Journal

Fat to Fit: Week 21

April 5th – April 11th, 2021

Apple has set me quite the challenge for April – to accumulate 1,970 exercise minutes this month. That’s an average of 65 minutes a day. I normally get 40 or minutes on average. I’ll need to up my daily exercise to stay on track!

I bought some Dove milk chocolate promises to have as a tiny treat each day to help with satiating my chocolate addiction. However, last week it didn’t go to plan, and I ate as much as my budget allowed! I’d like to improve on this weakness during week 21 of my journey!

Let’s see how things progressed this week…

Body Stats:

Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225lbs.
Week’s Beginning Weight: 181.2 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 182.0 lbs.

Body Fat: 31.5 %
Muscle Mass: 117.4 lbs.

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Monday 5th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Cycle: 300 Avg. HR:134
Exercise Ring: 51/30
Move Ring: 744/650
Total steps: 5,275

I got on my bike this evening in a quest to put some exercise minutes on the board. After around 20 minutes, I wanted to push my heart rate higher, so I increased the resistance; it had the desired effect! I felt exhausted after this ride, despite being around half as taxing as my PR ride last week. Nonetheless, pleased with my effort by keeping my HR in the 150-160 range for around 20 minutes.



Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1427/1547
Fat: 36 %
Carbs: 49 %
Protein: 15 %

Kicked off my week in the same manner as I did last week – with a 190 calorie Pure Protein chocolate peanut caramel bar. A few hours later, I had a citrus berry Soylent Squared bar for 100 calories.

The star of lunch was a portion of my vegetarian orzo casserole for 140 calories. Someone made banana bread at work – I honestly do not know who. It was left on the counter wrapped in foil with a post-it claiming it was banana bread. It sat there for hours until I opened it. I am a courageous person. I digress – I estimate that a piece of this bread was around 160 calories.

Work set me up again for breaking my budget. They had the audacity to give me a Lindt chocolate bunny and a carrot-shaped pack of jelly beans to celebrate Easter. Sigh. I couldn’t resist. I counted out 15 Jelly beans and logged 47 calories. In total, my lunch came to 347 calories, so I did well!

Potato, broccoli, and cheddar chowder from Progresso was my choice for dinner. I heated up the entire can, accounting for 430 calories of my day. I enjoyed some Dove milk chocolate when I got home from work, making up the rest of my calorie intake.


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Tuesday 6th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 33/30
Move Ring: 721/650
Total steps: 9,784

A typical weekday for me, where I move enough to close my rings, and that’s all I force my body to do. I had a push right before bed to make sure I closed that exercise ring. Not only do I hate leaving a ring open – every exercise minute is vital this month as I chip away at the April challenge.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1197/1533
Fat: 23 %
Carbs: 62 %
Protein: 15 %

I didn’t intend on having a low-calorie intake day – it just happened that way. I was busy at work, which meant I didn’t get a chance to have another breakfast bar like I normally do. Consequently, my breakfast was only 190 calories for the Pure Protein, chocolate peanut caramel bar.

I had the same meal as yesterday for lunch – a 140 calorie portion of my vegetarian orzo casserole, a piece of banana bread, and 15 jelly beans. Yes, I counted them! I felt utterly satisfied with ~350 calories.

When I got in from work, I reached for a 120-calorie bag of salted caramel brownie brittle. I am in love with this snack. I think it’s my favorite of all the low-calorie snacks I’ve tried to fit into my healthy lifestyle. It earns this place because it tastes amazing, there’s a lot of eating for the calories, and it meets my chocolate desires better than trying to eat a 100-calorie Dove bar (I’d often want a second). If you haven’t tried some, I recommend giving it a go.


Dinner was heating up some dumplings that have been in my freezer for an undetermined period of time. I had 12 pieces for 420 calories. This choice for dinner helped the low calories count for the day overall. There’s a lot of eating in 12 dumplings! I rounded my day off with another bag of brownie brittle.

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Wednesday 7th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 33/30
Move Ring: 666/650
Total steps: 8,736

I have gotten out of the habit of doing a dedicated workout in the evening recently. Instead, I tend to close my exercise ring by walking on the spot or around my apartment. Sometimes, I play with the cats, who like it when I jog around with their toy for them to chase. Tonight was a bit of that, followed by some marching to get those rings closed.

 

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1444/1533
Fat: 25 %
Carbs: 56 %
Protein: 19 %

After a lighter day yesterday, it’s unsurprising that I felt hungry this morning. I started my day as normal with a Pure Protein bar in the car. Nothing like stuffing your face with 190 calories during a 7-minute car ride, eh? 😝 Once at work, I felt hungry by 8 AM and sought comfort in a citrus berry Soylent Squared bar. That helped me over for another hour or so before I had another. All in, my breakfast came to 380 calories.

I brought a portion of my chili con carne to work for lunch. I gobbled up these 404 calories with a spoon as if it were a hearty soup. After eating my chili, I finally felt like I had had enough to eat!

Dinner was a throwback, as I had a couple of knishes! These are traditional Jewish snack food, and I cannot recommend them enough. There isn’t any nutritional information on the ones I eat from Buffalo’s Bloom and Rose, so I estimate that they are 180 calories each based on a search in the Lose It app. As I had plenty of calories, I had a mini ice cream for dessert. It was a wonderful treat for 180 calories.

A few hours after dinner, I decided to use 120 of my remaining calories on a bag of brownie brittle.


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Thursday 8th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 253 Avg. HR: 106
Active Calories, Indoor Run: Avg. HR:
Active Calories, Indoor Cycle: Avg. HR:
Exercise Ring: 101/30
Move Ring: 1,304/650
Total steps: 15,040

Apparently, my workouts are like buses – none, then they all come at once! I had the mindset of gaining as many exercise minutes as I could toward my April challenge after lagging behind the past few days.

I started with a 37-minute indoor walk, covering just under 2 miles. I got my HR up to 128 BPM as I pushed to increase the efficacy of my exercise and broke into more of a jog. I switched the tracking to a run for the last 20 minutes because I tried to keep my HR higher than I normally do during a walk, and I wanted to clearly see the effort. I covered 1.65 miles and got my HR to 122 BPM – which was lower than the jogging I did during the walk! 😂

My final exercise of the evening was the main event – a 30-minute indoor cycle. I see good results on the bike in terms of HR and calories burned – pretty much what I’m looking for from my cardio! From my heart tracing, it’s clear I started at a lower resistance, getting into the groove of the cycle. As I turned it up, the sweat and heart rate increased. I’m pleased with this effort – especially after walk/jogging for an hour beforehand.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1488/1533
Fat: 16 %
Carbs: 65 %
Protein: 19 %

I had a different flavor of Pure protein bar to start my day! I know, shocking, right? 😝 I had the chocolate deluxe variety, which I normally find a little too sweet before 6 AM. What I do relish about it, though, is the chocolate chips in the bar that provide a delightful crunch.

During the first part of my shift, I was in a famished mood and munched on a couple of Soylent Squared bars containing 100 calories each. All counted, my breakfast came to 380 calories.

Lunch was a wholesome meal that made me feel happy and full. I had 200 calories of chili con carne, a cup of mashed potatoes, and a cup of butternut squash. Can’t complain about a 400-calorie lunch such as this. I gave the rest of my Jelly Beans away! 😱

I did a little cooking at dinner, combining whatever ingredients I had lying around. At the core of the dish was 320 calories of Hokkien stir-fry noodles, into which I mixed diced squash and 3 tablespoons of hoisin sauce. I also prepared 5 vegetable dumplings (175 calories) to go with my noodles. For dessert, I had a Dannon Light and Fit raspberry Greek yogurt. In total, my dinner came to 711 calories.

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Friday 9th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 42/30
Move Ring: 713/650
Total steps: 10,447

After a good effort on the exercise front yesterday, I had a light day today. I didn’t log a workout, but I did march a bit to close my rings at the end of the day. I like hitting that old 10,000 step threshold as it makes me feel somewhat accomplished.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1524/1533
Fat: 34 %
Carbs: 50 %
Protein: 16 %

Back to my chocolate peanut caramel Pure Protein bar to kick off my breakfast. To bring my meal to 290 calories, I had my last ever chocolate brownie Soylent Squared bar mid-morning. I will miss these little guys! There are other foods, though, and I will survive. I think? 🙃

I only had chili in my freezer – which is why it has made so many appearances this week. Luckily for me, I could eat this for every meal and not get tired of it! Lunch was 200 calories of chili con carne with 90 calories of mashed potatoes. Once I got home, I rounded off my meal with a Dannon Light and Fit peach Greek yogurt.

Dinner was comfort food. I heated up six chicken tenders (400 calories) and served it with a cup of mashed potatoes, 1 1/2 cups of steamed broccoli, and had 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise on the side. The mayo is always the killer! I made it work, though – the entire meal was 753 calories.

There was just enough room for a snack today – and I went for my current go-to, a bag of brownie brittle for 120 calories.

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Saturday 10th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Functional Strength Training: 106 Avg. HR: 117
Active Calories, Indoor Cycle: 525 Avg. HR: 151
Exercise Ring: 115/30
Move Ring: 1,056/650
Total steps: 7,666

I found circuits on Pinterest to give myself a little more structure when I lift weights. I need to compile them to share as I took a few moves from three separate circuits. My focus was on the upper body – which is far weaker than my lower half. This is to be expected as I work my legs constantly just by walking around! I did the usual arm exercises, mostly with 5 lbs. weights, though I did switch to the 8 lbs. for bicep curls, overhead presses, and backward rows. I mixed in sets of crunches, lateral sit-ups, and push-ups from the knees too.

While the functional training was focused on toning, my bike ride was all about cardio and fat burning. I kept the resistance at a moderate level, not trying to ease into the ride – I was pretty warm from the weight session, so it wasn’t necessary. Hitting 166 BPM is a good number to see and about where I can get to while still feeling in control of my body. Any higher, and I’d be struggling to breathe!

This is another ride that I am proud of. When I first got the bike last summer, five minutes felt like an eternity, and doing 10 minutes was my max. Look at me now. 😊



Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1618/1533
Fat: 22 %
Carbs: 66 %
Protein: 12 %

When there are knishes in the house – I am going to eat them! For breakfast today, I had an original flavor – which is potato and onion. What’s better? They are only 180 calories. They cook from frozen in the toaster oven in 20 minutes. What a great way to kick off the weekend!

For lunch, I had another knish – this time a broccoli cheese-filled one. Due to the cheese content, this is a more calorific option, coming in at an estimated 240 calories. I hadn’t had this variety before – for me, it wasn’t my favorite as the broccoli inside was too big! Regardless, it was delicious.

I sort of went off the wagon for the rest of lunch, snacking my way through the calories. I had 2 bags of brownie brittle (240 calories total) and 2 bags of Stacy’s cinnamon sugar pita chips (400 calories total). Luckily I responded to these terrible food choices by exercising!

Luckily for dinner, I made some food! I took frozen grilled chicken strips, a bag of frozen peas and carrots, a jar of spaghetti sauce, and 3 cups of rice, mixed it all together, and called it cooking. I got four portions out of it, though – each measuring 358 calories.

To round off my day, I had some Orville Redenbacher’s SmartPop! Kettle Corn Popcorn – my favorite popcorn on the planet – you can read my review here. I had two bags, coming to 200 calories total.

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Sunday 11th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 108/30
Move Ring: 1,090/650
Total steps: 15,191

I amassed a lot of steps and minutes today! Most of my effort came after 6 PM – which I will call post pizza time. My intention was to not sit after eating Domino’s to lessen the effects of my dinner choice. It was wonderful – I ended up moving while watching tv, tidying my apartment, and playing with my cats. I was surprised at how much exercise and burned calories this effort collated. Not complaining, just surprised. Not a bad way to end the week and keeping on pace for the April challenge.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1508/1533
Fat: 43 %
Carbs: 35 %
Protein: 22 %

I started my day with a chocolate peanut caramel Pure Protein bar (190 calories). I was up early and didn’t want to have to think about breakfast, so I grabbed my go-to protein bar out of ease.

I had a low-calorie lunch as my friend, and I decided we would have pizza if Manchester United won that day. They did (3-1 vs. Tottenham); thus, I needed to save as much of my budget as possible. To that end, I enjoyed a portion of my chicken vegetable rice dish that I made yesterday, adding only 358 calories to my intake.

Deciding on what pizza to get took far longer than it should have. Ultimately I went for a medium, thin-crust Cali chicken bacon ranch and a medium, thin-crust Honolulu Hawaiian pizza. I always get thin crust as the calories are lower, but I also feel less weighed down after eating them. I also love how the thin crust is sliced into little pieces, making it easier to control. In total, I had half a medium pizza (some of each), accounting for 960 calories. I stayed on budget, had my pizza, and I felt good about my choices as another week ended.

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Week’s Reflection

I’ve seen my weight climb in the past couple of weeks. This isn’t ideal. It’s making me want to reflect on the fat content of my food, as that is the only difference now that chocolate had reentered my diet. Otherwise, calories and exercise have been consistent. Of course, little swings will happen, but it’s been a long time now since I’ve seen a downward trend.

I am pleased with the exercise efforts I have made this month. I have Apple to thank for that. By setting a high exercise minute goal, I need to be working out consistently. I like challenges. They work for me.

Nutrition-wise, there were a few poor choices in there – like snacking for lunch on Saturday. Overall though, I did okay.

Upcoming Week

Potential Roadblocks

The upcoming week could not be banaler if it tried. I have nothing on the docket that could curtail the week ahead. With the weather improving and my schedule stabilized, I feel good and ready to take on another week.

Desires

I’d like to see more of the same in terms of exercising. There was a big improvement this week, both in effort and consistency. If I can keep that going and eat home-cooked meals, I should see the results I desire. I know I am fitter and stronger, so I always take solace in that even if the scale doesn’t show it.

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Cat Corner

When the sun comes out, the cats find a way to make peace. That way, they can all get a seat by the window. 😊 ᓚᘏᗢ


Amazon Link

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Thank you for your support! 🤗

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