March 22nd – March 28th, 2021
I’m feeling healthier as the weeks pass. My new calorie budget had my snacking under control, and it’s this change that having a positive impact on my wellbeing. I’m adjusting well to my new shift and feeling as though my energy is improving too.
I want to include a few workouts this week and keep eating my home cooking! Onto week 19, then…
Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225lbs.
Week’s Beginning Weight: 180.6 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 180.8 lbs.
Body Fat: 31.5 %
Muscle Mass: 117.4 lbs.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, AF+ Strength: 193 Avg. HR: 137
Active Calories, AF+ Mindful Cooldown: 53 Avg. HR:
Exercise Ring: 58/30
Move Ring: 748/650
Total steps: 5,327
I didn’t get a lot of walking in during my workday, so it was important to get a workout in when I got home. After last week’s lack of workout, I set about breaking that streak straight away. I loaded up Apple Fitness+ and selected strength with Sam – 30 min, Hip-Hop/R&B March 22nd. I did a strength workout with Sam before, and it was my favorite session on AF+ so far. I hoped this follow-up wouldn’t disappoint.
This workout focused on the arms, and I can attest you will feel the burn. I love Sam’s style of just making a few moves in each set. It gets you mentally through the workout easily. Importantly, it works my heart too. I hit 161 BPM during this one. I have only done a 20-minute workout until now, and I didn’t feel the increase by 10 minutes was too much of a burden – instead, I feel good doing the extra. I earned my functional strength training workout record for the effort too!
I followed my strength training up with a mindful cooldown. I selected a 10-minute Chill Vibes with Jessica. I like hearing my native British accent – it’s soothing, thus perfect for the cooldown. My HR was high when I started, hitting 141 BPM. By the time it was over, I had relaxed to 84 BPM.
Calorie Intake: 1354/1783
Fat: 14 %
Carbs: 66 %
Protein: 20 %
Another work week begins, and unsurprisingly, I had a bagel to kick it off! Enjoyed a toasted everything bagel. I adore everything seasoning – one of the best things to ever happen to bagels if you ask me! Later in the morning, I had a couple of mandarins (40 calories each) to bring my breakfast calorie intake to 360 calories.
Lunch was the debut of my latest creation – vegetarian orzo casserole. It’s a blend of vegetables in a tomato sauce, spiced with paprika. The best thing about it? Each serving is only 140 calories! I served it with 2/3 cup of rice for a filing low-calorie meal. When I got home from work, I had a bowl of instant oatmeal with 1/8 cup of raisins. This brought my lunch to 432 calories.
Recently, I have become a huge fan of butter chicken. Instead of ordering in, I made a batch using a jar of Patak’s butter chicken sauce. My dish includes 1/3 lb of chicken and 2/3 cups of rice. I rounded my meal off with 1/2 cup of chocolate and vanilla pudding. All in, my delightful dinner came to 562 calories.
Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 42/30
Move Ring: 824/650
Total steps: 13,102
I walked a lot today! While at work, I was on my feet for most of my shift, racking up the steps, calorie burn, and exercise minutes. To top things off, I danced around my apartment with my cats. They think I’m crazy, but I love dancing and playing with them. I have this feather toy on a stick that they chase, so I hold it and jog around the apartment to give them a challenge — good exercise for everyone involved.
Calorie Intake: 1464/1533
Fat: 16 %
Carbs: 60 %
Protein: 24 %
I am quite the creature of habit, which is why today’s food intake is almost a carbon copy of yesterday. This means I had an everything bagel and a couple of mandarins to make a 360 calorie breakfast.
Lunch was another portion of my vegetarian orzo casserole with rice. The orzo content is low enough that throwing another carb in there doesn’t create a weird balance. The main reason for the rice is to bulk up the calories a bit! I switched the oatmeal for a mini chocolate chip Clif bar to bring my lunch to 362 calories.
Dinner was the same dish as yesterday – I can’t resist butter chicken! It might not be as good as the dish prepared down the street, but when I can have a hint of the flavor for under 500 calories, it’s a decent sacrifice. Once again, I had chocolate vanilla pudding for dessert. I made a layer of chocolate pudding then spread vanilla pudding on top. In hindsight, I should have made them in individual cups rather than one large dish as it becomes a goop after serving! Live and learn!
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Run: 49 Avg. HR: 132
Exercise Ring: 59/30
Move Ring: 896/650
Total steps: 13,847
I tracked a fast jog on the spot for 7 minutes to see how hard I was pushing myself. Turns out I can get my HR up pretty quickly! I did this little burst between some marching to crack up the exercise minutes. One of those days where I realized it was bedtime and I hadn’t closed my rings, so I scramble to workout without getting too sweaty. Of course, I put on a podcast (True Crime Garage has my attention presently), and lost track of time, and substantially surpassed the metrics needed. I prefer going above and beyond when I’m closing my rings through lighter exercise.
Calorie Intake: 1429/1533
Fat: 12 %
Carbs: 71 %
Protein: 17 %
Munched on an everything bagel on my way into work this morning. I like to toast my savory bagels, whereas I usually eat the sweet one (blueberry or cinnamon raisin) straight out of the sleeve. I had a couple of mandarins left, so I took them to supplement my breakfast laster on. It’s a breakfast combination that has served me well, not bad for 360 calories.
When I meal prepped over the weekend (left), I made a fair number of my vegetarian orzo casserole portions. It’s unsurprising then that I had another serving for lunch today! This dish is making it so easy to keep within my calorie budget. To supplement my main course, I had a citrus berry Soylent Squared bar. These are discontinued now, and I will miss having them as a go-to snack. All told, it was another wonderful lunch for a meager 362 calories.
Home cooking is working well for me, and I selected a 1/2 portion of chili con carne with a cup of rice for dinner. I scooped up the chili with a bag of sea salt-flavored PopChips. To me, this is comfort food, yet it was only 517 calories. I felt a peckish later on and had a Pure Protein bar – chocolate peanut caramel flavor for 190 calories.
Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 45/30
Move Ring: 743/650
Total steps: 9,880
I may have started the week off with a beautiful workout, but I’ve fallen into my habits of relying on walking to close those rings. Yes, I feel tired by this point in the week, but I know that I can carve out 30 damn minutes to do something. The good news is that this sort of burn will keep CICO ticking over for me. Walking for the win.
Calorie Intake: 1490/1533
Fat: 31 %
Carbs: 47 %
Protein: 22 %
I had to mix my breakfast up today as I am officially out of bagels! I should buy more next time. I opted for a Pure Protein bar – chocolate peanut caramel flavor as my on-the-go breakfast. It’s not as sweet as the chocolate deluxe flavor, so it’s better for eating first thing in the morning. Grabbing a protein bar is easier than toasting a bagel, and it is fewer calories. I’m also curious if the protein content will satiate me longer – which it theoretically should. By mid-morning (which means (9 AM for me), I was ready for breakfast part two and chose a chocolate chip mini Clif bar. All in, breakfast was 290 calories.
I heated up a portion of an Asian-inspired orzo dish; its ground turkey, vegetables, and hoisin sauce cooked down in a slow cooker. While it was not the most visually appetizing dish I have created, it was packed with flavor, and I really enjoyed it. For 430 calories, I felt very full.
Pizza night! I cooked a Stouffer’s French bread three meat pizza in my toaster oven for dinner. A great way to get my pizza fix for 460 calories. I thought I should have something relatively healthy to offset the dinner choice and had a Dannon Light and Fit Peach Greek yogurt for 70 calories.
While relaxing later, I used my remaining calories to enjoy a Land O Lakes hot chocolate and a 100-calorie Dove chocolate bar.
Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 30/30
Move Ring: 704/650
Total steps: 9,146
It’s approaching midnight – I’m usually sound asleep by this point. I’m up late after playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch and watching a movie. Suddenly, I realize that my Apple stats for the day are anemic. I’m running out of time; my energy is depleted. Can you guess what I did? Yep, racked up some steps. The cloud of fatigue means that I forgot to track this last-ditch effort walk. I did laps around the hall into the office. Toodles looks at me, perplexed as to why we aren’t asleep. Raven gives me a disapproving look before toddling off to be away from the madness. Gryffin thinks it’s playtime and follows me for the first five minutes before deciding it’s too much work and flops over, belly exposed.
Gamification made me move. Gamification is the only reason I move at all, sometimes.
Calorie Intake: 1399/1533
Fat: 12 %
Carbs: 73 %
Protein: 15 %
The final day of the workweek and I am delighted for the weekend to come. I had another Pure Protein bar for breakfast and followed it up with a white chocolate and macadamia nut mini Clif bar to get me through to lunch. The protein bar for breakfast is working out for me – I feel just a full and satisfied with this as I do when I eat a bagel while saving 100 calories.
A serving of my vegetarian orzo casserole was the star of my lunch, paired with 2/3 cup of jasmine rice. I love this low-calories dish as my lunch – as I tend to eat it between 1030-11 AM. Consequently, it’s not an issue to come home and have a bowl of oatmeal and raisins like I did today. Combined, all this delicious and nutritious food came to 432 calories.
Dinner was a firm staple of mine – chili con carne with a cup of jasmine rice. I tend to make a double batch of chili – so there’s always plenty of it in my freezer to grab. It’s why I eat it all the time. I had a double portion of my chocolate vanilla pudding that I made at the weekend for dessert. I sort of forgot about it!
The final thing I had to eat today was a bag of white cheddar PopCorners for 120 calories.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 430 Avg. HR: 93
Exercise Ring: 99/30
Move Ring: 877/650
Total steps: 11,517
I am historically lazy on Saturdays – especially during the cooler months of the year. This should change with warmer weather as I can get back out on my bike. However, that change hasn’t happened yet, and I basically didn’t move all day. I was writing and watching television until around 5 PM. At this point, I started to work on those pesky rings.
What I lack in intensity, I make up for in duration. I embarked on a 52-minute walk, covering 3.45 miles. The decent pace of 15’05″/MI average meant my heart got rate higher than some previous walks. This is what accounts for the relatively high-calorie burn rate. It’s one reason I go above and beyond when I do indoor march, in terms of stats, is because I think Apple overestimates my calorie burn.
Calorie Intake: 1535/1533
Fat: 25 %
Carbs: 59 %
Protein: 16 %
Breakfast today was keeping up with the protein bar theme that I’ve been developing. I reached for the heartiest bar I have – a mint chocolate Pro Bar for 280 calories. These things are so big that I always eat them in two sittings (or one very long one).
I felt the urge for some comfort food and didn’t fancy the few options I had in my freezer. To the cupboard, I went, and when I saw a box of Annie’s shells and white cheddar, I knew that was what I wanted. I ate the entire box adding a whopping 675 calories to my day. It’s the largest meal I have had in a while, and I felt the sleepy effects of it afterward!
The need for comfort food didn’t end at lunchtime. Dinner was 400 calories of breaded chicken tenders and 180 calories of mashed potatoes. Ideally, my meal should have included a vegetable and some gravy – but none was made.
Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 75/30
Move Ring: 832/650
Total steps: 10,957
I moved a lot today, despite not logging anything official. I spent a good while cleaning my apartment. Not one of those surface cleans that you do to keep things ticking over. No, a proper clean where you scrub things and get into the corners. I often feel the burn in my thighs and upper body after efforts like these. SUch efforts get the heart pumping and consequently earn you some exercise minutes!
The rest was from a 5-minute burst of quick jogs that I’ve taken to doing on the hour. Just enough to get the body going, but not long enough to track. I do this on the weekends when I wouldn’t move otherwise. Pleased with the overall calories burned with the day.
Calorie Intake: 1479/1533
Fat: 19 %
Carbs: 67 %
Protein: 14 %
Ah, a Sunday morning with a warm bowl of oatmeal flavored with raisins. There’s nothing quite like it. I like to relax with my oatmeal and sip my coffee while watching football/soccer. It’s nice to not consume my breakfast quickly like I have to do during the week. A few hours later, I had a Dannon Light and Fit Greek raspberry yogurt, completing my 250-calorie breakfast.
It was a cold day here in Buffalo, so I opted for a bowl of soup fr lunch. I went for Progresso’s creamy chicken noodle (270 calories) and 3 slices of Italian white bread (240 calories.) It was a lovely, satisfying lunch for 510 calories.
For dinner, I heated up a double portion of my vegetarian orzo casserole. Instead of eating it with rice, I went for the less nutritious option of 2 bags of sea salt flavored PopChips. It was a lot of comfort food for under 500 calories!
I finished my week off with a Land O Lake hot chocolate and a 100-calorie Dove bar.
After stating last week that I was disappointed in myself for not logging an official workout, I didn’t do much to rectify that situation. Yes, I stepped up on Monday, but then I was back into my walking for credit habit. I’m not asking much of myself either. Three official workouts a week is a good target, with walks in there to keep up with my watch. Next week, I can improve.
Food-wise, I am pleased with my effort. Even my “junk food slips” were not as severe as they have been in recent weeks. Keeping the freezer full of home-cooked meals makes everything easier. I’m usually tired by dinner time on a weeknight, so having the ability to grab something and pop it in the microwave makes smart decisions far easier.
I am lucky enough to have an appointment for my first dose of the coronavirus vaccine next weekend. I heard that it is mostly the second dose that causes side effects, but potentially I might feel drained on Sunday.
Other than that, it’s a normal week ahead, and I should be able to stay on course without too much difficulty.
Can I please do something a little more creative exercise-wise? Yes, I am outwardly pleading with myself. It’s in my control, so let’s control it.
I also want to keep my freezer full of prepped meals – it’s vital to my success.
Toodles and Gryffin are working on their friendship. I couldn’t help but interfere by plopping him on top of her. Nothing bad happened, so I feel vindicated by helping them along. ᓚᘏᗢ
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