equipment: The TRX (thank you Santa for bringing me mine)! This is a form of suspension training and with it, you can target every single muscle group with these cables. You can also get an awesome cardio workout with these!

If you’re comfortable going even bigger with your spending, these adjustable dumbbells are the best to have at home! My hubby gifted these to me a handful of years ago, and they have been one of my most favorite gifts ever (If you want to save some monies, see if you can’t cash in on someone who has already given up on their New Years resolution and check to see if you can find them used, think Facebook Marketplace).

I will be highlighting different exercises that can be performed with all of these pieces of equipment in the coming weeks.


As for this week’s workout, I’m going to do this a little bit different than planned. I’ll show you what I did for my own workout, this morning, and what I’ve planned for Tuesday. But then I’m going to highlight other awesome trainer’s workout program creations for the Wednesday through Friday’s workouts. I mean, good sleep is a very important part of the weight loss journey so sometimes a girl’s got to prioritize that over digging deep to create her own original workouts. But don’t worry, that which I’ll be pulling from the World Wide Web to show you will be workouts that I am going to commit to completing for myself those days as well!

Here’s what I did for my killer leg day workout this morning. I did this at the gym, but it can be done at home with some weights.

Monday:

30 minutes cardio (get your heart rate up! A good measure of if your heart is pumping is it should be difficult to carry on a conversation)

Leg day:

  • Equipment needed: Dumbbells

Superset 1

Superset 2

Superset 3

Tuesday:

  • 30 minutes cardio, including 15 minutes of HIIT 
  • For 15 minutes of this cardio session, rotate between 1 minute of really high intensity (think above level 9 on your cardio machine, can barely get a word or two out between breaths), and 1 minute of really low intensity to get your heart rate back down.

Chest and abdominals day: (yes, even women need to strengthen their chest muscles)

  • Equipment needed: Dumbbells
  • Repeat each superset 1-4 times based on current conditioning level 

Exercises:

Wednesday:

  • 30 minutes cardio(get your heart rate up! It should be difficult to carry on a conversation)

Back day: (repeat this video 1-3 times based on your current condition level)

Thursday:

  • 30 minutes cardio, including 15 minutes of HIIT 
  • For 15 minutes of this cardio session, rotate between 1 minute of really high intensity (think above level 9 on your cardio machine, can barely get a word or two out between breaths), and 1 minute of really low intensity to get your heart rate back down.

Arm day: (repeat this video anywhere between 1-4 times based on your current condition level)

Friday:

  • 30 minutes cardio (get your heart rate up! It should be difficult to carry on a conversation)
  • Shoulder day: (repeat this video anywhere from 1-4 times, based on your current condition level)

That’s it for tonight! I’m practically falling asleep at my keyboard! I’m looking forward to finishing my weekly meal prep tomorrow, (hopefully without any additional burn’t foods that are going to have to last me all week), along with getting these plans in motion.

Also coming tomorrow, watch for a new post where I break down some of the nutrition jargon that you hear floating around out there (and that I’ve even used here in my posts).

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My Origin story

There I was, locked in an epic battle with my favorite pair of jeans that were fitting just a little too tight, and beating myself up over what I observed to be an ever expanding waistline, all while struggling to find my path forward towards successful and permanent weight loss. 

The thing is, at the time I was facing conflicting issues of battling a binge eating disorder, coupled with overload from too much knowledge and too many attempts with extreme fad diets which kept leading me back to binge eating. I would tell myself, “Ok, this is the day Amy! You’ve got this! No sweets for an entire year!” And then no more than three days later, I was back to hiding in the pantry eating a whole plate of cookies.

The big problem was that the decisions I was making in my eating habits were hypocritical to what I knew I should be doing and to what I was teaching others in my career as a personal trainer and nutritionist. This caused me to be frustrated with myself and feel like I wasn’t measuring up to who I wanted to be. Because of this, I couldn’t take myself seriously in what I was teaching others. I kept telling myself, “You can’t trust a skinny baker”, which meant I was keeping myself from achieving my goals and dreams of sharing my passion of fitness and nutrition with others.

Then, as if by chance, something amazing happened…

I was introduced to a podcast of celebrity trainers. These trainers openly spoke about their own weaknesses and insecurities and how they pushed through them and didn’t allow themselves to be held back from being successful at meeting their own career goals. This sparked a belief in me that maybe I, too, could push past my own self doubts, fears, and insecurities that were holding me back!

As I continued absorbing all this information, it Instantly became crystal clear to me how to take one step forward and act on it. I realized I didn’t need to have that modelesque physique in order to be successful in leading others towards a healthy lifestyle.

My plan was to start a blog to document my own weight loss journey, which meant that I could improve myself while helping others at the same time.

So, I started crafting the message that I wanted to get out to all the other moms struggling with their own weight issues and insecurities. But I didn’t stop there.

I then took pictures and body composition measurements, and committed to be as open and transparent as I could be to show other moms that they aren’t alone in their own struggles with weight loss and healthy eating. 

After that, I created my own platform that would make it easy for all moms to gain confidence in themselves to start their own weight loss journey, so I started this personal health blog and posted all my vulnerabilities for the world to see.

I call it “The Last 15 Pounds”. I chose this name because this is an area I have struggled with. It’s that difference in weight that helps me feel my best in my own skin. Where I am more accepting, more confident, and feel sexier about who I am.  

With The Last 15 Pounds I can now implement the work that I’ve wanted to do in helping others meet their weight loss goals because I’m no longer inhibited by my own doubts and fears!

And that’s why I’m so excited to share this with you so you can get these types of results! Join along with me and let’s lose that last 15 pounds for good! 

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