Journal

Fat to Fit: Week 31

June 14th – June 20th, 2021

I’m two weeks into an Apple Fitness streak. I’ve been mixing things up with yoga, HIIT, and strength routines. At long last, I feel like I am getting into a sustainable workout regime and making the most of my AF+ subscription at the same time. I hope to further extend my streak this week.

I am more focused on fitness these days. However, I always want to keep my calorie count on budget – which is set using the App Lose it! My settings should mean my calorie deficit equates to losing 1.5 pounds a week – but I am not losing weight at all. It’s something I’ll have to eventually address to shed the extra fat I am carrying around. It’s not about looking a certain way for me – my goal has always been to be healthier, fitter, happier.

Body Stats:

Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225lbs.
Goal Weight: 165 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 181.0 lbs.

Body Fat: 31.2%
Muscle Mass: 117.2 lbs.

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Monday 14th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, AF+ HIIT: 175 Avg. HR:138
Exercise Ring: 81/30
Move Ring: 962/650
Total steps: 12,979

With regular marching and my daily Apple Fitness workout, I’ve noticed that I am crushing my move ring daily.  Therefore, I am increasing my move goal to 710 calories. Wish me luck!

Following a weekend of strength workouts, it was time to kick on with some serious cardio.  Nothing like a HIIT workout to do the trick. Another brutal workout set with Kim. Her throwback playlist wasn’t sufficient to get my mind away from the pain. I kept my heart rate up the entire time, stabilizing in the 155-160 BPM range.  I struggle to get my HR any higher than this, so I think it’s my max. Of course, it should be closer to 180, but I can’t seem to get it that high! However, I am right at the target heart rate to benefit from my cardio, so I am well chuffed. 

The moves themselves weren’t technically too difficult: squats, high knees, froggers, and chops.  It’s just in combination after doing them for 45 seconds each that kills you. I crushed it, though – look at that burn bar!


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1333/1533
Fat: 32%
Carbs: 48%
Protein: 20%

I am kicking off another work week with a chocolate peanut caramel Pure Protein bar. It’s something easy to eat while science is cooking in the lab. Not bad to get 20 grams of protein into me for 190 calories. I followed this up with an apple and cinnamon Kellogg’s Nutri-grain bar for 130 calories. 

Lunch was a homemade meal of Italian Turkey Stew with a cup of mashed potatoes. Together they produced a marvelous 319 calorie meal that I thoroughly enjoyed — no need for anything else after eating so well.

Dinner was a bizarre choice, but one I will repeat, perhaps tomorrow. I cooked 9 oz. of Whole Foods’ crinkle-cut oven French fries and served them with half a small smashed avocado.  I used the avocado as a dip for the fries. It was an intriguing combination without much of a calorie burden (390 for the fries and 114 for the avocado). Later in the evening, I rounded my day off as it began with a chocolate peanut caramel Pure Protein bar for 190 calories.


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Tuesday 15th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, AF+ Yoga: Avg. HR:
Exercise Ring: 121/30
Move Ring: 1,212/650
Total steps: 17,522

I have some pretty impressive stats for the day, and the main reason for that is the arrival of my Desk Cycle! I will write a lovely long review about it after a while, but I love it so far.

As for my Apple Fitness workout, I went with a 30-minute yoga workout with Dustin. This routine used a Hip-Hop vibe playlist, so I expected it to be faster than the chill vibes I have completed previously. However, it was a slow flow and did a fantastic job of stretching out my back.  I hadn’t noticed it was tight until I did this workout – probably some lingering tightness from doing strength and HIIT workouts. As always, though, Dustin got my heart beating as I transitioned between downward dog, plank, and cobra.  It’s a lot for my shoulders!


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1581/1533
Fat: 29%
Carbs: 51%
Protein: 20%

Consistency is a word you would associate with my food choices. Unsurprisingly, I had the same breakfast today as I did yesterday. I like starting my day with a protein bar. It helps satiate my hunger well.

A couple of weeks ago, I made a curried chicken and spinach ziti dish. I froze a few portions, and I had one of them for lunch today (left). Admittingly, this isn’t the most visually appetizing meal, but it does taste pretty damn good. When a serving is filling for 334 calories, I am pretty chuffed with my creation.

I predicted my actions perfectly.  I had the same meal for dinner tonight as I did yesterday. I went as far as weighing my fries before cooking them to make sure I was on point with the calorie intake. I think the avocado as a dip is somewhat genius. It tastes excellent and is probably close to the same calorie value as mayonnaise, which I like to dip my fries into. I had the Pure Protein bar too.

I did have another snack today – a small box of Frosted Flakes cereal for 120 calories.

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Wednesday 16th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories: Avg. HR:
Exercise Ring: 100/30
Move Ring: 1,098/650
Total steps: 17,305

I’ve been crushing my fitness stats recently, and I kept that trend up today! To keep up with the cardio element of my workout, I selected a nice 20-minute dance routine to get my heart beating and my fat burning.

I selected Ben and one of his upbeat anthems playlists. With it being Pride month, I was partially drawn to it as his playlist was inspired by Pride and loving who you are. That’s something I can dance to. From an aerobic perspective, my dancing was highly effective. From the grace and rhythmic vantage point, it was a colossal failure.  I followed the moves as best as I could, but what is important is that I kept moving, retained a smile, and found joy while doing it. If you’re not mixing dance into your weekly routine, you should.

My remaining stats came from my usual walking at work and then using my desk cycle to move a little more while sitting at my desk at home.



 

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1437/1533
Fat: 19%
Carbs: 60%
Protein: 21%

It’s three for three on my breakfast selection! A couple of lucky bars hit the top of a menu, creating a decent breakfast of 320 calories.

Lunch, too, was a familiar affair of Italian Turkey Stew and mashed potatoes.  I make my dishes in a slow cooker, creating 8 or 9 portions at a time. So, I pretty much can eat the same thing for a couple of weeks at a time. Sometimes, I make a few dishes simultaneously, so there is a bit of variety.  However, eating the same thing day after day does not bother me, especially when it tastes good and I know it isn’t too bad for my body. 

Dinner is where I tend to mix things up a bit, and today was a bit different! I cooked 6 oz. of Whole Foods’ chicken nuggets for 300 calories. Instead of carb, I paired my nuggets with 1 ½ cups of chopped broccoli (82 calories) — a wonderfully filling meal for far less than the previous two days. I love to sprinkle a little garlic salt on my broccoli for flavor, adding about 5-10 cals to the meal. For dessert, I had a mini box of raisin bran cereal (140 calories).

I found myself quite hungry at night and decided to have a breakfast-themed snack later.  First, there was a medium banana (105 calories) and with it was a bowl of instant low-sugar oatmeal with ⅛ cup of raisins.  You have to admit – that’s a lot of food for 275 calories!


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Thursday 17th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories: Avg. HR:
Exercise Ring: 102/30
Move Ring: 1,064/650
Total steps: 14,037

It’s been a few days since my last strength routine, so time to get cracking! Based on my previous 20-minute effort with Amir, I decided that I was ready to step up to a 30-minute session. I turned to my favorite strength instructor – Sam with her throwback playlist – to get me through.

A full-body workout was on the cards today. First, you did the moves individually, focusing on either the upper or lower body.  Then, you combine the actions to do compound exercises, maximizing the benefits.  I used 8 lbs for my big weights and 5 lbs for my small weights.  Sam uses lighter weights for fly movements, and 5 lbs is a struggle for me, but I like that challenge.  My larger weights could stand to be heavier! I’m pleased with the effort I put into this, burning plenty of calories along the way.

I needed a cool down after that, and I went with Gregg.  I believe it’s the first time I have worked with him.  My cooldown focused on stretching my back, shoulders, and hips, which seemed ideal after 30 minutes of weight lifting.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,529/1,533
Fat: 18%
Carbs: 59%
Protein: 23%

The sun rises over Buffalo, and I am munching on a Pure Protein bar to start my day.  It pairs perfectly with a cup of medium roast coffee. With 190 calories inside me, I have the energy to take on the day. I supplement my protein-heavy bar with a Kellogg’s Nutri-grain bar for 130 calories a few hours later.

By lunch, I was ready for a home-cooked meal, heated in my work’s microwave.  Today, I went for a portion of chicken and vegetable orzo that I prepared in my slow cooker. I am enjoying meals such as these – where I combine good ingredients to make a complete dish. What’s better is that home cooking makes your calories go far further, with this hearty portion costing only 331 calories.

I had what my mother would call “trash tea” for dinner. I had 3 oz. of chicken tenders (151 calories) with 6 oz. of crinkle-cut fries (260 calories).  At the very least, I did have a vegetable on my plate! I rounded my meal off with 1 ½ cups of boiled broccoli florets. I didn’t have any condiments, which did make the meal a bit dry, but that’s for the best. For dessert, I enjoyed a mini box of Corn Pops cereal (100 calories).

I did have a couple of snacks today.  The first was a chocolate deluxe Pure Protein bar (180 calories) – a good substitute for a candy bar! The second was a medium-sized banana (105 calories).

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Friday 18th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories: Avg. HR:
Exercise Ring: 46/30
Move Ring: 743/650
Total steps: 9,303

It’s crazy to see 743 move calories and think of that as a “light” day.  However, based on this week, it is. I kept my Apple Fitness streak going, though, with an excellent yoga session with Jonelle. Her Hip-Hop playlist was focused on celebrating Juneteenth.  The routine was based on warrior poses to promote strength and energy. It was a reasonably energetic affair, and I got my heart rate up to 128 BPM.  I would call that average compared to some more brutal yoga sessions I’ve undertaken recently.

In general, it was a lighter day with plenty of football viewing (Euro 2020) and a bit of relaxation.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,359/1,533
Fat: 23%
Carbs: 52%
Protein: 25%

As we were going for happy hour after work, I purposefully ate lighter today to leave room for my alcohol calories. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t start my day with my standard chocolate caramel Pure Protein bar for 190 calories.  Instead, it means that that is all I had for breakfast today.

Last week I made a pasta dish in my slow cooker: curried chicken and spinach ziti. I adore the flavors and aromatics that this creation possesses. While pasta is filling, I used to eat far too much of it before I began portioning. We’re talking 600-700 calories of pasta, plus a sauce, and probably a protein.  Now, I feel my hunger’s dealt with a mere 334 calorie serving like this one.

I went home before hitting the pub and enjoyed a half portion of homemade chili con carne with a cup of mashed potatoes.  Pretty great pre-drinking food. Not bad for 315 calories.

I had a couple of ciders at the bar, estimating 32 oz. in total.  I’m not good at judging fluid ounces, so it is a bit of a guess! Either way, let’s add 360 calories to my daily intake. I got a bit peckish while drinking, and I had a bag of Fritos corn chips to munch on.  Sigh, another 160 calories added there. I stayed on budget, though!

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Saturday 19th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories: Avg. HR:
Exercise Ring: 98/30
Move Ring: 822/650
Total steps: 12,216

It’s the weekend, and Euro 2020 is in full swing! I used my Desk Cycle to crack up some movement while I was watching the games. I also did periods of walking/marching in my apartment to make sure I wasn’t remaining stagnant for too long.

I decided to do some dedicated core training with Molly. I get core work during my other routines, but it is good to add one 10-minute dedicated session a week to ensure I am hitting those muscles appropriately.  The core, after all, is essential to posture and performing many other exercises correctly. Core with Molly was pretty tough on the abs, though I wish there were a little longer; I suppose I could do two of them.  I wanted to stretch after cycling during the day, so I opted for a mindful cooldown with Dustin to achieve that.

Alas, I didn’t track my cycling as I was trying to do it more passively rather than full-out as I do on my spin bike. I don’t intend desk cycling to replace exercise; it adds more movement to my nights at my desk.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,567/1,533
Fat: 26%
Carbs: 46%
Protein: 28%

Despite it being the weekend, I still had a Pure Protein bar for breakfast today. I think it’s just too easy to reach for one of these as the way to start my day.  It’s not the worst 190 calories I could feed my body with.

I purchased an American Flatbread pepperoni and bacon pizza and decided to heat it for lunch today. The entire pie was 760 calories, and I ate the whole thing over a few hours.  It sort of acted like brunch and lunch?

For dinner, I returned to a classic meal that used to be one of the most common on my docket. With a cup of jasmine rice (205 calories), I paired a Trader Joe’s shrimp burger (90 calories) and 1 ½ cups of broccoli (82 calories). I covered my rice with four tablespoons of Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce (80 calories) for flavor.  An utterly scrumptious meal for 457 calories. 

I did have a snack today! There are these fantastic gas stations in Texas called Buc-ees’s, and they have a jerky station.  My friend sent me some of their turkey jerky, and I had a couple of ounces of it for 160 calories.

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Sunday 20th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories: Avg. HR:
Exercise Ring: 103/30
Move Ring: 984/650
Total steps: 11,922

Well, following two more leisurely days, I pulled one heck of a workout out of the bag today with a 30-minute HIIT session with Kim.

While it was a Pride-inspired Upbeat anthems playlist, I don’t think I heard a lyric nor a bar of music as I was concentrating too closely on surviving. If you are looking to jump, punch, and sway, this is the workout for you.  There are only three moves, but you do them three times for three blocks.  There’s also a “nice” jumping jack challenge in the middle, just in case you aren’t close enough to death by that point.

My form deteriorated as the workout progressed.  I became too tired to lift my legs high enough, and my punches wouldn’t dent a pillow, let alone knock anyone out.  Regardless, I continued pushing, keeping an eye on my heart rate, and ensuring I didn’t let it drop.  One of the most incredible things about the Apple Fitness+ platform is that HR and ring feedback. I use it constantly to ensure my effort is where I want it to be. I did comparatively well, too, according to the Burn Bar.

Unsurprisingly, I earned my HIIT record today, so I am well chuffed with myself.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,450/1,533
Fat: 17%
Carbs: 71%
Protein: 12%

Breakfast on this glorious day was a packet of low-sugar instant oatmeal with ⅛ cups of raisins.  Together they make a warm bowl of deliciousness for 170 calories. I had a relaxing start to my day, reading a book on World War I, so I poured myself a cup of salted caramel cold brew to sip. A few hours later, I reached for a Kellogg’s Nutri-grain bar to starve off a tinge of hunger. All in, my breakfast came to and even 400 calories. 

I’ve been eating quite a few crinkle-cut fries recently, and today continued that trend.  I carefully weighed out 8 oz. of fries and portioned 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce to dip them into. I enjoyed my 417 calories lunch, despite the lack of nutritional value. 

I enjoyed my dinner yesterday so much that I repeated the meal this evening. Something about sweet chili sauce and shrimp goes perfectly, and it’s a flavor palette that I relish. The rice is filling, and who can resist some broccoli on a plate? Wonderfully balanced meal for 457 calories. 

I did have a snack today – consisting of a 110-calorie serving of low-fat vanilla yogurt with 66 calories of natural granola.  Granola is dense in calories, so I always measure it out first!

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Week’s Reflection

I’m pleased with how my workouts went this week and the number of calories I burned. I feel stronger and healthier as this week ceases. Yoga this week helped a lot with my flexibility, and some lingering back pain I had has disappeared.

I kept things pretty stable with my nutrition, finding a good balance between health and indulgence. Perhaps too much gratification, with crinkle-cut fries and the ciders. 🙃 It was all in moderation, though. Yes, I’m trying to convince myself, is it obvious?


Upcoming Week

Potential Roadblocks

My life is pretty stable currently. Therefore, everything that is roadblocking my progress is on me and my mental state!

Desires

Let’s keep my exercise streak going! I am enjoying the variety of my workouts, and I know that my body is responding already. I am focusing more on exercise than nutrition right now, and I don’t mind continuing, provided I keep my calorie intake within limits set by my Lose It app. My setting should equate to losing 1.5 pounds a week, but that hasn’t happened once in all these months.

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Cat Corner

When Gryffin looks at me like this with his big round eyes, he can have whatever he wants. What an angel. 💖ᓚᘏᗢ


Amazon Link

If you want to support my blog at no cost – shop on Amazon using my link! As an Amazon associate, I get a tiny kickback for ANYTHING you buy – and it doesn’t cost you a cent. 😊

Thank you for your support! 🤗

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2 comments on “Fat to Fit: Week 31

  1. Awesome job on the workouts!

    Like

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