Journal

Fat to Fit: Week 8

January 4th – January 10th, 2021

Time to get back to the daily grind and with it back into action on my fitness journey. I spent far too much of the past two weeks sitting and eating chocolate, which cost me several pounds in weight. This week’s goal is to close my rings each day and eat foods with more nutritional value than a Chinese take-out and a chocolate cookie.

Body Stats:

Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225 lbs.
Week’s Beginning Weight: 182.8 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 182.4 lbs.

Body Fat: 31.7 %
Muscle Mass: 117.2 lbs.

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Monday 4th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 30/30
Move Ring: 536/500
Total steps: 6,728

First day back at work after nearly two weeks off. I got the bulk of my exercise and movement during my shift. I try to walk as much as I can at work – going to the bathroom further away and pace while I wait for incubations and such (I work in a lab). I didn’t do a specific workout – all exercise minutes can be attributed to walking.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1434/1771
Fat: 21%
Carbs: 66%
Protein: 13%

The holiday season is over; time to get back into a fitness mindset. With that in mind, it may be a new year, but my breakfast tastes are just the same! I had a cinnamon raisin bagel with a cup of coffee to start my day.

For lunch, I had a cup of homemade mashed potatoes with a veggie burger. To finish off my meal, I had two chocolate-covered European cookies (or biscuits to me). Even with the treat, my lunch was only 401 calories.

I had leftover pasta from yesterday for dinner. That was a 4 oz. of bow tie pasta, with 1/4 cup of salad shrimp, mixed together with the cream of mushroom soup.

I had a couple of snacks at work. The first was a mini chocolate brownie Clif bar and a Twix later in my shift as I started to tire. I needed the sugar boost! Both were 100 calories each, so these treats didn’t do too much damage.

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Tuesday 5th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Dance (VR): 40 Avg. HR: 134
Exercise Ring: 31/30
Move Ring: 549/500
Total steps: 7,071

I only managed 8 minutes on Beat Saber today – I had an unexpected work call that cut my exercise moment short. The remainder of my exercise minutes was achieved by walking around the lab. Following house confinement over the holidays (due to the weather and COVID protocols), it has been easier to rack up the minutes now that I am back at work. I try to do a lap every hour if I am restricted to Excel hell at my desk to get the blood pumping.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1530/1771
Fat: 12%
Carbs: 75%
Protein: 13%

I had two mini Clif bars for breakfast this morning. While this choice is low in calories, it is a bit of a strange breakfast! I craved something sweet and decided this was a modicum healthier than chocolate cookies (which I’ve had too often for breakfast recently).

Lunch and dinner were similar affairs. Both meals included 2 cups of jasmine rice with 3 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce. I love this meal; it’s filling, tasty, and involves enough eating to feel that I’ve had a good feed. For dinner, I added a shrimp burger (90 calories) to the meal. I also had a 100 calorie Twix for dessert.

I had a couple of snacks at work. Another mini Clif bar and a Soylent square. Another decent calorie intake day, even if my meals included too much chocolate and not one vegetable.

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Wednesday 6th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 64/30
Move Ring: 909/500
Total steps: 13,859

I may not have done an official workout today. However, I did crank out the burned calories. I did a lot of walking during my shift and then crushed an indoor walk when I got home to maximize my efforts. Alas, I didn’t track it as a workout, so I don’t know the stats on it! All on, I covered 6.8 miles today, so it is an upswing in activity compared to recent weeks.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1617/1771
Fat: 14%
Carbs: 70%
Protein: 16%

After an exciting change of pace for breakfast yesterday, I went back to my happy staple of a cinnamon raisin bagel and a cup of coffee to begin my day. I love this breakfast because it is easy, hits the right calorie count, and keeps me full for hours.

I am quite the creature of habit, and that is actually reflected in today’s food choices. I had two cups of jasmine rice, a shrimp burger for lunch and dinner, and three tablespoons of sweet chili sauce.

For snacks today, I had 2 Soylent square bars and a mini Twix.


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Thursday 7th January

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Apple Fitness+ Strength: 133 Avg. HR: 148
Active Calories, Apple Fitness+ Mindful Cooldown: 59 Avg. HR: 127
Exercise Ring: 46/30
Move Ring: 627/500
Total steps: 5,677

Decided to try a strength workout on AF+ today. I chose 20-minute strength with Sam – latest hits. Sam is an amazing instructor who took me through two reps of three movements. It doesn’t sound a lot, but by the time you get to the last set, you’re pushing yourself to get through it. My HR maxed at 170 BPM, steadily rising throughout the workout – so you can see it was a good workout. For this routine, you can choose any weight that you like. As I haven’t done much recently, I used a 5 lbs. weight. I was right – 8 lbs. would’ve been too much for me.

To close my exercise ring, I did a ten-minute mindful cooldown with Dustin. It was a decent length, incorporating a generous amount of stretching before entering a little bit of meditation. My HR was still pretty high after the strength workout, which is why my calorie burn was so high.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1580/1771
Fat: 14%
Carbs: 78%
Protein: 8%

I had 2 oz of cranberry and walnut bread and a medium banana for breakfast today. This is a lighter breakfast than usual for me, but I found it quite satisfying. My breakfast came in at 185 calories, which left me plenty in the budget for the rest of the day.

Linguine for lunch! I mixed two cups with marinara sauce (from a jar – I have yet to make my own). I love a good bowl of pasta in the middle of the day. You get an abundance of time to burn it off, and it provides sufficient energy for the rest of the day, which helps with snacking. I rounded my pre-work lunch off with 160 calories of chocolate-covered cookies.

Dinnertime was a classic – 2 cups of rice with 3 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce. I like to take this meal with me to work because it reheats well in the microwave, and you only need one utensil to eat it. In these COVID times, we eat alone at our desks, and it is a quick affair. I frequently treat food more as fuel than as an experience most of the time, so this sort of meal suits that mentality nicely.

As for snacks at work, I had a 100-calorie Twix bar to polish off my meal and 165 calories of Mike and Ikes while working on some spreadsheets.

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Friday 8th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 318 Avg. HR: 109
Exercise Ring: 64/30
Move Ring: 848/500
Total steps: 13,392

Before work today, I marched around my house for nearly 3 miles in 54 minutes. My max HR was 127 BPM, achieved with an average pace of 18’28″/mile. Overall, I’m pleased with the average HR for this walk. It’s high enough to burn calories and shows I put a little more effort into the movement than I have previously.

My arms were a little sore after the strength training exercise yesterday. Therefore, I didn’t do any additional weight lifting today. I kept up with sets of 20 squats throughout the day, though. I started out by doing 10 squats every time I went to the bathroom. I’ve since upped the reps, and now I do them more frequently too. Waiting on the microwave, while making a coffee, when I get up to find a cat… the reps add up, and I feel the increase in muscle tone in my thighs.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1430/1771
Fat: 11%
Carbs: 80%
Protein: 9%

My calorie count was low (for me) today as a result of a tiny breakfast. There was still some cranberry raisin walnut bread remaining, and I had 2 oz. of it for breakfast and nothing else. That, combined with my cup of coffee, meant that I started my day with less than 100 calories of fuel.

Lunch and dinner were highly predictable. Both consisted of two cups of rice as the base. I went with hoisin sauce as the flavoring for lunch, and for dinner, I opted for sweet chili sauce. Both meals were 480 calories.

Low-calorie meals meant that there was plenty of room in the budget for four 100-calorie snacks. After each meal, I had a Twix, and at work, I had a couple of chocolate brownie Clif bars to tide me over.

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Saturday 9th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 205 Avg. HR: 115
Exercise Ring: 31/30
Move Ring: 456/500
Total steps: 6,511

At 9 PM, I decided I needed to close my exercise ring. I opted for my favorite passive exercise – marching! I pushed myself harder as I knew I was only going for 30 minutes. My HR peaked at 133 BPM, with my average pace of 15’40″/mile. That is quite an uptick in pace compared to yesterday.

I’m frustrated at myself for not closing the movement ring. It was there for the taking, and I was too lazy to get to 500 — shame on me.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1727/1771
Fat: 25%
Carbs: 61%
Protein: 14%

I skipped breakfast and went straight for a calorific lunch. I made 2 cups of linguine and mixed in a cup of Rao’s marinara sauce. Melted on top was 110 calories of mild cheddar cheese. It’s a shame that cheese is sinful food – it really is an ingredient that can make almost any savory dish better. Due to my non-existent breakfast, I had a couple of mango mochis to finish off my 770 calorie lunch.

Sushi night for dinner! This is my third attempt since receiving a sushi-making kit for Christmas. Inside the roll, I had salmon, sweet potato, crab meat, pineapple, and shredded carrot. I made my life easier this time by having the seaweed on the outside rather than the rice. It made the rolling process simpler and did make my attempt a little more presentable than some previous efforts. I guessed the calorie count for my sushi on the Lose It app at 690 calories.

The tin of chocolate-covered cookies (biscuits) isn’t quite finished yet, but I did work on getting them out of my house today – by eating five of them. That indulgence added 267 calories to my day.

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Sunday 10th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Dance Workout (VR): 452 Avg. HR: 156
Exercise Ring: 65/30
Move Ring: 750/500
Total steps: 8,740

To close out the week, I played Beat Saber for just over an hour. I love this game (I play on the Oculus Quest 2), as the calories mount up while having fun. My HR maxed at 179 BPM, which illustrates how hard the game works you. I may not be able to complete a song above hard level, but I’m enjoying this game as my cardio option. I set a record with this workout, too – most calories burned during a dance workout. I’ve classed it as dance as this seemed to be the closest workout type to what I am doing! (In the future, I will realize that there is a video gaming workout option that I’ll use).

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1662/1771
Fat: 24%
Carbs: 63%
Protein: 13%

Breakfast was a hybrid of the good and the bad while staying under 200 calories as a whole. First, I had a slice of the delicious cranberry raisin walnut bread, which had to be toasted due to its age. I wasn’t feeling fully satisfied with this 80-calorie snack like I did earlier in the week. So, along with a second cup of coffee, I enjoyed a mini chocolate brownie Clif bar. I love these bars as there is a lot of eating in them for their calories. Further, you get that sweetness of chocolate that I crave without all the fat from a chocolate bar.

Lunch was an Indian-inspired meal based on whatever I could find in the cupboards. I took 1.5 cups of jasmine rice and mixed in a veggie burger and 0.4 cups of rogan josh curry sauce. On the side, I had a piece of garlic naan from Trader Joe’s (250 calories, see left). I wasn’t sure how well this cobbled-together meal would transpire – I was surprised and delighted with how well it turned out. It was a treat for sure and a large meal for 760 calories.

After such a decadent lunch, I pulled it back only slightly for dinner. I popped a frozen BBQ chicken pizza from Trader Joe’s in the oven for dinner. I could easily have eaten the whole thing, but I controlled myself and had 2/3 of it to keep my day within the budget. Pizza is a food that I adore and could probably eat every day.

To finish off my week, I squeezed in 2 of my small Twix bars for some chocolate relief.

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Week’s Reflection

For the first week back at work, after doing next to nothing for two weeks, it was an okay effort. My diet is pretty poor still. Very few fruits and vegetables in the mix and too much “convenient” food. I know that I stuck within my budget, which’s been the first part of this process. However, I think the time has come to prepare proper meals and consider the nutrients rather than calories in my fuel.

Exercise-wise, I did okay too. I moved a bit more and started to see an improvement in my motivation as the week progressed. Right before Christmas, my girlfriend and I broke up, and it has made things challenging. She moves out next week, and then I’ll have to learn how to live alone again!

Upcoming Week

Potential Roadblocks

Right now, my roadblocks are all mental ones. Laziness means I don’t exercise enough, and I also do not prepare meals. Instead, I mostly consume rice with some sauce on it. While I’m not bothered by the taste, or repetitively, I can see why it would affect my weight loss and health journey. It is not a balanced diet that provides me with the necessary vitamins and minerals my body needs to perform optimally. Therefore, I need to bypass the mental barrier of considering food as a chore and more of an experience. By doing so, I rationalize that I will care more about my meals and create better fuel for my body.

Desires

On top of choosing better food for my body, I’d like to keep moving to burn calories and build strength. I’ve been lethargic of late, and I will aim to minimally close my rings this week, if not more.

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