Journal

Fat to Fit: Week 11

January 25th – January 31st, 2021

Last week, my aim was to start cooking and thus improve my eating habits. While I’ve done well at keeping within my calorie budget, I knew that I could eat better. That’s been the beauty of writing this blog – I’m seeing the trends that I may not otherwise if I weren’t writing it out for the world to see. People act differently when they are being watched. I want my transparency to help me adjust my choices. Be better. Reach for yogurt, not a chocolate bar. Workout, don’t take a nap. I haven’t cracked these mental barriers yet. Let’s see if this was the week where things change.

Body Stats:

Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225lbs.
Week’s Beginning Weight: 180.4 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 180.2 lbs.

Body Fat: 31.3 %
Muscle Mass: 116.8 lbs.

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Monday 25th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Fitness Gaming Ring Fit Adventure: 250 Avg. HR: 123
Exercise Ring: 73/30
Move Ring: 793/500
Total steps: 8,172

Turned to the Nintendo Switch to get my workout today. I am still early in the game. Therefore, I am opening new moves continuously. Today, I there was sprints as well as jogging to move through the level. The increase in intensity worked wonders on elevating my heart rate – which hit 157 BPM. My arms were exhausted following sets of overhead arm presses and arm presses in quick succession. Squeezing the ring-con repeatedly is no laughing matter.

The remainder of my calories and exercise minutes were earned through walking. A decent start to the week. 🙂


Nutrition
Calorie Intake: 1551/1783
Fat: 22%
Carbs: 60%
Protein: 18%

I began my week with a solid 281 calorie breakfast. A precious cup of coffee with a dash of 2% milk accompanied three slices of toasted cinnamon swirl bread. I do well with bread products in the morning; whether it’s bread, bagel, or a pastry, I’m filled up and ready to take on the day.

For lunch, I heated up another slow cooker creation. This time I didn’t follow a set recipe; instead, I threw in a bit of everything that I had leftover from my supermarket adventures. I mixed canned tomatoes, celery, chicken stock, bell pepper, and onion to a pound of chicken breast. Once cooked, I split the dish into four, making a 330 calorie delight. Rather than making a carb to go with my dish, I had a packet of PopChips to have along with it.

I had a portion of homemade chili con carne prepared in my slow cooker (left, see recipe here) for dinner. My chili creation is 404 calories per serving, and with it, I had a cup of homemade mash potatoes — an amazing wholesome meal for 540 calories.

Today, I had 280 calories of snacks: one 100-calorie dove bar and a hot chocolate with a 100-calorie Twix. It felt like a good food day with eating home-cooked meals.

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Tuesday 26th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 387 Avg. HR: 104
Exercise Ring: 100/30
Move Ring: 878/500
Total steps: 14,786

I knocked out a 3.76-mile indoor walk today. It took me an hour, averaging at 16’01″/mile. This is a steady pace, but not too fast. Despite not marching too quickly, I exaggerated my movements to maximize the calorie burn. HR maxed at 119 for this session. Overall today, I covered 7.3 miles, so that’s a decent effort.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1579/1783
Fat: 32%
Carbs: 50%
Protein: 18%

This might be a new staple breakfast for me: 3/4 cup of Greek strawberry yogurt with 1/4 cup of natural granola. Absolutely delicious and filling. At 240 calories, it’s spot on where I want to be with my calorie intake too.

For lunch, I had one of those salad kits you get in a bag. On this occasion, I enjoyed the Fresh Express Southwest Greek yogurt variety. The whole bag, including the toppings, was only 300 calories. I always find eating one of these completely filling and amazed at how few calories they are. My desire for chocolate took over a little while later, however. A mini Twix and two Dove bars cost me 300 calories, doubling my lunch’s calorie content.

For dinner, I heated a portion of Thai peanut chicken and served it with a side of mashed potatoes. I love meals like this – those yummy ones you can eat with a spoon and feel warm and full.

I had a couple of snacks today – a packet of sweet chili Popcorners and a white chocolate and macadamia nut mini Clif bar.

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Wednesday 27th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 48/30
Move Ring: 587/500
Total steps: 8,544

I didn’t track a walk today. However, there was a period of around 20-minutes before bed where I racked up the steps to close my rings. It might not have been my greatest exercise effort, but doing so again proves the value of having an aim each day. Without my watch, I strongly doubt I would have pushed myself to close get those movement calories!


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1479/1783
Fat: 28%
Carbs: 47%
Protein: 25%

I enjoyed my breakfast so much yesterday that I had the same today: 3/4 cup of Greek strawberry yogurt with 1/4 cup of natural granola.

I had a portion of my Thai peanut chicken (recipe here) for lunch, served with 90 calories of plain mashed potatoes. I rounded off my meal with a 100-calorie Dove bar.

Dinner was a serving of my ad-hoc chicken dish (diced tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, zucchini, shredded carrots, chicken, and chorizo), a portion of mashed potatoes, and a cup of broccoli (left). For my dessert, I had a mini Twix. What can I say – my sweet tooth needs feeding!

For snacks, I supplemented my meals with a chocolate brownie Clif bar. When you cook proper meals, the need for snacking goes away!

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Thursday

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 626 Avg. HR: 108
Exercise Ring: 90/30
Move Ring: 963/500
Total steps: 13,266

After a lighter day yesterday, I made sure to rack up the steps today. I marched over five miles, quickening my pace each mile to make it harder. My fastest mile was 13’08”, with the average coming in at 16’10″/mile (mile 1 was quite slow at 21’29”.) During my walk, my HR reached 138 BPM, which is higher than normal for me during a marching session.

Although I didn’t feel like working out at all over the past few days, I dug deep mentally to do these walks. I powered through them by watching television simultaneously for a distraction. Something is always better than nothing.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1865/1799
Fat: 29%
Carbs: 49%
Protein: 22%

Had the same breakfast for the third day in a row: 3/4 cp of blended strawberry Greek yogurt and a 1/4 cup of natural granola. It’s a solid and nutritious start to the day for 240 calories.

For lunch, I had a potion of my chicken and veggie dish that I made at the weekend. Essentially, the dish is diced tomatoes and purree, mixed with vegetables. Each portion is 330 calories. I had some cheese slices in my fridge needing to be used up, so I melted two slices over my chicken for a 550 calorie lunch.

For dinner, I made a packet of Annie’s macaroni and cheese. The whole box is 675 calories, and I ate the whole thing. Honestly, this wouldn’t have been so bad if I had controlled my snacking better.

The 400 calories in snacks were my undoing today. What’s worse is that it was all chocolate. I had 2 Dove bars, a Twix, and a mini chocolate brownie Clif bar.

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Friday 29th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 74/30
Move Ring: 791/500
Total steps: 10,606

I didn’t track any of the 5.6 miles of walking that I gathered throughout the day. Most of my efforts came late in the day, after work. I realized that my rings were nearly empty and took myself on a marching mission to close them. It might not be much, but it was enough to hopefully keep my CICO in check.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1605/1799
Fat: 34%
Carbs: 52%
Protein: 14%

There’s nothing like oatmeal on a winter’s morning! I made a packet of Quaker’s instant oatmeal with 1/8 cup of raisins for a 170 calorie breakfast. To prepare, I add water and heat it in the microwave for 90 seconds – just like that, a delicious, low-calorie, hearty meal is ready.

Lunch was a calorific affair. I heated up 6 chicken tenders with a cup of broccoli and cauliflower and treated myself to 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise on the side for dipping (left). I rounded my meal off with a mini Clif bar and a Twix. All in, this feast was 775 calories.

For dinner, I had a portion of my homemade chili con carne with a cup of broccoli. To complete my meal, I indulged in a Dove bar and a Milkway. In total, my meal was worth 660 calories.

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Saturday 30th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 31/30
Move Ring: 555/500
Total steps: 6,560

I may not have logged a workout today, but I did earn my 100 Move Goal badge! I didn’t do one long session, instead opting for a few minutes of marching at a time throughout the day. I was also occupied doing some house rearranging, so I was active during the day, if not in a strict exercise manner. I did put in a few steps just before midnight to make sure I closed my exercise ring!

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1725/1783
Fat: 22%
Carbs: 64%
Protein: 14%

I finished off my tub of Chobani strawberry blended yogurt this morning with the usual 1/4 cup of granola. I really enjoy how this breakfast makes me feel – as though I am giving my body what it needs to thrive.

For lunch, I had a portion of my homemade shrimp and chorizo paella (474 calories). I enjoy having these all-in-one meals that I can microwave and eat – no fuss. It makes meal prep worth it! I ruined the greatness of my cooking, though, by eating a couple packets of Popchips and two Dove bars; together they adding a whopping 400 calories to my lunch.

For dinner, I took 300 calories of udon noodles and heated them with 2 cups of shredded carrots and 1/4 cup of raisins. For flavor, I added 2 tablespoons of stir fry sauce. It was a quick and easy meal to make for around 500 calories. I had a chocolate brownie mini Clif bar a little later on for dessert.

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Sunday 31st

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories: Avg. HR:
Exercise Ring: 48/30
Move Ring: 657/500
Total steps: 9,208

I earned quite a few badges today too! I surpassed my previous longest move streak – to 22 days (I only got the watch in early October) and I got my January badge for accumulating at least 1,551 exercise minutes in the month. Not a bad haul for a month where I suffered mentally and emotionally!

Akin to most days recently, I added steps near the end of my day to make sure my rings were closed.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1340/1804
Fat: 19%
Carbs: 57%
Protein: 24%

A warm bowl of oatmeal with a 1/8 cup of raisins to start my day. I love this breakfast; such a filling meal for only 170 calories.

For my 475 calorie lunch, I had a shrimp burger with a cup of jasmine rice. I added 4 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce for flavor. I rounded off my meal with a 100-calorie packet of almonds.

I heated up my chicken vegetable dish for dinner and served it with a cup of jasmine rice — an amazing meal on a cold winter night for 535 calories.

Later in the evening, I treated myself to a k-cup hot chocolate (60 calories) and a chocolate brownie mini Clif bar.

Days like these show me how I can have plenty to eat and keep the calories low.

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Week’s Reflection

While I see a trend of over-snacking when I analyze my food intake, I think I did pretty well this week. The quality and the variety of food that I am eating are vastly improved. This is mostly thanks to getting a slow cooker and seizing that opportunity to meal prep.

Exercise-wise, my investment in an Apple watch is paying off – with most of my movement motivation attributable to meeting whatever my watch suggests.

I feel healthier this week. Sleeping better and overall not as fatigued. Even if the weight isn’t coming off, I know I’m making vast improvements.


Upcoming Week

Potential Roadblocks

February is about to begin, and with it comes the depths of winter. Here, in Buffalo, NY, that means snow and plenty of it. While I have found ways to exercise indoors (spin bike, Apple Fitness+, Ring Fit Adventure, and Beat Saber), the weather still affects me. First, it makes me want to snack all the time, and secondly, it makes me tired and not want to move much. Fighting these two battles by keeping occupied while confined indoors is a struggle for everyone in the winter. I am no different, despite my fitness journey.


Desires

I want to keep cooking and having healthy, low-calorie meals ready to go. I’m a lazy eater, and popping a portion of pre-made dinner in the microwave suits my lifestyle nicely. I’ve enjoyed eating this week, and I’m looking forward to my next culinary efforts.

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