Week 9 Weigh in: Milestone Week! 10 Pounds Lost!

There’s something so satisfying about adhering to a strategy which leads you to an end goal! With every passing day of following the weight loss rules, and not caving to the unplanned food temptations, my confidence in my abilities continues to strengthen. I’m happy to say that this was one of those weeks that my focus on the necessary tasks was greater than my focus on the distractions. Trust me, the distractions were still there. I successfully refrained from eating the pizza, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, and soda, that the rest of my crew enjoyed for my oldest child’s 13th birthday! But the resounding “No!” in my head was loud enough to help me keep my sights set on the actions (or inactions) that I really wanted to be taking. And, despite my injury from last week I was able to work in some additional exercises into my fitness plan!

I’m happy with the baby steps that I took, this week, and the progress that I achieved from those baby steps! I was able to push myself past the self-inflicted plateau from the last two weeks!

Let’s get right to these results, shall we?

End of Week 9 Before and After Pictures:

(Maybe I should have brushed my hair and fixed my pony tail after my workout, this morning. Oh well. What you see is what you get!)

Week 9 Food Journal:

I’m happy to say that I stayed within a strategic calorie and macronutrient range, this week. My carbohydrate intake, each day, fell anywhere between 90 grams and 110 grams. So on the high end of my goal range, but still close enough that I’m totally ok with it. I practiced and succeeded at saying “no” to all of the sneaky little food temptations. It feels good to have a week behind me where I followed my plan as intended!

Here’s my food journal from last Friday. Just remember that I don’t always log my food in the order it was consumed. But the foods and quantities are accurate.

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

Week 9 Bioelectrical Impedance Results:

Do you remember back in week 4 when I seriously questioned the accuracy of my Inbody assessments results? I believe the same thing happened in last week’s assessment, where I got to experience the machine’s 4% margin of error. In the results, below, I’m going to go ahead and give you a comparison of both last week, and the week before (just as I did in Week 5’s results post).

Here goes…

My total body weight: 133.8 lbs (Decrease of 2.5 pounds since last week, but decrease of 0.9 lbs if we are comparing this week to week seven. I don’t doubt that my total body weight was right, last week. But I don’t think that the different aspects of my body composition were right. I’ve had a total decrease of 9.1 lb. since start date).

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

  • Total Body water: 79.1 lbs (Decrease of 3.6 lbs since last week, but increase of 0.6 lbs compared to week seven. Total of 0.8 lbs. increase since start date).
  • Dry lean mass: 29.3 lbs. (Decrease of 1.4 lbs. since last week, but increase of 0.4 lbs. compared to week seven. Increase of 0.2 lbs. since first weigh in. Remember that this includes muscle, organs, and bone minus any fluid)
  • Body fat mass: 25.4 lbs. (This was a 2.5 lb. increase from last week, and 1.9 lb. decrease compared to week seven. Total of 10.1 lbs. of fat lost since start date!)
  • Skeletal muscle mass: 60.8 lbs (Decrease of 2.9 lbs. from last week, and increase of 0.6 lbs. of muscle compared to week seven. Total of a 0.8 lb increase in muscle since start date).
  • BMI: 23 (Decrease of 0.4 from last week, and decrease of .1 compared to week seven. Total decrease of BMI is 1.8 since start date)
  • Body fat percentage: 18.9% (This increased by 2.1% from last week, and decreased by 1.4% compared to week seven. Total of 5.9% decrease in body fat percentage since start date.)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1433 calories (This decreased by 47 calories.)
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): 2099 calories (Because my exercise capacity still isn’t all the way up to what it was before my back injury, my maintenance calories are decreased by a couple hundred.)
  • Calorie target range for weight loss: 1560 calories (I’m keeping this target range the same)

Week 9 Measuring Tape Results:

  • Right calf (measured at widest part): 14 1/4 inches (Decreased 1/4 inch from last week, and down 2 1/2 inch from first measurement)
  • Right thigh (measured at widest part): 21 7/8 inches (Down 1/8 inch from last week, and down 11/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Hips (measured at widest part): 38 1/4 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week, Down 4 3/4 inches from first measurement)
  • Butt (measured at widest part): 37 1/4 inches (Down 1/8 since last week. Down 2 1/8 inch from first measurement.)
  • Right below my muffin top: 34 1/8 inches (Down 1/4 inch from last week, and down 1 3/4 inch from first measurement)
  • Waistline (measured across belly button): 33 1/8 inches (Down 3/8 from last week, and down 2 1/8 inch from first measurement)
  • Chest (measured at widest part): 36 3/4 inches (Down 1/8 since last week. Down 1 inch from first measurement.)
  • Shoulders (measured at widest part): 40 inches (Same as last week. Down 1/2 inch from first measurement)
  • Biceps: (measured at widest part): 11 1/4 inches (Same as last week, and down 1/4 inch from first measurement).

This is what my workouts looked like:

My back was feeling good enough by Tuesday of this week, so that’s when I began reintroducing exercises more than just walking. I’m so thankful for the quick recovery!

Summary:

Although my total body weight has decreased by 9.1 pounds from the beginning of this journey, I have put on close to 1 lb of muscle. I care less about the total body weight decrease than I do about the body fat mass decrease. After all, the ultimate goal is to shed fat and not weight! This is why we get to celebrate the 10 pounds lost milestone today!

This week feels like a win! We see success in our goals when we push past the distractions and the set backs! I’m feeling really optimistic about my abilities to stick to the plan. I’m even kind of excited to go a few weeks without an indulgence meal, because I know that I’m also erasing the battle (wanting to keep eating the non-strategic foods at un-planned times) that comes after the indulgence meal is over.

Can’t wait to see the progress that this next week brings!

Talk to you soon!


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Food journal from the rest of the week:

Saturday, February 27:

Sunday, February 28:

Monday, March 1:

Tuesday, March 2:

Wednesday, March 3

Thursday, March 4 (today):

fitness plan fitness plan fitness plan fitness plan fitness plan

Yoga Ball

Workout Wednesday: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

geeking,

I’ve been completely geeking out, today, as I’ve dived deep into a study of thermodynamics. More specifically, the aspect of thermogenesis in which the body burns up the calories after they’ve been consumed. Every single time I go down the rabbit hole of these studies, I’m overcome by how cool our body processes are! Think about the smart phone in your hand that you’re reading this blog post from. It can do so many awesome things, right?

Well, our body can be chalked up to one of God’s first and smartest creations here on earth! There are so many scientific processes taking place within our body every second of every day! Most of the science flies right over my feeble mind, but learning about all of the ways that the body burns calories makes me all giddy inside! I know, totally nerdy, right!? It’s ok, you can say it.

After we’ve eaten our meals, every single calorie of food gets put to use in various ways. The majority of your consumed calories is used for fuel to support and maintain normal body functions, like temperature regulation. The rest is used to digest food and support movement for exercise. Excess calories are converted into fat and stored for later energy use (Please forgive me as I get a little bit “text book-y” for a few minutes. But this is really cool stuff, just trust me!).

There are four different ways that we burn calories:

  1. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), this is also referred to as Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). These are the calories that our bodies burn while we are breathing, circulating blood, through our organ functions, and basal neurological functions. Some people have very high RMR, while some people have very low RMR. High RMR occurs, in part, from higher levels of muscle. But also from high production of thyroid hormones and other functions. Low RMR can occur from hypothyroidism (low thyroid production), or a high percentage of body fat and low level of lean body mass. 60-75% of the calories we burn in a day occur through our Resting Metabolic Rate.
  2. The Thermic Effect of Foods (TEF). Did you know that eating food actually causes your body to burn calories? How cool is that!? This comes from the energy required for our body to digest the food we eat, and then breaking it down into further energy extraction in our body. Simple carbohydrates and fats have a relatively lower thermic effect of energy compared to protein. Research has shown that eating higher protein meals has a higher thermic response than high carbohydrate meals (See?! There is a method to my madness in taking a higher protein approach to weight loss!). 10% of the calories we burn in a day occur through the digestive processes of the Thermic Effect of Food.
  3. The Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA). This accounts for the calories that we burn through intentional exercise and spontaneous physical activity (Dance party in the kitchen, anyone?). TEA includes energy expenditure (calorie burn) due to physical work, cardio exercise, weight lifting, and any planned and structured exercise. TEA helps us maintain a healthy body weight and raise our RMR. 15-30% of the calories we burn in a day occur through the Thermic Effect of Activity.
  4. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is the energy expended, and calories burned, from everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, or exercising. It’s the energy we burn during daily activities (i.e. walking to and from the car, typing, walking up the stairs, chasing our toddlers, and even fidgeting.). Daily NEAT actually helps to increase our metabolic rate, even for brief periods of time. The more active your lifestyle, the higher your NEAT will be and the better your energy balance. NEAT can even be leveraged in how one maintains or loses body weight and/or develops obesity.

Since our Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis can be an important contributor to increasing our metabolic rate, my workout prescription for all of you is to increase your NEAT!

N.E.A.T. EXERCISE PLAN

  • Play with your kids
  • Take the stairs whenever possible
  • Park at the back of the parking lot
  • Take a 10 minute walk break every two hours
  • Bike to work
  • Projects around the house (When was the last time you cleaned your showers? I’m not judging, just prescribing some NEAT!)
  • Sit on an exercise ball while working at a desk (I’m going to start doing this tomorrow!)
  • Get a pedometer or smart watch and challenge yourself to add more steps or activity points each day
  • Pace and fidget more
  • Adopt a more active lifestyle instead of being sedentary during your free time
  • Walk or bike instead of drive
stairs

Additional exercise equipment

Check out some of these awesome products which can help you increase your NEAT exercise plan. You can now binge watch your favorite Netflix show and increase your metabolism at the same time! You’re welcome!

That’s my exercise plan for you for this week, increase your non-exercise movement throughout the day. If you increase your movement, your energy expenditure will add up and you might find that you’re losing your last 15 lbs a little quicker than you first planned!

Happy fidgeting! Talk to you soon!


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exercise plan

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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