February 1st – February 7th, 2021
My progress has been very slow of late. I’m nearly 3 months into my “serious” fitness journey, and the weight hasn’t been coming off. I have seen improvements in other areas, though. I am fitter and stronger than I was back in November. My clothes are looser, and I am sleeping better. There have been setbacks in my quest to find a healthy version of myself which do account for some of the slow progress.
A breakup has hit me hard emotionally, making it difficult to find the motivation to work out at times. I also have a serious chocolate and snacking addiction! I’ve tried to find ways to temper this, hoping I can find a balance of getting my chocolate fix while seeing an improvement on the scale. It’s a work in progress.
In the past two weeks, I have begun cooking meals in the slow cooker and I see this as an excellent strategy for success. Here’s to another week of appreciating progress in my mindset, eating habits, and burning some calories!
Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225lbs.
Week’s Beginning Weight: 180.2 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 182.4 lbs.
Body Fat: 31.8 %
Muscle Mass: 117.2 lbs.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Fitness Gaming VR: 318 Avg. HR: 143
Exercise Ring: 37/30
Move Ring: 554/500
Total steps: 4,967
Kicked off my week of fitness with a half-hour Beat Saber session. I’m still unable to pass the hard level. In fact, there are quite a few songs where I can’t complete the hard levels! Oh well, it’s always good to have room for improvement.
I love this game because it equally gets your heart rate up fast, and time fades away. It isn’t a mental slog like a spin class or burning calories on a treadmill. The immersive nature of VR keeps me entertained and involved as I try to move enough to slice those blocks! My HR max today was 166 BPM, which I am pleased with. Needed a bit of recovery and water after this session!
Calorie Intake: 1648/1783
I felt hungry when I woke today, so I had three slices of cinnamon raisin swirl toast for breakfast. Each slice is 90 calories, so this choice still kept my total meal calories well under 300.
For lunch, I mashed in a veggie burger into 1.5 cups of rice. To help bind the burger and for flavor, I added 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise. I had a packet of dark chocolate dusted almonds and a mini Twix (both 100 calories each) to complete my meal. Total for the meal: 688 calories.
For dinner, I had a portion of my homemade Thai peanut chicken (374 calories) with a cup of jasmine rice — a delicious, complete meal for 579 calories. I had a 100-calorie snack a little later in the evening as my dessert.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 38 Avg. HR: 120
Active Calories, Indoor Run: 232 Avg. HR: 133
Exercise Ring: 36/30
Move Ring: 592/500
Total steps: 8,115
I decided to increase the speed of my normal walk into more of a light jog on the spot (I don’t own a treadmill). I started with a five-minute walk to warm up before I switched to tracking my movement as a run. My run was 30 minutes in length, covering just over two miles. I’m surprised that my average pace clocked in a 14’13″/mile, as I have managed that pace walking before. My heart rate does show I was putting more effort in than a standard walk, however. The max BPM was 144, which is decent for jogging on the spot.
Calorie Intake: 1715/1783
My breakfast yesterday hit the spot perfectly, so I repeated it today. I love cinnamon raisin bread – it is a delight to chew, and the flavor is enough that I don’t need to spread anything onto it. I had 3 slices for 270 calories total.
For lunch, I decided that it was a soup day. I heated a can of Progresso’s New England clam chowder and mixed in 3/4 cup of jasmine rice to bulk up the meal. This was enough food to sustain me, but I am a big snacker and ate a packet of Popcorners: sweet chili flavor and then a mini Twix after that. What had been a great choice for a meal turned into an epic 754 calorie feast.
My large lunch meant that I desired a lighter meal for dinner. Breakfast for dinner would normally mean eggs, bacon, that sort of thing. Today though, It meant 1.5 cups of yogurt and 1/2 cup of granola for a 480 calorie meal.
I had a couple of snacks to satisfy my sweet tooth: a Dove bar and a chocolate brownie Clif bar. Each was 100 calories.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 300 Avg. HR: 119
Exercise Ring: 53/30
Move Ring: 616/500
Total steps: 8,830
Back to my usual indoor walk! Inspired by yesterday’s jog, I broke into a faster pace at times. My average was 15’05″/mile, although I tired near the end, needing 17 minutes to complete the last one. However, during my fastest mile of 14’02”, I got my HR up to 141 BPM. Not a bad way to watch an hour of television and keeping the fitness up simultaneously.
Calorie Intake: 1724/1783
I had a great start to the day, with a 240 calorie breakfast of strawberry greek yogurt (3/4 cup, 130 cals) and natural granola (1/4 cup, 110 cals). It’s one of those breakfasts that you see healthy, fit people eat. Proud.
For lunch, I heated up a portion of my chili con carne. I had a couple of packets of sea salt Popchips to scoop up the chili akin to making nachos. After my meal, I had chocolate-covered almonds as my dessert. It was a calorie-dense meal for 705 calories.
I had 679 calories for dinner: a portion of my Thai peanut chicken dish with a cup of jasmine rice. I finished my meal with a 100-calorie Dove bar.
I had one further snack today: a mini Clif bar to curb a little hunger I had later at night.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 300 Avg. HR: 79
Exercise Ring: 47/30
Move Ring: 599/500
Total steps: 8,129
The stats recorded for today’s on-the-spot walk/jog don’t make a lot of sense. My pace was far faster than anything on previous days of 12’20″/mile, yet my HR didn’t break 100 BPM. It was more of a walk than a jog. Therefore I think the pacing was tracked incorrectly. Once again, this was a post-work effort, done purely to close those rings. As it was the end of the day, my energy was low, which is the reason for less effort than usual.
Calorie Intake: 1701/1783
I returned to one of my favorite breakfasts: 3 slices of cinnamon raisin swirl bread. Along with my coffee, my choice menat that my breakfast was valued at 281 calores. I prefer carbs for breakfast as it tends to sustain me during the day.
Meal prep was the king of the day. For lunch, I grabbed a portion of shrimp and chorizo paella (474 calories) and scooped it up with a packet of sea salt PopCorners. About half an hour after eating, I enjoyed a chocolate treat in the form of a 100-calorie Milky way. All in, the meal came to 685 calories.
Dinner was a similarly sized affair. I paired a portion of a chicken and vegetable slow cooker dish I threw together last week (330 calories) with a cup of jasmine rice (205 calories). To satisfy my debilitating sweet tooth, I had one of my 100-calorie chocolate Dove bars.
As my shift wore on, I got a little peckish and satisfied my hunger pangs with a Soylent squared bar – chocolate flavor.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 123 Avg. HR: 113
Exercise Ring: 60/30
Move Ring: 745/500
Total steps: 10,308
I completed a short 23-minute walk today, completing a mile. Although it wasn’t a fast walk, I exaggerated my movement to get my HR up, hitting 131 BPM. The rest of my stats came from a busy day at work, walking around the lab. I’m still doing my squat and wall presses, so I’m building some muscle while I forgo real workouts.
Calorie Intake: 1700/1783
Fat: 28.7 %
Carbs: 39.2 %
Protein: 32 %
My friend came over with coffee and pastries this morning. She brought delicious baked products (left) that shouldn’t belong in a fitness journey! However, we split the three items, so my waistline effect wasn’t as bad as the picture suggests. Nothing like croissants to get your taste buds salivating! I allocated 525 calories for half of this pastry-fest.
Lunch was a 300 calorie serving of a chicken and chorizo and vegetable dish prepared in my slow cooker. The recipe was inspired by what I had leftover from my previous cooking adventures. In a tomato paste, I added chopped tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, celery, shredded carrots, bouillon, chicken breast, and chorizo. I rounded off my meal with a packet of almonds and a small Dove chocolate bar, bringing my meal to 530 calories.
I enjoyed another portion of my chicken dish for dinner, pairing it this time with a cup of jasmine rice. A little while later, I enjoyed a packet of sea salt PopCorners. All in, this food equated to 645 calories.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 450 Avg. HR: 97
Exercise Ring: 71/30
Move Ring: 613/500
Total steps: 9,091
When the weather outside is frightful, and you’re keeping your sanity by watching sport – it’s a good time to get as many steps in as possible! This morning I walked 4 miles on the spot with an average pace of 15’35″/mile. I was more interested in watching my beloved Manchester United than cranking through the calories, so at times I would lose my stepping rhythm as goals went in on both sides! Got my heart rate up to 136 BPM, making this a decent effort.
Calorie Intake: 1481/1783
Fat: 26.2 %
Carbs: 59.9 %
Protein: 13.9 %
Back to a normal breakfast to kick off my weekend! No prizes for guessing that I enjoyed three slices of cinnamon raisin swirl toast with a cup of coffee. This 281 calorie meal took me through most of the day, mostly because I ate it several hours after I woke.
As a result, I had one large meal to merge lunch and dinner. First, I prepared a packet of Annie’s shells & white cheddar macaroni cheese. The whole box, when made with 2% milk, comes in at 700 calories. Naturally, I don’t normally make anything to go with it. However, today I heated up six chicken tenders too! I made a whopping meal of 1,100 calories. If a defense is needed, it did take me a couple of hours with reheating to polish off this plate.
For a snack today, I had a lovely mini Twix with a cup of coffee. Despite have a meal equivalent to gorging myself, I was well under calories today, which is good as tomorrow is the Super Bowl!
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 264 Avg. HR: 92
Exercise Ring: 39/30
Move Ring: 589/500
Total steps: 6,394
Super Bowl Sunday! I didn’t think about exercise until the game was over. Unlike most years where a nice gathering of people and various dips usually accompanies the day, it was a year to be home alone. That’s the pandemic for you! I knew after having my chili and macaroni mix that I needed to move. Not only that, I can’t ruin my ring-closing streak now!
My walk wasn’t anything impressive – a couple of miles pacing at 18’27″/mile. I had a bit more energy at its beginning, getting my HR to peak at 139 BPM. It was enough to close my rings, though!
Calorie Intake: 1758/1783
Fat: 17.9 %
Carbs: 64.8 %
Protein: 17.3 %
Started the day off well, with a bowl of instant oatmeal with a 1/8 cup of raisins. I love this breakfast, especially in the winter — a splendid start to the day for 170 calories.
Lunch was sort of like breakfast: part two! I had 1.5 cups of Greek nonfat vanilla yogurt with 0.5 cups of natural granola. As granola is a high-calorie food, my meal clocked in at 480 calories.
Once I settled for the Super Bowl, all that good work done earlier in the day was ruined. I prepared another box of Annie’s white cheddar macaroni shells to accompany a portion of my chili con carne. To have a sense of dipping, I accompanied my feast with a packet of spicy queso-flavored PopCorners. I didn’t eat all the mac and cheese nor finish the chili, so my meal was just over 900 calories.
As the game wore on, I made a decaf coffee and munched on 2 mini Dove bars. I told you at the beginning that I have a chocolate addiction that is my main nemesis on this journey. If I have calories and can fit some in, I am doing it!
Nutrition-wise, it was a pretty solid week for me. I loved taking prepared meals from the freezer and popping them in the microwave. It’s a great method for me and one that I foresee being sustainable. That progress declined a bit over the weekend, and I hit up mac and cheese packages, but overall, I see improvements in my diet.
I am disappointed to have weighed in, showing a 2 lb gain this week. There wasn’t a great difference in my routine, so I don’t know why the weight has boomed. I can only attribute it to eating sub-optimally and closing my move rings in the laziest way possible. I’ll keep plugging away, though. There are going to deviations in weight from time to time. It’s to be expected and doesn’t mean that the plan won’t give me the desired results. However, if I don’t start to see a downward trend, I will have to reevaluate things.
Life is a little stagnant right now. The pandemic rages on, the weather is blasting a blizzard a day, and I live alone. It’s been a tough year for everyone, and I am pleased to see mental health start tractioning in the mainstream. I’ve spoken about how the main element of weight loss is not diet nor exercise; it’s the mental aspect.
Willpower is key; desire and drive are required too. Those are mental traits. I’m working to find that sort of discipline. Seeking it is my main roadblock. Once found, sustaining it will be the component I have been missing.
I need to start moving. Yes, I am closing my rings and burning some calories by walking, but it’s not enough. This is a fitness journey, not a weight-loss one. To meet that, I need to move and work on building my muscle. I want to be strong and fit. Let’s try and focus on that next week.
There weren’t many pictures this week, so here’s a picture of Gryffin, my cat. Maybe I’ll post a cat picture each week because I love my children!
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