June 21st – June 27th, 2021
I’ve been on a roll with my workout this month – performing an Apple Fitness workout each day thus far. I am feeling the positive effects of sustained, regular exercise. I hope I can keep my streak up this week!
I only did an average job with my nutrition last week. While I stayed on budget, I didn’t always make the best choices. Hopefully, I can do slightly better this week and curve the trend of small weight gains that I’ve been seeing.
Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225lbs.
Goal Weight: 165 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 181.4 lbs.
Body Fat: 31.2%
Muscle Mass: 117.2 lbs.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Yoga, AF+: 151 Avg. HR:105
Exercise Ring: 63/30
Move Ring: 671/650
Total steps: 9,209
I reset my daily move target back to 650, as 710 was quite a challenge. Maybe that’s how it should be, though! Turns out today was International Yoga Day, and Apple was offering up a nice digital badge if you did a 20-minute yoga workout today. I couldn’t help but oblige. I like badges.
I selected a 30-minute workout with Jessica today that was meant to be a slow flow, which I needed after an exhausting HITT workout yesterday. Luckily, this flow lived up to its billing and didn’t stress me out too much by trying to get from one move to another while holding my entire body weight with a pinky.
One of the things I like about Jessica is that she tends to give you time to check your form and give a bit of guidance in how to get from one pose to another. That’s not to say the other instructors do not do that; it’s just that she emphasizes it. It’s a style that works for me as I have never been to a yoga class, thus never had anyone correct my form; having a moment to check on things is how I can make sure I won’t hurt myself and benefit from the exercise. She kept my heart rate above 110 BPM for most of the workout, finding the peaks during downward dog and lunges. Further, Jessica showed me that my hamstrings were tight as could be and helped me loosen them up.
Calorie Intake: 1,376/1533
Another week and another box of chocolate peanut caramel Pure Protein bars to work through as my breakfast of choice. I do question if eating something as rich and sweet as these for breakfast is the way forward. However, I haven’t noticed any crashes from a sugar high. I used to get that with cereal, despite eating Kellogg’s Special K or Cheerios. These 190 calories were all I needed to get me through lunch.
I had a delicious portion of Italian Turkey Stew with homemade mashed potatoes for lunch. I had a cup and half of mash in my serving today, bringing my meal to 376 calories total.
Dinner, too, was a homemade creation. This time, I opted for a half portion of chili con carne with a cup of jasmine rice. Together the rice and beans give you everything your body needs to survive. In this format, they taste damn good too. It’s hard for me to fathom that these meals are low-calorie, as processed chili and rice would easily be 600-700 calories. My dish, however, was 407 calories.
I had quite a few snacks today. First, I had a bag of Sheila’s salted caramel brownie brittle (120 calories) when I returned from work. A few hours after dinner, I enjoyed Lowfat vanilla yogurt (100 calories) with a cup of sliced strawberries (53 calories). As I had a little room in my budget, I indulged in 3 Twizzlers too.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Yoga, AF+: 92 Avg. HR: 100
Exercise Ring: 81/30
Move Ring: 680/650
Total steps: 8,604
I’ve been enjoying yoga lately, especially on weeknights. It seems more… manageable… compared to more intense options, such as HIIT or dance. I digress. Today, I went for instructor Jonelle, focusing on stretching the body rather than balancing and strength. After noticing the tightness yesterday with Jessica, I was hoping Jonelle’s slow flow would help get some of the tweaks out of my body.
Jonelle’s routine started slow but became energetic after spending time opening my back and shoulders. I hold a lot of tension there! My heart rate demonstrates the effort I placed into this practice to get as much as I could out of every pose. After all, with exercise, you get out what you put in!
Calorie Intake: 1,424/1533
As with most mornings, I started my day with a 190-calorie chocolate caramel Pure Protein bar, followed by a 130-calorie Kellogg’s apple and cinnamon Nutri-Grain bar. Pretty decent way to get 320 calories into my system.
Lunch was another of my favorite creations – chicken and vegetable orzo. I have made a few batches of this now, tweaking it each time. It all depends on what ingredients I have lying around. I prepare this dish in a slow-cooker, mixing the chicken and vegetables in chicken stock and herbs for flavor. With about 30-minutes of cooking time left, I add in the box of orzo. It consistently tastes delicious, and you can’t complain too much about a 331 calorie meal.
I had a couple of snacks today, too — first, a cup of chocolate hazelnut pillow cereal from Whole Foods (187). Then I rounded off my day with three Twizzlers for 120 calories.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Yoga AF+: 148 Avg. HR: 109
Exercise Ring: 82/30
Move Ring: 760/650
Total steps: 10,218
By working out with Dustin, I have my third yoga instructor in as many days. I’ve found that Dustin has pushed me harder in cardio than any other yoga teacher thus far. Further, his soothing voice always helps me set my intention for my workout, taking me away from whatever I was thinking about before I hit play on the workout.
This was an energetic flow, with plenty of transitions that take you to and from the mat to a standing pose. It’s through these sequences that Dustin gets my heart rate elevated, consistently staying above 120 BPM for the entire practice after the warm-up. I found my core worked hard today, helping to stabilize my body as I held postures. It’s a challenging routine but one worth doing to work the lower body.
Calorie Intake: 1,321/1533
While I had my standard Pure Protein bar to start my day, I followed it with something different. Don’t worry; it wasn’t crazy different! I thought I had eaten all of my Soylent bars, but I discovered one in my drawer at work! As a result, I added 200 calories to my day after eating a salted caramel Soylent bar. I do miss these bars; they taste so good! I wonder if they have relaunched them yet…
I had the same dish for lunch today as yesterday: chicken and vegetable orzo. Not a bad way to put 331 calories into the body.
For dinner, my Britishness called. Along with 8 ounces of crinkle-cut fries (347 calories), I served 70 calories of peas and was covered in chicken Bisto gravy (120 calories). I adore “chips and gravy,” as I call it. It was something I discovered when I lived in Northern England while I had a fish supper there. At first, I was shocked at covering my fish and chips with gravy, but then I tried and converted. Yes, I added the peas for a slight glimpse of health.
I had one snack today of Lowfat vanilla yogurt with a cup of sliced strawberries. Combined, they came to 163 calories.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Strength AF+: 116 Avg. HR: 126
Exercise Ring: 45/30
Move Ring: 723/650
Total steps: 7,755
Following three days of yoga, it was time to get out the dumbbells and practice strength with Amir. I have only recently found him, but Amir is already my go-to guy for strength. Today was focused on the lower body, and his workout only required one heavy dumbbell. Alas, 8 pounds is the heaviest I have, so some movements weren’t challenging enough with that weight. The massive dips in my heart rate confirm that.
I impressed myself when we did side jumps, shifting the balance from one leg to another. I did this for the full set without lowering my other leg. Turns out I have balance!
A great 20-minute workout that burned calories and built muscle – I would definitely recommend it.
Calorie Intake: 1,411/1,533
I paired my Pure Protein bar with something unusual today too – and it wasn’t another bar! No, today I had a 120-calorie serving of espresso cold brew coffee from Califia to wash my breakfast down with. Something different, and it tasted great.
For lunch, I enjoyed a portion of curried chicken and spinach ziti. It’s a dish I prepared in my slow cooker that had the vibe of “throw it in and see what happens.” The curried flavor came from curry powder alone, and it blended well with the chicken stock. Add the ziti in with around 30-minutes of cooking ruminating, and the pasta will absorb all the flavor — a great, warming meal for 334 calories.
I fancied an open sandwich for dinner, so that’s precisely what I had. I cut an everything bagel in half and lightly toasted it. On each half, I mashed half a small avocado. On top, I placed two slices of Whole Foods’ smoked turkey. In total, my deluxe double sandwich came to 567 calories. Marvelous.
I wasn’t hungry after my robust dinner, so I used my remaining food budget on 200 calories’ worth of Twizzlers.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Strength AF+: 113 Avg. HR: 109
Exercise Ring: 49/30
Move Ring: 668/650
Total steps: 7,499
Amir made me feel positive about my strength yesterday, and after waking up without aching muscles, I wanted to do another strength workout today. This time, I selected Sam as my trainer for a 30-minute, upper-body session.
Sam’s build and strength impress me but more importantly, I find her inspiring. Her personality is infectious too. I love that she moves with weights that she finds tough, showing that even the in-shape must work to get through this routine. That’s encouraging when you’re fighting to complete those reps.
Her workout included some fly moves that I used 5-pound dumbbells for; otherwise, I used 8’s for everything else. One day, I will be able to perform flys with 8 pounds!
Calorie Intake: 1,538/1,533
I had my usual breakfast and lunch at work today. Over coffee, I enjoyed a Pure Protein bar for 190 calories. A home-cooked meal was on the cards for lunch – a portion of Italian Turkey Stew with a cup of mashed potatoes. Solid meal for 319 calories.
A few weeks ago, I made chicken in a butter marsala sauce with ½ cup of rice and popped it in the freezer. Today I enjoyed this with an everything bagel, bringing my meal to 579 calories. I also enjoyed a Gatorade Super Shake – which I purchased during Amazon Prime Day. I had it after my strength workout to assist in some muscle growth. It tasted great!
At work, it was Flamingo Float Friday, which is a new thing to me! Anyway, as there was no diet soda, I had a can of Orange Crush with my scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’m glad I made room in my day for this 260-calorie treat. It was fun to take part in the festivities.
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Dance AF+: 112 Avg. HR: 119
Exercise Ring: 62/30
Move Ring: 697/650
Total steps: 9,981
Doing a dance workout is an opportunity to laugh at yourself. I’d like to see an experienced dancer try and follow along to see how possible it is to look good while doing these. I never look good. Normally, by the time I understand and can competently perform a move, we are on to something else. It matters not. Dance workout always pushes my heart rate, and I am often so distracted at trying to copy LaShawn that I don’t notice the burn in my muscles and lungs.
My heart trace is fantastic for this, and I loved the throwback playlist! It’s only really in dancing that I care much about the playlist. I think it’s due to the concentration and effort I am putting into my exercise that I can’t notice it much. For dance, though, you gotta move your booty to the jam!
Calorie Intake: 1,442/1,533
It’s the weekend, so I can mix it up a touch with a bowl of low-sugar instant oatmeal with a ⅛ cup of raisins. I get a variety pack of oatmeal to mix up the flavors once in a while, though apple and cinnamon are my clear favorite. Great start to the day for 170 calories.
Lunch and dinner were the same. I made mashed potatoes with 2% milk and a little butter. I took three sliced chicken and apple sausages – browning them in a skillet. For a vegetable, I made broccoli florists, having 1 ½ cups each time. To bring the dish together, I poured six servings of chicken Bisto gravy on my potatoes. Six servings sound like a lot, but it’s not! My meal came to 596 calories, and I couldn’t think of many better ways of spending my food budget.
There wasn’t much place for snacks today, but I did treat myself to 2 Twizzlers!
Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Dance AF+: 146 Avg. HR: 117
Exercise Ring: 86/30
Move Ring: 1,072/650
Total steps: 17,419
I was motivated to move today! When I rose this morning, I started my day with a march to get some move calories on the board. By the time I got to my workout, my rings were closed!
After immense fun dancing yesterday, I decided to try a dance workout with Ben. I found LaShawn a tad difficult to follow yesterday and thought I’d give another instructor a go. My heart rate trace isn’t complete today – I’m not sure why. Ben, though, is excellent and tells you how to move and builds the moves up, so you almost feel like you’re dancing before the song ends.
I’m a little disappointed with my effort on this one. Despite feeling like I was trying equally hard, I didn’t get the burn I did yesterday. Oh, well! Better than sitting on the couch, I suppose.
Calorie Intake: 1,495/1533
I had a bowl of oatmeal and raisins, just like yesterday. However, today I added a medium banana to my breakfast.
I prepared a 3-egg omelet for lunch with bell peppers, onion, and ¼ cup of cheddar cheese. I served it with two slices of 8-grain bread. I haven’t had many omelets this year, and that’s an oversight — a delicious meal and hearty too. I felt delighted with these 583 calories.
I had 1 ½ cups of broccoli on the side of a Boomerang’s chicken pot pie (330 calories). To me, this is comfort food — a warm pasty filled with creamy goodness. I ate great meals this weekend.
A couple of snacks rounded off my day, with a banana and 3 Twizzlers.
I did it! I performed an Apple Fitness workout every day this week! I mixed it up with a couple of dance workouts and used yoga to enhance my flexibility. A couple of strength routines hopefully helped me maintain muscle mass too. Feels great to know I’ve kept this streak going.
In terms of nutrition, I did better this week than last. I’m especially pleased with my choices over the weekend. No pizzas this week! I am on a broccoli kick which is something new!
My best friend is coming to visit this week, so things could get a touch off track. We’ve been doing all these workouts together, so I have some confidence that we will keep things up by closing those rings daily. What does concern me is the nutrition aspect. We will be drinking, we will be eating out. I will want to indulge. That’s a lot of roadblocks to try and navigate.
I suppose my desire is to not overdo it. Keep exercising and don’t eat everything that will destroy my health. Honestly, though, I want to have a good time and not have another drink because I’d exceed my calorie budget. That’s the hardest part of a fitness journey – how do you find that balance between living and remain healthy? It’s a question I have yet to find the answer to.
I got my babies a new cat bed this week. After some trepidation, Toodles and Raven realized that it was a delightful place to sleep! 💤ᓚᘏᗢ
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