Fat to Fit: Week 16

March 1st – March 7th, 2021

Although I may not have seen it on the scale, I made great strides in the past week. Much of my progress was made in engaging in a variety of exercises and increasing my daily burn. Nutrition-wise, I acknowledge that there is a lot of room for improvement. However, my eating habits have improved considerably in the past year, and I see it more as a mindset change that I can sustain.

With careful budgeting, I’m hoping to see that I can enjoy eating out (or ordering in) without derailing my journey. Let’s see if that’s possible!

It’s a new month, which means a new monthly challenge from Apple. March’s challenge is to close all my activity rings 30 times in the month. In other words, a perfect month is required to earn that badge. Bring it on.

Body Stats:

Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225lbs.
Week’s Beginning Weight: 182.8 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 181.4 lbs.

Body Fat: 31.7 %
Muscle Mass: 117.3 lbs.


Monday 1st

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 354 Avg. HR: 80
Exercise Ring: 96/30
Move Ring: 869/650
Total steps: 12,890

I took my lazy butt on a three-mile march in my living room to close my rings today. While this was 40 minutes of exercise, it wasn’t exactly the most vigorous activity that I’ve engaged in. I moved at a fair clip, though, racking up enough steps to be equivalent to an average pace of 13’39″/MI. Thank goodness for my Apple watch inspiring me to move, though. Without it, I sense I would have gone to be without this walk in the books.

Calorie Intake: 1402/1783
Fat: 21 %
Carbs: 65 %
Protein: 14 %

Yesterday, I ordered Indian takeout. Knowing that I’d be tucking into some leftovers for lunch, I forwent breakfast to leave plenty of space in the calorie budget.

To lunch then… for 775 calories, I feasted on 1/2 cup of butter chicken, a cup of white rice, and 2 large vegetable samosas. Yes, it was a lot of calories, but it tasted mighty fine. 🙃

A half portion of my chili con carne and a 3/4 cup of rice was on the menu for dinner. I followed it up with a Dannon Light and Fit raspberry yogurt. I enjoyed my 426 calorie dinner thoroughly.

Plenty of room in the budget for some snacks today. I had a chocolate Soylent squared bar and a mini Dove chocolate bar. Both were 100 calories each.


Tuesday 2nd

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 223 Avg. HR: 81
Exercise Ring: 101/30
Move Ring: 916/650
Total steps: 14,167

Another day, another close to bedtime indoor walk! This time it was a quick 31-minute session, with an average pace of 17’52″/MI. From these stats, you can assess that it was far lower effort than I put in yesterday. I didn’t need this walk to close my rings; it was more of an extra helping of movement on top of what I’d amassed throughout the day. While my dedicated exercise was disappointing, overall, I moved a lot today, so I can take some solace in that.

What drove me to walk? I’m in a competition, and I needed to max out my points for the day. This is a feature on the Apple Watch, where you can earn up to 600 points in a day for exercising, moving, or standing. Cudos to the competitive spirit, which is what won today.

Calorie Intake: 1691/1783
Fat: 14 %
Carbs: 75 %
Protein: 11 %

No skipping breakfast today! I kicked my day off with a warm bowl of instant oatmeal with 1/8 cup of raisins. I’ve said it before, but this is one of my absolute favorite breakfasts. Hits the spot perfectly for just 170 calories.

Indian takeout leftovers were lunch today again. I ordered the standard chicken curry this time along with the butter chicken. Have to say, I was highly disappointed. It didn’t taste any better than something that I could have made myself! However, I don’t like to see food go to waste, so it had to be used up! I ate 450 calories of chicken curry with 1 1/2 cups of rice, bring my lunch to a substantial 756 calories.

I turned to a previously prepped meal for dinner and selected a portion of my shrimp and chorizo paella (474 calories). For dessert, I savored a Dannon light and Fit peach yogurt for 70 calories.

Even with breakfast and a large lunch, I was able to squeeze in a couple of snacks into the day too. I had a chocolate brownie mini Clif bar (100 calories) and a packet of kettle corn PopCorners (120 calories).


Wednesday 3rd

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 510 Avg. HR: 83
Exercise Ring: 104/30
Move Ring: 973/650
Total steps: 14,406

If you’re going to walk for exercise, you’d better make it a long one! I marched on the spot using my anti-fatigue mat for a little over an hour, coving 4.37 miles. My average pace was 14’27″/MI, with my slowest split being the last one. I like the pace, and I felt the effects in my thighs and calves afterward. I’m a firm advocate of moving in any way you can. As they say, lapping everyone that’s sitting on the couch.

Calorie Intake: 1540/1783
Fat: 22 %
Carbs: 55 %
Protein: 23 %

Oatmeal and raisins to commence my day once more! I prefer a bowl of oatmeal to a bowl of cereal. I eat cereal dry (I can’t tolerate soggy food), so I find eating it more of a snack rather than a meal. This is probably why I seldom eat it! Oatmeal is better anyway – can’t beat feeling satisfied first thing in the morning for only 170 calories!

Lunch was a bit of a throwback to frozen food used to make up a substantial part of my diet. I heated up a Tai Pei sweet and sour chicken in the microwave. I bought a few flavors, hoping that when I craved Chinese-esque food, I could turn to one of these rather than order in. For 470 calories, it isn’t as satiating as you’d hope, but it does fill that craving rather nicely. I followed my main course with a Dannon Light and Fit raspberry yogurt for 70 calories.

I opted for a home-cooked meal for dinner, enjoying a serving of creamy chicken bacon orzo. I created this dish out of some of my favorite ingredients. It’s a highly filling dish, and I adore how creamy and indulgent it tastes, yet it’s under 500 calories for a substantial portion.

My calorie count ballooned a bit today due to the number of snacks I consumed. First, I had a mini Dove chocolate bar at work. When I got home, I made myself a Land O Lakes white chocolate hot cocoa and ate a 100-calorie packet of almonds.


Thursday 4th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 632 Avg. HR: 83
Exercise Ring: 81/30
Move Ring: 875/650
Total steps: 12,697

There is a distinctive trend in my workout choice this week! I do like walking inside when the weather is poor. It’s a great way to mindlessly move your body while watching television or listening to a podcast.

I’ve noticed that my heart rate doesn’t increase much during these longer walks like it once did. I’m not sure whether I should attribute this to diminishing effort or if it’s due to an improved cardiovascular system. It could be a bit of both, I suppose! If I were trying to rack up Fitbit badges, then this would be the week for it!

Calorie Intake: 1620/1783
Fat: 24 %
Carbs: 54 %
Protein: 22 %

Three slices of cinnamon raisin toast with a cup of coffee is one of my favorite breakfasts. I love how I eat the first slice out of hunger, the second is a calm eating process, and the third takes me to that feeling of fullness and happiness. Not a bad experience for 270 calories.

I had another Tai Pei sweet and sour chicken entrée as the main component of my lunch. I paired it with a packet of Buffalo Ranch Ridges PopChips. It’s my first time eating these chips. They pack a lot of flavor and are only 90 calories! I also ate two mini Dove chocolate bars around lunchtime, meaning my entire meal too up 760 calories of my budget.

For dinner, I had another portion of creamy chicken bacon orzo for 490 calories. This is a highly filling meal, and as a consequence, I didn’t need much else to eat. Only one chocolate Soylent squared bar followed my dinner.


Friday 5th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 280 Avg. HR: 96
Exercise Ring: 72/30
Move Ring: 813/650
Total steps: 10,183

After work today, I embarked on a 31-minute walk to get a bit of exercise in. Halfway through, I had a five-minute jog that pushed my HR up to 137 BPM. It’s this that accounts for my higher average heart rate during this exercise. I think this should be part of any walk I do in the future – add in a little period of jogging to get the blood pumping a bit. Yes, movement is good, but I know I need to work the heart and lungs if I want to get fitter.

I can’t fault my overall calorie burn for the day, though. I am pleased that throughout the week, I have continued to burn more than my 650-calorie target. Even if the estimated burned calories from my walks are wrong, I’ve more than compensated for any errors.

Calorie Intake: 1415/1783
Fat: 16 %
Carbs: 72 %
Protein: 12 %

I stuck to my 270 calorie breakfast of three slices of cinnamon raisin toast. I know carbs are an unfashionable food group, but I love them and have no issue bringing them into my diet with open arms.

For lunch, I had a different flavor of the Tai Pei frozen range! Mixing it up with orange chicken today. I liked it less than the sweet and sour variety as it had less sauce. That might be the reason why it is 20 fewer calories. I had a packet of Cheddar and Sour Cream PopChips a little while later to round off my lunch.

Dinner was a lighter meal and another home-cooked favorite! A delightful 404 calorie serving of my chili con carne hit the spot perfectly. I squeezed in a couple of snacks today, too — first, a packet of tangy BBQ PopChip ridges and then a Dannon Light and Fit peach yogurt.


Saturday 6th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 193 Avg. HR: 112
Exercise Ring: 52/30
Move Ring: 689/650
Total steps: 8,236

For the first time this week, walking was needed to get anywhere close to closing my rings. Consequently, I put far more effort into it. At times, my walk was more akin to side-to-side dance, with exaggerated movement and sidekicks. While walking was at the core of my movement, it was really 26 minutes of free movement. think slow dancing, maybe? Regardless, that’s why my heart rate climbed to 121 BPM and overall was substantially higher throughout.

I’m excited to see that I put in the effort, and I was rewarded with a decent calorie burn. Not bad for a lazy Saturday.

Calorie Intake: 1668/1783
Fat: 30 %
Carbs: 60 %
Protein: 10 %

It’s the weekend! I wrapped myself in a blanket on the couch with a warm bowl of oatmeal and raisins (170 calories). I sipped my black coffee and allowed the spoonful after spoonful of the apple cinnamon flavor to bring a smile to me. I always feel that oatmeal sets me on a great footing for a great day ahead on my health journey.

Lunch was a cluster of whatever I could find in my kitchen, snacking my way to a 670 calorie total. The main component was a can of Progresso’s Lasanga-style soup. If you are thinking, “what a bizarre flavor,” then you’re not alone. It was on sale, and I took the plunge. I must say, it was terrific and filled me significantly for only 360 calories. If I weren’t a snack monster, then this would have been a darn fine lunch.

However, I piled on the calories with a packet of tangy BBQ ridge PopChips, a 100-calorie Dove chocolate bar, and a white chocolate macadamia nut mini Clif bar.

My friend and I once again ordered food simultaneously so we could enjoy a meal together. This weekend we chose Thai food. I used 828 calories of my budget on 3/4 serving of chicken Pad See Ew, 2 vegetable spring rolls, and five pieces of vegetable tempura. I must say, I really enjoyed my meal. A major benefit of Thai food is that the portions tend to be half the size of Chinese take-out dishes, so I won’t be eating this for days on end.


Sunday 7th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Cycle: 502 Avg. HR: 152
Exercise Ring: 60/30
Move Ring: 755/650
Total steps: 3,521

Finally, I did something other than walk this week! I have a spin bike at home, and I hopped on for a more intense workout session. I spent 55 minutes sweating and breathing heavily while my legs felt the burn of the magnetic resistance. I was watching television at the time, reading the subtitles as my bike spun with a whirl.

Keeping my heart rate up throughout this ride makes me proud, and I peaked at 166 BPM. Although it doesn’t offset my overall lazy approach to exercise this week, this workout does mean I end the week on a high. I earned a cycling record badge, which is a lovely cherry on the top.

Calorie Intake: 1608/1783
Fat: 33 %
Carbs: 58 %
Protein: 9 %

250 calories from a cinnamon raisin bagel to start the day. I toasted my bagel and then cut it into bite-sized pieces — something different to mix up a classic breakfast.

For lunch, I tucked into 428 calories of Thai leftovers. Chicken Pad See Ew is one of my favorite Thai dishes. There is something about those wide noodles with that sauce that invigorates my taste buds. The chicken isn’t battered nor fired, so it feels far less stodgy in the stomach than other take-out options. I followed my noodles with a 70-calorie Dannon Light and Fit raspberry yogurt.

I started eating the chicken Pad Thai for dinner. I estimate that I had around 660-calories worth of the dish. I also had one vegetable spring roll for 100 calories. Despite having seemingly endless Thai food today, there was plenty of calories left to squeeze some chocolate into my day. I did so with a 100-calorie Dove chocolate bar.


Week’s Reflection

I burned many calories this week; however, I’m a bit disappointed with myself for achieving many of them through walking. Don’t get me wrong, a burned calorie is a burned calorie, no matter the method. In terms of weight loss, it makes no difference. However, I am in this to get fit too. Marching in my living room will take me so far, and then I need to step it up.

Last week I worked on my strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular system. I feel that I took a step back in intensity this week. I hope I can return to more intense exercise shortly.

In terms of nutrition, I can’t argue anything other than it was poor. Yes, I stayed well within my calorie budget (set by the Lose It app), but I didn’t eat well. There were many convenient frozen foods, few vegetables that weren’t in my home-cooked meals, and a take-out dinner to end the week. I can’t be surprised that my body didn’t reward me with weight loss.

CICO should be a simple process, however. I am eating fewer calories than I burn each day. Simply put, I should be losing weight. It’s just math. Well, it’s not happening, and I’m going to have to figure out what my body needs. Perhaps it’s fewer calories, or it may be that it needs a certain food to get my metabolism going. Further research is needed.

Upcoming Week

Potential Roadblocks
I move to the early shift next week, meaning I start work at 6 AM! It’s still dark then! After starting work in the afternoon, this will be a seismic shift for me. I’m not sure what effect this will have on my energy next week. I suspect it will take me a few weeks to adjust to this. What I find especially difficult is going to bed at 9:30 PM. It felt like the middle of the evening when I tried to this weekend! Wish me luck because I feel exhausted already!

I want to keep closing my rings with the same ferocity. If it has to be through walking while I adjust to my new work life, then so be it. Keep those calorie burns high and keep the calorie intakes sensible. If I can do that, I will eventually see the effects of my work on the scale.


Cat Corner

Today’s featured cat is my boy Gryff! I’d “accidentally” woken him from a nap after showing him some love. He appreciated it but wished he was still asleep. 😊ᓚᘏᗢ

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