Journal

Fat to Fit: Week 1

November 16th – 22nd 2020

A weight loss/fitness journey isn’t complete without stats and journaling! I want to track this transformation I am undertaking, so I can be accountable and to evaluate what is working and what is not.  I can also determine where I am excelling in my new lifestyle, or where I could use a little more work/diligence.

For my calorie budget and intake I am using the Lose It app. My budget is set by the app based on my height, weight, age, and desired weight loss rate.  I have it set to 1 lb. a week. I’m not looking for a quick aggressive weight loss. Instead, I’m hoping to learn how to control my calorie intake for the long haul.

In the past couple of years I have slowly lost nearly 40 lbs. Alas, I didn’t document that part of the journey. It was done mostly by reducing eating mountains of unhealthy food and exercising every now and then. It may seem strange to call this week one of my journey, when it clearly isn’t. However, in another sense this is the first week. I’m finally giving my health the attention it needs and striving to finally, for once in my life, not be overweight, to be fit, and to be strong.

So, here it is, the first week of my health journey!

Starting Stats:

Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225 lbs.
Week’s Beginning Weight: 186.3 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 184.6 lbs.

Body Fat%: 32.7%
Muscle Mass: 118.2 lbs.

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Monday 16th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 7/30
Move Ring: 550/500
Total steps: 6,779

I didn’t begin my journey with an official workout or by closing my exercise ring. However, I did complete my move ring! My step count comes from walking around my lab at work. 😉

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1719/1813
Fat: 12%
Carbs: 68%
Protein: 20%

My aim this week was to keep within the calorie intake the Lose It app set for me. While this calorie count may not be accurate, I will attest that a 1,800 calorie budget is generous and affords me a lot of food.  The benefits of being 5’9″! It means that I can learn how to incorporate things like chocolate or cheese into my diet without it affecting my overall health goals.

My standard breakfast right now is a cup of coffee with soy milk and a cinnamon raisin bagel for 287 cals. Rarely do I deviate from this, so i won’t mention my breakfast often!

For lunch I had udon noodles, onion, mushrooms, salmon, bound together with soy milk. I use soy milk in my cooking as a substitute for a cheese-based sauce. By doing so I can still enjoy creamy pasta dishes without the extra calories and fat! 

For dinner I had plain jasmine rice with some parmesan cheese. This too, is pretty normal for me.  I work late, so for dinner I’m bringing something in a single dish that I can microwave.  I’m yet to be creative with my food – can you tell?

Finally, snacks – I found Kellogg’s Special K protein cereal, cinnamon brown sugar crunch flavor.  For a cereal it packs a satiating punch and it tastes delicious. I had 1/3 of a cup for 107 cals.

Not a bad start, comfortably under budget and I didn’t feel restricted at all.

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Tuesday 17th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Full body: 154, Avg. HR: 136
Active Calories Stretching: 39, Avg. HR: 101
Exercise Ring: 47/30
Move Ring: 734/500
Total steps: 8,581

Motivated to start building fitness, I chose a beginner workout at random on YouTube. I’ve linked the workout below.  Since it was called a full body beginner workout, lasting 20 minutes, I thought this would be a perfect place to start. 

Pamala’s workout was brutal. I may have cursed her name more than once. She starts with jumping jacks and walk down to plank. First, jumping jacks are exhausting, second, I can’t do a plank yet! But I did my absolute best to follow Pamela who seemed to be doing the workout without breaking a sweat. Meanwhile, I’m panting and seeking water during the rest breaks. I battle through it, never able to do as many reps as the instructor. 

It is a full body workout, hitting the legs (so many squats!), arms, and abs. If anything, it highlighted how out of shape I am.  Yes, I have been cycling, but that is quite different from doing crunches, mountain climbers, and twist jumps. It may have been 20 minutes but it felt like twice that.

Due to exhaustion I couldn’t keep that intensity up for another few minutes to close my exercise ring.  I also knew I’d be sore from moving my body so differently from usual. So, I went back to YouTube looking for some stretches. I did the routine below and had no issues with it. It’s a good one for a beginner or someone lacking flexibility.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1664/1813
Fat: 10%
Carbs: 71%
Protein: 19%

Yes, I love carbs and have no intention of cutting them out of diet right now.  I will need to fully research why carbs have such a disastrous reputation and dig into the primary research.  For now, I am concerned with feeling full and keeping within my budget.  Yes, I am taking the changes slowly. I think that’s the only way I can make these changes permanent which is what I want. In time, I realize I may need to pay more attention to my macro and micros to get the body I want.  For now though, I’ll settle for keeping my calorie intake at a deficit.

Back to food. Recently, I started getting steamtable bags of frozen butternut squash. It’s so easy to incorporate this vegetable into my diet. For lunch I had pasta with butternut squash mixed in. Delicious, easy, quick, and filling.

I saw a change in what I took to work as a snack this week – a cup of carrots! For 50 calories, you get plenty of eating in this snack.  I like to buy carrot chips as they are thin and crunchy. Eating this way is a transition snack for me. I like to eat at my desk – it’s something I do when I am bored, or need a little energy (I work until 11 PM, so sometimes its a bit tough to stay awake). Alas, it’s where I do a fair bit of snacking.  luckily it’s not chips and dip, but if I have any candy it is gone! Hopefully carrots can assist me in keeping within my calorie limits while I try to break this persistent habit.

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Wednesday 18th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Yoga 1: 62, Avg. HR: 87
Active Calories Yoga 2: 44, Avg. HR: 85
Exercise Ring: 43/30
Move Ring: 636/500
Total steps: 7,241

Pamela killed me on Tuesday. I kid you not, my legs burned even if I lay perfectly still in bed. I moaned when I’d sit to pee. I cried into my cereal. It was fairly clear that I wasn’t going to be repeating yesterday’s workout again.

Therefore, I searched YouTube for some yoga. I have never done a yoga workout (except for Wii Fit Yoga!) so this was something different for me. I want to incorporate exercise like this into my routine to increase flexibility and strength. 

For Yoga I hit up the Sarah Beth Yoga Channel on YouTube. She has a yoga workout for any level with multiple targeted sessions depending on your need.

Here are the two routines I did on Wednesday. I found them good for a beginner like me.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1697/1813
Fat: 6%
Carbs: 76%
Protein: 18%

The high carbohydrate intake today was due to having a spinach wrap with rice for lunch and rice for dinner. I mixed in some of Birdseye’s protein blend southwest style to up my veggies and protein intake.  It’s easy to heat up one of these bags and mix it in with rice for a delicious meal.

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Thursday 19th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Full body workout: 145, Avg. HR: 123
Exercise Ring: 30/30
Move Ring: 761/500 
Total steps: 10,076 

I was feeling better today, in that I could move without groaning. I decided to tackle Pamela’s full body workout again. I figured that if it made me sweat and my muscles ached the next day then it must be good for me.

Oddly, the workout didn’t seem as brutal this time around. From reviewing my active calories, I see that I burned 10 fewer calories – did I not put the effort in? I didn’t feel like I was taking it easy. If anything I tried harder to have good form and complete more reps. Yet, the stats don’t lie. HR wasn’t as high so there is a greater level of intensity I could bring to my exercise.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1590/1813
Fat: 17%
Carbs: 66%
Protein: 17%

I had a different breakfast today! Instead of the usual bagel, I made myself oatmeal with raisins and cranberries.  I tried to eat it without adding sugar, but frankly my oatmeal tasted rank. Therefore, I added in two teaspoonfuls of brown sugar to make the meal palatable. Oatmeal is incredibly filling and it takes a lot of effort to eat it.  Compared to eating a bagel, which can be a mindless process, eating oatmeal is an a active one. I also felt more satiated after eating this bowl.  However, it was 100 calories more than my usual bagel, so that may be why.

For lunch, I enjoyed a poke bowl.  To me, there are fewer things I enjoy more than a bowl of fresh fish, veggies, and damn good rice.  My bowl was packed with sweet potato, minced broccoli, carrots, edamame, pineapple, and fresh tuna. These wonderful ingredients were bound together with a delicious ginger sauce.  The whole thing was just under 600 calories

For dinner, I mixed rice and pasta together with red sauce from a jar. Rice and pasta? Yes, that’s right.  It might seem strange to you that I add these carbs together, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! 

Due to such filling meals all day, I only had a Soylent square as a snack, which I have a stock of that I am working through!

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Friday 20th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 5/30
Move Ring: 388/500
Total steps: 3,888

As you can delaminate from my stats, I barely moved at all today! Not proud of this at all. I’m not concerned with working out each day, but I do want to close my movement ring so I know I wasn’t a hibernating blob. At work, I wasn’t able to walk around as much as I like to, hence to small step count.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1590/1813
Fat: 17%
Carbs: 66%
Protein: 17%

After not moving much today, it was important to keep my calories under control.  I didn’t eat any differently, still having a bagel and coffee for breakfast and my usual rice and pasta for dinner. Sometimes that all this journey is about – being sensible and not ruining what has gone before rather than actively progressing. One thing I did find this week that works nicely as dessert for me is Chobani Greek yogurt strawberry blended.  I find it smooth and wonderfully flavored.

My calorie count was kept a little lower as I didn’t have any snacks in my day.

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Saturday 21st

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Yoga: 74, Avg. HR: 84
Exercise Ring: 32/30
Move Ring: 364/500
Total steps: 2,378

As winter takes hold, I’ve become increasingly inactive during the weekends. Without walking around the lab at night it’s harder to rack up the steps and close the movement ring.

Perhaps it was the inactivity form the day before, or just the depressing state of my rings when I looked at them at 9 PM, that I decided to do a workout. Quite the mental shift. At 9 PM I’m normally thinking a presleep nap rather than moving my body.

While I may not have popped in an insanity DVD and burned 1,000 calories, I’m taking this a a mental win. I did this 30 minute yoga session (Sarah Beth again), just so my exercise ring was filled. I’m a sucker for gamification. 🙂

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1808/1813
Fat: 13%
Carbs: 76%
Protein: 11%

I was hungry today!  For lunch I ate THREE cups of pasta! I did stick within my calorie budget though! Kept up the carb intake with the aforementioned pasta, my usual bagel, and having a large bowl of oatmeal for dinner.

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Sunday 22nd

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 5/30
Move Ring: 507/500
Total steps: 5,828

I was busy with life today, in that it was mostly filled with errands. My steps came form walking around Good Will, Target, and the grocery store. I made sure to close the movement ring for the first time in three days.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1315/1813
Fat: 16%
Carbs: 63%
Protein: 21%

A lighter day on the food front. For lunch, I had pasta with salmon and butternut squash, complete with a dash of soy milk to combat the dryness. For dinner, we made shrimp tacos! For 466 calories I ate two flour tacos with a little rice, guacamole, chopped cabbage and a healthy dose of shrimp. I was planning on having a third taco (I had the calorie budget for it), however, I was full after the second and decided to not make another.  This is something that I’ve started to do: have part of meal, then have a break with water to see if I really am hungry.  Overeating has been an issue for me so this is something I need to work on.

Being out of the house meant I didn’t snack at all today which is why my calorie intake is far lower than other days. 

Week’s Reflection

I’d imagine that most people would go rather gung-ho on their first week of a new regime. You haven’t read that here.  Instead I tried to change just a few things to get me on the right path.  I didn’t restrict myself diet-wise and slowly added in exercise to my daily routine.

While I know I can do better in both respects, I’m going to give myself a pat on the back for sticking to it and finding a way for change to be as minimally painless as possible. By doing so, I’ve avoided feeling ashamed when I deviate from a set menu plan, or chastising myself for not working out. However, I can see now that my week had plenty of room for improvement.

From here in, aiming to close my movement rings has to be a must.  There is little excuse to not doing this.

Upcoming Week

Potential Roadblocks

Being away from home for Thanksgiving.

Whether you are staying with family, friends, or vacation, stepping outside your normal daily routine can hurt your progress. This week, I will be in NYC with my girlfriends family. We all tested negative for COVID, so we are having a small family gathering.

For me, this means a complete change of schedule and lifestyle. Everything from bedtime to what’s in the fridge will be different. I’ll have to find a way to fit exercise into helping with cooking and constant socializing. While exercise is important to me, I sense maintaining my calories deficit will be the largest challenge. Here, I am not talking about Thanksgiving, which deserves it’s own section below, but every other meal for a week.

In a family environment, where you are a guest, you have less control over what goes into a meal. I’ll attest, I can make my own meals, or cook for the family. However, such a move would be against the social norms I’ve been raised to observe! Instead, I’ll need to be mindful of what my food contains, what is an appropriate portion, and ask more about what the ingredients are than I am accustomed to.

Other than that, family gatherings are stressful, even when they are loving and everything goes smoothly. It will take enormous willpower to not have a glass of wine by the fire to relax after a long day.

Thanksgiving

Large family meals, no matter the reason, are difficult events to navigate for those of us on a weight loss journey. Temptation exists everywhere. Whether its the wine that had been bought or saved specially, or the crisps or nuts that have been placed out for guests to enjoy. The desire for tasting delicious treats is so intense, it can make the event a nightmare and many give in. I imagine this is why many people don’t try and lose weight until after the festive period, and most of us put on 5-10 lbs for over indulgence.

For me, I’m grateful I am entering this period with health at the forefront of my thoughts. Such a mindset keeps me mindful to what I am putting in my body, and helping me maintain (at least) rather than gain during the festivities.

For the Thanksgiving meal, my goal is to focus on the lower calorie dishes – nothing with too much butter, cream, or other fats. Instead, I’ll fill my plate with a little turkey, potatoes, and veggies. I’ll use my app to log food BEFORE I sit down, so I know how much cranberry sauce I can have. If I know my budget is a tablespoon, then I will only have a table spoon.

Yes, Thanksgiving will be real struggle – I’m sure I will be craving dessert, and I will be desperate to eat more of things that are tasty. That’s always been my issue, eating more of something because I like the taste, texture, or how fleeting the sensation is, rather than because I am hungry and my body is craving calories or nutrition. I will have to be strong and resilient.

4 comments on “Fat to Fit: Week 1

  1. micahlegare1

    You’ve done a great job recording your progress, very thorough and I love the variety in meals. I also like how you mentioned making small adjustments, which many don’t know is the key to lasting weight loss rather than drastic, unsustainable lifestyle changes that come with diets. Stay positive and focused and I have no doubt you’ll reach your goals- well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Callie B. Scott

      Thank you! I thought if I laid it all out I would hold myself a little more accountable. Funny you should comment on my meal variety because I’ve become rather stagnant in that regard. Oops! Small adjustments are what have helped me drop 40 lbs so far – I think it’s the only way for sustainability. Thank you so much for your encouragement!

      Like

  2. If you ever need a pointer or feel stuck let me know. Number 1 piece of unsolicited advice I’d give is “don’t listen to the accountability crew”.

    Their is no need to do this it creates a lot negative energy. It’s a system created by people to sell you not help you.

    The scientific method does require accountability to prove a hypothesis valid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Callie B. Scott

      Thanks for reaching out! It’s more about accountability for myself than anyone else. I’m writing it all down so I can see my journey and where I think I can improve. You’re right though, positive energy is key!

      Liked by 1 person

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