February 22nd – February 28th, 2021
Last week I increased my move ring goals from 500 calories to 650, and it had a positive effect on my physical and mental health. I also got the great news that my Green Card was approved last Friday, so I’m now a permanent resident of the USA! This has left me buoyant. It should keep my spirits high for a least a week, right? 😏
Food-wise, I’ve seen a lot of improvement recently, inspired by my current slow cooker obsession. I got this one recently, and I’ve made 90% of my meals using it. If I can keep the “crap” food down to a minimum, I think I will be on the right track to finally get back to my pre-Christmas weight.
Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225lbs.
Week’s Beginning Weight: 181.4 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 182.8 lbs.
Body Fat: 31.7 %
Muscle Mass: 117.2 lbs.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, AF+ Dance: 159 Avg. HR: 139
Active Calories, AF+ Mindful Cooldown: 46 Avg. HR: 106
Exercise Ring: 66/30
Move Ring: 750/650
Total steps: 8,472
Kicked off the week with a 20-minute dance workout with LaShawn (throwback hits). I haven’t done many dance workouts on Apple Fitness+, but they aren’t the most graceful events in my life. I love LaShawn’s energy, but I find it difficult to follow the routine! Consequently, I have to improvise at times. Regardless, I am moving my body, I’m gathering a sweat, and my heart rate climbs. My max HR for this workout was 164 BPM.
I did a 10-minute mindful cooldown with Jessica (chill vibes) after the dance session. I like her “vibe,” and she provided me with some good stretches before the meditation part of the routine. I still would prefer cooldown sessions that were exclusively stretching, but these will have to do while I wait for Apple to implement that.
Calorie Intake: 1670/1783
Fat: 24 %
Carbs: 65 %
Protein: 11 %
Yesterday, I ordered an Indian take-out to celebrate being granted my Green card. Today, this meant I skipped breakfast so I could eat a delicious lunch without ruining my calorie budget.
Lunch was a delightful feast of 1/4 cup of butter chicken, 1/4 of chicken korma, 1 cup of white rice, 2 pieces of naan, and a large vegetable samosa. I used my meal prep glassware to portion out my food so I wouldn’t eat to the point of excess. I’ll concede that this isn’t the healthiest food in the world, but in proportion, it doesn’t have to be a health killer.
I turned to a home-cooked meal for dinner today. I had a cup of mashed potatoes with 162 calories of my chili con carne. For dessert, I had a portion of chocolate pudding and a banana. Yes, I totally dipped my banana in the pudding. All in, this meal came to 549 calories.
There was room in the budget for a hot chocolate (Swiss Miss with marshmallows) and a 100-calorie Dove bar.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 723 Avg. HR: 86
Exercise Ring: 91/30
Move Ring: 1,119/650
Total steps: 14,962
My walk today was an end-of-the-day hustle to get some fitness under my belt before bed. It was six miles, and it took just under 75 minutes to complete. That means each mile was, on average, 12’17”, which is moving at quite a clip. Surprisingly, my HR didn’t reflect the effort that such a feat took. Instead, it remained even, peaking only at 109 BPM.
I find the number of calories that I am being credited with for this walk unbelievably high. It would normally take a considerably sweaty effort to achieve this kind of burn. I’m annoyed because I was awarded a new move record, and I’m not sure if I earned it! On the bright side, I definitely got the 650 active calories that I was looking for.
Calorie Intake: 1641/1783
Fat: 21 %
Carbs: 55 %
Protein: 24 %
I couldn’t skip breakfast today – I was too hungry! I opted for one of my go-to options – a packet of instant oatmeal with 1/8 cup of raisins. Delicious, warm, and filling for a mere 170 calories. Can’t go wrong with that choice.
Lunch was a direct replica of yesterday’s – demonstrating that I may have learned how to order take-out and not ruin my health in the process. Generally, if I am going to have a high-calorie meal, I prefer it to be in the middle of the day rather than for dinner. It both gives me time to digest, and it also helps me budget how much I can for the rest of the day. It also helps me decide to exercise more if it’s needed to find some balance! Due to this, I’m okay that my lunch was a whopping 881 calories as I had the rest of the day to balance out that choice.
For dinner, I again went for some home cooking. This time I heated up a portion of my creamy chicken bacon orzo – a complete and hearty meal for 490 calories. Near the end of my day, I indulged by having a 100-calorie Dove bar. I readily admit I am a chocolate addict, and the best solution for me might be to not have it in the house!
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 123 Avg. HR: 88
Active Calories, Indoor Cycle: 316 Avg. HR: 135
Exercise Ring: 118/30
Move Ring: 1,020/650
Total steps: 10,316
Finally, I used the indoor walk for what it should be used for – a warm-up! I embarked on a short 20-minute stationary march to get the muscles warm and the heart pumping a little. I covered 1.1 miles. Unlike yesterday, this data seems far more accurate in terms of calories burned!
After my warm-up, I hopped on my spin bike. I went on a 50-minute ride, working my legs on every rotation while I watched television. I have yet to increase the resistance much, mostly because I am drenched in sweat after five minutes. This ride was no different. Got my HR up to 154 BPM, so I am proud of this effort.
Calorie Intake: 1548/1783
Fat: 20 %
Carbs: 64 %
Protein: 16 %
Hunger didn’t hit me until mid-morning, and I was already thinking about lunch. Therefore, instead of having a proper breakfast, I went for a cup of coffee and a white chocolate and macadamia nut favored mini Clif bar. I love these little bars because they have some goodness in them and are filling for only 100-110 calories. For me, they keep my hunger well satiated for several hours.
Lunch was almost a three-for-three replica! However, I had now run out of naan bread 😂. Calorie-wise this is a win. My 1/4 cup of butter chicken, 1/4 of chicken korma, a cup of rice, and large vegetable samosa made for a highly respectable lunch for under 600 calories. On reflection, maybe I don’t need to order the naan next time.
Dinner was a portion of my chili con carne with a pack of sea salt flavored PopCorners as the scooping vessel. I followed this up with 3/4 cup of blended strawberry Chiobani Greek yogurt. Gotta admit that’s a lot of food for 645 calories!
My day wouldn’t have been too bad if I hadn’t decided to use my remaining calories by feeding my chocolate addiction. Twice today, I reached for a mini Dove chocolate bar.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, AF+ Strength: 135 Avg. HR: 139
Active Calories, AF+ Mindful Cooldown: 44 Avg. HR:
Exercise Ring: 100/30
Move Ring: 876/650
Total steps: 10,865
A few weeks ago, I did this same strength workout with Sam. I was curious to see what progress I had made in the interim. The workout is only 20-minutes, and she uses the latest hits to keep your mind off the pain. If you have AF+ and haven’t tried this workout, I’d highly recommend it. It’s deceptively hard. Over the course of the 3 set cycles, you will feel your heart rate increasing as beads of sweat trickle down your temples. My peak HR was 164 BPM, so you can understand the sweating.
Not only are Sam’s moves effective and do-able, but her personality is also uplifting. She doesn’t act like it’s easy and encourages modification more than other instructors. As someone who is building their strength, I appreciate such concessions from my trainers.
After my strength training, I went for a mindful cooldown and gave instructor Molly a try. She has a highly calming aurora with a soothing voice. Exactly what I needed right after Sam whipped me into shape. Molly’s stretches focused on the shoulders and the lower back, which I needed after the strength training.
Calorie Intake: 1535/1783
Fat: 33 %
Carbs: 53 %
Protein: 14 %
Back to a breakfast staple of instant oatmeal with 1/8 cup of raisins. I am wondering if there is much value in making homemade oatmeal one day? It seems like a future Callie problem, but I ought to bring it up to her. 😄 Seriously though, next winter, perhaps that can be something I try!
With my Indian take-out finally consumed, I had to turn to something different for lunch today. At the core of my meal was a ca of Progresso’s creamy roasted chicken with herb dumpling soup. As it’s only 280 calories, I paired my soup with three slices of white Italian bread, making my lunch a substantial 520 calories. Alas, snacking ruined my healthy start to the day.
First, I had a packet of Blue Diamond Almonds – chocolate dusted flavor. I don’t regret this, as I think almonds are a good thing to have in your diet. The chocolate dusting just helps me find that sweetness that I crave in my day. However, following this up with 2 mini Dove chocolate bars wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made. Why couldn’t I have one or resisted at all? Oh well. Didn’t kill the budget, just my nutrition.
I got myself back on track at dinner time! I had a delicious serving of homemade shrimp and chorizo paella for 474 calories. I had a 70 calorie portion of chocolate pudding that I made with 2% milk for dessert. No more snacks today – get in.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Cycle: 126 Avg. HR: 127
Active Calories, AF+ Mindful Cooldown: 42 Avg. HR: 98
Exercise Ring: 91/30
Move Ring: 885/650
Total steps: 9,675
This was an end-of-the-day exercise effort. Thank goodness for challenges and my Apple watch generally, motivating me to move as the week winds down. My cycle wasn’t anything impressive – a relatively easy 20-minute ride, with a max HR of 147 BPM. Nonetheless, it was long enough to get the heart pumping well. I didn’t ride any longer as I wanted to get a decent night’s sleep.
Wanting to wind down quickly was the motivation for loading up Apple Fitness+ to get a quick mindful cooldown before bed. My reasoning was that five minutes of quiet meditation would help the body and mind settle after going at it on the bike. I chose Jessica today for my 10-minute cooldown. I like that she has a British accent. 🙂
Despite not pushing myself to the limits today, I racked up a fair calorie burn. Goes to show what I can do with just a little bit of effort.
Calorie Intake: 1536/1783
Fat: 18 %
Carbs: 57 %
Protein: 25 %
Another day, and another bowl of oatmeal with raisins! I like to get a variety pack of instant oatmeal to mix up the flavors on a day-to-day basis. Often go for the low sugar version. Other than that, I am pretty open to what’s in the variety pack, provide it includes apple and cinnamon flavor. Hands down, it’s my favorite.
Following my 170 calorie breakfast, I enjoyed a 476 calorie lunch. I made a packet of Annie’s shells & white cheddar macaroni and cheese. Previously, I’ve eaten the entire box (700 calories), but today, I had ~416 calories of it with 3/4 cup of butternut squash. I am highly proud of myself for finding a way to have the comfort food I want while eating a vegetable and keeping the calorie count relatively low.
A few weeks ago, I made a chicken dish in my slow cooker. Essentially it is chicken breast and chorizo mixed with vegetables (bell pepper, zucchini, celery, tomatoes) and tomato puree. For liquid, I ad bouillon. Each serving of this dish is 300 calories – so a good, healthy, low-calorie meal. I served it with 1 1/4 cups of butternut squash, which is hiding the chicken!
With plenty of room in the budget and hunger creeping in, I followed my meal up with 1 1/5 cups of blended strawberry Chobani Greek yogurt for 260 calories. Without question, this is my favorite yogurt right now. I far prefer the blended to the fruit on the bottom variety that Chobani also sells.
I did have a couple of snacks today, too — a packet of 100-calorie almonds and a 100-calorie Dove chocolate bar.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 357 Avg. HR: 75
Exercise Ring: 104/30
Move Ring: 1,105/650
Total steps: 17,047
If you’ve been reading my journey, you’ll know that when it’s close to bedtime, and I haven’t exercised, I march. At times, I can march a lot, believing that length somewhat makes up for the lack of intensity. The stats tell me I walked only 3 miles in 47-minutes, which is a far slower pace than earlier this week. Yet, the calorie burn is high. Honestly, not sure my watch is tracking my marches especially well. The calorie count seems artificially high on this occasion, considering my heart rate didn’t rise much.
Either way, I more than closed my rings and felt like I’d worked my legs after marching to an episode of television. As always, something is better than nothing.
Calorie Intake: 1635/1783
Fat: 30 %
Carbs: 53 %
Protein: 17 %
Breakfast today was a cinnamon raisin bagel for 250 calories. I bought the supermarket brand as it was a better price. Another pro was the calorie savings, as these are 30-40 fewer calories than most bagels. However, I find them a bit dry and lacking in flavor. So, I toasted the bagel and sucked it up!
Lunch was a Stouffer’s French bread pizza. I talked last week about how much I adore these being in my freezer. Yes, it’s not the greatest 460 calories I could eat, but it’s not exactly the worst either. I think of it more as a tool to keep within my budget when I want something unhealthy. There will be a time when I don’t crave such things but bring on the frozen pizza until then.
For dinner, I had a poke bowl from Fresh Catch, a local place here in Buffalo. I devoured the Bubba bowl – my favorite from their curated menu. Poke is a fantastic concept and fits perfectly in my fitness journey. It’s a lot of food for the calories. What’s better is that it fresh and good food, packed with vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive. What sells me on poke, though? It tastes damn good! 🙂 My bowl added 585 calories to my day.
I had plenty in the budget for a Saturday night treat. I had a Land o Lakes mint chocolate hot cocoa and 2 mini Dove chocolate bars to finish off my day.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, AF+ Dance: 168 Avg. HR: 148
Active Calories, AF+ Mindful Cooldown: 48 Avg. Hr: 103
Exercise Ring: 93/30
Move Ring: 870/650
Total steps: 10,981
Despite not following LaShawn’s moves, I like the concept of a dance workout. I think it’s the “fun” aspect – it feels less like working out than HIIT, for example. Today, I tried out trainer Jhon and his 20-minute Latin grooves workout. Yes, I know. I do not have the rhythm or nimbleness to pull of Latin moves, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun within the comfort of my home!
John is an incredible instructor. I had far fewer issues following him and felt he did a better job explaining and building on the moves in his dance. At times, it almost felt as though I were dancing! Of course, the goal here isn’t to be part of a recital but to burn those calories! Considering my HR peaked at 166 BPM, it is safe to say his moves effectively got my lazy butt to move!
I like Molly and returned to her for my mindful cooldown today. My body felt better and ready to relax after this session. I may be getting into having five minutes of reflection in my day. Mental health is just as important as physical health!
As it is the end of February, it was time for Apple to hand out those badges I’ve been trying to get all month! To add to my collection, I got both February badges. Perfect month (for closing move ring each day). I also completed my February challenge, which was to workout 18 times – is that all you have, Apple? Give me a real challenge next time. 😛
Calorie Intake: 1316/1783
Fat: 18 %
Carbs: 70 %
Protein: 12 %
I effectively had two large meals today rather than three, which is why my overall calorie count is pretty low today. I toasted three slices of Italian white bread and spread 2 tablespoons of Boone Maman Preserve, mixed berry flavor for brunch. Toast and jam for 340 calories – delightful.
My friend and I are bad influences on each other and agreed to simultaneously order food so we could “eat together.” I’m partially to blame for this, as I spent the week raving about how good the butter chicken I had last weekend was. To prepare for take-out again, I needed to eat as few calories as possible for lunch. To tide me over between breakfast and dinner, I had two mini chocolate chip Clif bars.
To finish my week, I did order Indian food from the same place. I did not order naan, though. I think that’s progress? I estimate that I ate around 775 calories between the butter chicken, rice, and vegetable samosas. I not sure Indian take-out is a better addiction than a chocolate one. 🤔🤣
I did really well this week at burning calories through movement. Encouragingly, there was plenty of variety in my exercise choices, opting for cycling, walking, strength training, and dance classes. Hopefully, such variation means that my body is being worked in continuously different ways, meaning that my muscles won’t get used to the stress I place on them.
Overall though, I’m pleased to have burned as much as I did, no matter what method I’m employing. I can appreciate that my body is stronger and fitter than when I began this journey months ago. The scale might not be being my friend right now, but I know my body is appreciating my efforts in other ways.
With food, I can always see areas for improvement. I could not have ordered food and stopped eating as many snacks. I’m always a work in progress, and I do see the improvement in calories consumed, so I will take this minor victory this week.
This will my last week working the second shift (2:30-10:30 PM), so I will have to get used to a new sleep schedule. I’m not sure what effect it will have during the upcoming weekend, but it will be through me a bit after this week. Mentally, I need to prepare how to shift my routine!
Keep on moving. I know weight loss is achieved in the kitchen, and burning calories through exercise isn’t going to have much effect (comparatively) on my overall weight. However, I feel good for seeing the move rings close and then some. I don’t see a negative effect to moving, that’s for sure.
My diet always needs improving. There’s always room for improvement there. I need to focus on snacking less; maybe try and cut down to one chocolate item per day? It seems simple when I write it down. It’s harder, though, when a big box of chocolate bars stares at me, and I can rationalize that they are only 100 calories. I think it’s a good aim to ration these better!
You met Raven last week, and she’s the star of the show for a second week in a row! In this series, we can see the progression of cuteness, and she transitions from sitting to a full-out dead-to-the-world cat. 💖ᓚᘏᗢ
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