Journal

Fat to Fit: Week 4

December 7th – December 13th, 2020

I’m now a month into my journey, and it may appear that my stats haven’t moved since I began. Except for my physical measurements! I’ve lost an inch and a half off my waist in the past month!!! Delighted with this result. If you’re not taking monthly measurements of your waist, hips, biceps, thighs, neck, and chest, you’re probably missing empirical data to show how your journey progresses. Last week, I discovered the virtual reality game Beat Saber. It gave me a much-needed exercise and calorie-burning boost. Let’s see what week 4 had in store for me…

Starting Stats:

Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225lbs.
Week’s Beginning Weight: 183.8 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 184.6 lbs.

Body Fat: 32.2 %
Muscle Mass: 117.6 lbs.

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Monday 7th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 43/30
Move Ring: 681/500
Total steps: 9,729

Although I didn’t do any formal exercise today, e.g., a routine or a session on the bike, I moved my body a lot. I didn’t log the movement in any official capacity, but most of these steps and burned calories were generated from walking around the house. It’s crucial when I do this that I move at a quick pace to get the HR to average above 100. When walking indoors, I bring my feet well above the ground and try to move from side to side to add in a bit of variety. I also like to mix in a few squats and use my dumbbells to work my arms too.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1547/1799
Fat: 26%
Carbs: 66%
Protein: 8%

I started the week off with something slightly different: half a small avocado on an everything bagel. There is a reason avocado toast was a trend; it’s a delicious meal that fills you while making your taste buds go to a happy place. I topped the mashed avocado with some pepper and a drizzle of fresh lemon. Paired with a coffee, it was a fantastic way to start the day and week. For 371 calories, it was well worth it.

Lunch was a larger affair than usual. I consumed 723 calories, although 160 of them were strawberry mochis! The rest was used to make a fantastic rice bowl. To 1 cup of jasmine rice, I added red cabbage, pickled beetroot, shredded carrots, arugula, a small avocado, and a tablespoon of sweet chili sauce to flavor.

For dinner, I had made a slightly different rice bowl and didn’t have ice cream! So, this meal only cost me 453 calories. To a cup and 1/3 of rice, I mixed in 3 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce, arugula, shredded carrots, and heated up a Trader Joe’s shrimp burger.

I didn’t have any snacks today, so my calorie count was low despite having larger meals. My hunger was kept at bay by eating plenty of whole foods and vegetables. I also didn’t work today, which is where I tend to snack due to boredom.

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Tuesday 8th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 56/30
Move Ring: 837/500
Total steps: 8,136

I spent most of my evening in my car driving to NYC for an appointment. To stay awake (I was driving alone), I tapped my feet and hands to the music.  My watch has registered a lot of this movement. Therefore, I don’t know how to value these stats.  They seem impressive but are impossible.  I assume when the Apple Watch determines calories burned, it is assuming your entire body is moving.  If it is just based on heart rate and weight, then maybe this is closer to reality than I currently believe.  Either way, I’m glad I moved around a bit in the car.  I could easily have remained stationary for the entire ride. At least this way, I kept the blood flowing and burned something.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1576/1799
Fat: 15%
Carbs: 70%
Protein: 15%

Back to my normal breakfast today of a cinnamon raisin bagel and a cup of coffee with a dash of soy milk. A solid 257 calories that always fills me up all the way to lunch.

Lunch was a version of macaroni cheese! I boiled up two cups of macaroni pasta and then sprinkled a 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese into it.  Parmesan cheese is great for this because it has a lot of flavor.  Therefore, you don’t need as much cheese compared to other varieties.  Overall, it keeps the calories down. To finish my lunch, I had a delightful strawberry mochi. If you haven’t tried these Japanese ice cream bites, you’re missing out.  Depending on the brand and flavor, they will cost you 80-100 calories, which is low enough to work into your daily budget.  The ice cream inside is smooth and gives you the sense that you are eating a luxurious product.  You can get them at Trader Joe’s, but you will find the best of the best at the Chinese market.

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Wednesday 9th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 40/30
Move Ring: 698/500
Total steps: 7,612

Like yesterday, I spent a fair amount of the day in the car (the reverse journey). I went for an early morning walk to a local bagel place, so some of my steps and move calories can be attributed.  Otherwise, some of my movement is from moving my body in the car, drumming to music beats, and tapping my legs. Again, I’m not sure how much of these stats can be believed. It is an issue with smartwatches – you can’t rely on them for empirical data.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1999/1799
Fat: 39%
Carbs: 48%
Protein: 13%

At the bagel shop, I chose an everything bagel with a salmon salad. Without having a given calorie count for this filling, I entered it as salmon and then 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise.  By doing so, it placed this choice at 719 calories.  I did split the bagel into two meals, making the calorie count far more sensible!

However, in the car, I made some poor choices that placed me well over my calorie budget for the first time. It started off well, having a banana about an hour after my bagel part two. Alas, I had a box of Mike and Ikes in the car, and I couldn’t resist them as I listened to podcasts and traversed the snowy hills. Between them and a Soylent bar, I ate 275 calories of snacks. 

Granted, even that would have been okay. When I stopped at a gas station to fill up, I looked at some food options and decided on a large drumstick ice cream.  It’s what I wanted, and the calories weren’t crazy – 350 for a huge treat. At the time, I thought this would be the last food of the day, and despite some nutritionally questionable choices, well within the magic calorie number.

However, when I arrived home, Shira (girlfriend) was making some avocado toast, and it was too tempting to refuse. I had two slices of sourdough with 170 cals of avocado and a 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese melted on top. If this was my dinner, then fair enough, not bad for 444 calories.  Except it shouldn’t have been.  I may have been peckish, but that was due to some poor choices during my drive! 

I overate and consumed a lot of fat today, will need to have better control of the diet tomorrow to offset some of this damage!


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Thursday 10th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 9/30
Move Ring: 488/500
Total steps: 6,406

Following two days of driving, I was exhausted.  I slept in and then didn’t feel up to much before I went to work.  Looking at these stats, I wish I’d moved enough to close the rings as I was so close.  No excuse, really.  What’s the point of having a ring if you’re not going to make sure you close it each day?


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1572/1799
Fat: 19%
Carbs: 67%
Protein: 14%

Back home and right back into my routine.  Nothing like starting the day with a relaxing cup of coffee and a toasted bagel.  I eat my breakfast slowly while I read the news and catch up with the world on my phone. I like to start my day this way, especially now that I work nights.

Chanukah Decorations

Today was the start of Chanukah!! We decorated a room for the holiday (left). As I am not around for nights, Shira and I decided to order sushi to celebrate the beginning of the festival of lights.  I love sushi!  The mix of rice and fish, all of it fresh, fills me with joy while eating it.  We got a platter of rolls to choose from, so I entered it into my app as shrimp tempura rolls and salmon avocado sushi rolls. I ate more than my body needed, going back for several more pieces than I required, simply because it tasted good. By the end of my feast, I had consumed 739 calories.

I covered two cups of jasmine rice with tomato and basil sauce and a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese for dinner at work.  A substantial meal like this will set you back 576 calories.  Due to the immense amount of food I had eaten all day, I didn’t require any snacks. I’m pleased to leave some room for error in my sushi calorie calculations. 

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Friday 11th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Indoor Walk: 213, Avg. HR: 104
Exercise Ring: 42/30
Move Ring: 767/500
Total steps: 11,205

With the weather having turned cold, there isn’t much opportunity to exercise outdoors any longer.  As a consequence, I am reduced to working out at home. One of the easiest ways to close my exercise and move ring is to do an indoor walk – AKA, marching in place. I did a fairly long session, which is good to get the HR up a bit. It might not be intense, but as my focus right now is creating a calorie deficit, it’s all a numbers game.  Doesn’t matter to me how I move, as long as I do! What I love about marching in place is that it fit in well with watching T.V. Put on a show for an hour, and before you know it, you’ve burned a couple of hundred active calories. 

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1602/1799
Fat: 24%
Carbs: 58%
Protein: 18%

I am quite the creature of habit, so you guessed it, a coffee and bagel for breakfast. 🙂 The cupboards were a bit bare, making lunch a touch of a ridiculous affair. I mixed a 1/4 cup of cheddar and a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese into 1.5 cups of pasta shells. I enjoyed it earlier in the week and was feeling lazy and did the same again. To round off my meal before heading to work, I had a strawberry mochi. Not a great lunch, but at least it only cost me 520 calories!

Dinner was a whopping 725 calories and quite the fat and carb fest.  I mixed 2 cups of pasta with a cup of rice and added the same amount of cheese as I had for lunch. Where are the vegetables? The variety? On reflection, rather ashamed of these choices!

I finished the day with a chocolate Soylent bar.  Yes, the calorie count was low, but I’m not sure that’s good enough.  I can’t eat pasta and cheese like this and expect to feel good and energized!

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Saturday 12th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Indoor Walk: 341, Avg. HR: 98
Exercise Ring: 42/30
Move Ring: 605/500
Total steps: 9,404

Like yesterday, I took on an extended indoor walk for my exercise today. Perhaps it seems like an easy way to get the numbers but not really getting fitness. To an extent, I agree. Walking is far better than doing absolutely nothing.  However, I have the ability to do more intense exercises, and walking indoors isn’t going to do much to increase my strength or improve my cardiovascular fitness. In short, while I have decent Apple Watch stats, I’m not pushing myself very hard. I don’t want to beat myself up too much at this point; diet is key right now.  I could have sat on the couch all day – at least I didn’t do that for an hour or so!

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1443/1799
Fat: 27%
Carbs: 56%
Protein: 17%

On Saturday’s there is a knish place open here in Buffalo (Rose and Bloom). I knew Shira would be returning with one for me, so I started my day with a coffee and a banana. I also had a milk chocolate Dove square. When the morning turned to the afternoon, I enjoyed the greatest 180 calories in the form of a potato and onion knish. A fantastic, indulgent, filling start to my day for 346 calories.

Lunch was the same as I had for dinner the night before, just with a little less pasta!  My belly was full of 645 calories of carbs and cheese.

As I started eating later in the day, dinner was a lighter affair, and I’d class it as a proper meal, all for just 452 calories. I had half medium sweet potato, a cup of Brussels sprouts, and two chicken and apple sausages from Trader Joe’s. There was space in the budget to add 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, so I plopped my favorite condiment on the side.

With such filling and satisfying meals, I didn’t need any snacks today, which is why my calorie count was lower than most days. 

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Sunday 13th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories Dance (VR): 381, Avg. HR: 153
Exercise Ring: 82/30
Move Ring: 978/500
Total steps: 12,7665

Back to Beat Saber! I had a good long session on the VR today. Unlike indoor walking, this is a real cardio workout.  As I’ve gotten better at the game, my HR sits higher during the session. My HR hit a new high of 170 BPM several times during this 52-minute gaming session.  As my aim was to push myself with long and intense cardio sessions and this exercise perfectly fits the bill.  I don’t think I would have pushed myself to do a traditional workout for this long. However, it was “easy” to keep playing.  Remember, Beat Saber involves moving side to side and a fair amount of squatting at certain levels. Afterward, I felt exhausted, my legs were completely done, and I felt a bit wobbly. After I cooled down, I had a long bath to keep my legs in a functioning condition. I may have had a fairly easy week on the exercise front, but at least I ended it with a decent workout that definitely got my blood flowing. 

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1557/1804
Fat: 26%
Carbs: 52%
Protein: 22%

Bagel! Coffee! It must be Callie’s breakfast! Why change something that works? Can’t argue with 257 calories.

For lunch, I made tuna bagel melts.  The base was mini bagels that were cut in half.  I then took most of a tin of tuna (the cats got some) and mixed it with 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. I spread my tuna mix over the bagels and then measured out a 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese. Carefully, I sprinkled it over my little bagel bites before popping them in the toaster oven to melt. You wouldn’t think that you could have such a comfort food meal when you’re counting calories – but you can!

Dinner was a surprise – Shira had been out for the day and had decided to pick up Mediterranean food on her way home. She brought home quite a selection of items, and I feasted on 786 calories of the gifts she brought.  Falafel pieces were dipped in hummus.  I relished the flavors provided by 1/2 chicken souvlaki wrap.  I rounded off my meal with pita bread and some more hummus. 

There was no need for any snacks today. Ended the week on a food high. 🙂

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Week’s Reflection

I wasn’t able to sustain the calorie burning that I started last week with Beat Saber. It was really a bit of a non-event week on the health journey. I didn’t eat especially well (though mostly stayed in my budget), and I didn’t push myself physically either.


Upcoming Week

Potential Roadblocks

With the holiday season in full flow, the challenge will be to not overindulge in festive goodies. I love chocolate – so staying away from the seasonal candies is a temptation I need to quell!

Desires

I have to put in a bit more effort into my fitness journey. While staying below a set calorie count is the main aim, I need to incorporate better calories into my diet.

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