I Don’t “Diet”

(See comments for why I put “diet” in quotes. I’m referring to modern society’s use of the word, which has morphed into an accepted use of the term as a verb. “Diet” originally meant how you fuel your body and did not mean a temporary change in eating habits, the way people use the term today. The popular use of “diet” as a verb gained it general acceptance and is now defined in the dictionary… Much like the evolution of “ain’t.”. You’ll likely never hear me say, “I’m on a diet,” or, “I’m dieting right now.”. We are all on a diet all of the time, but people generally think of a “diet” as a temporary change in eating habits to lose our gain weight. I am referring to the general use of “diet” here.)

I don’t “diet.”

I eat wisely and healthily, but I don’t “diet.”

I just ate one of my homemade ice cream bars (but with mint chip ice cream this time) and it was worth every.single.calorie.  I refuse to deny myself some of my favorite things in life just because they’re bad for me, and ice cream is one of them.  🙂  Hell, while I’m being honest, I’ll also admit that Diet Pepsi (which I’ve reduced greatly in the last week because it was seriously out of control) and McDonald’s Egg White Delight sandwich (without “meat”) are my other two vices.  Those are the three things I can’t live without – or rather – I won’t choose to live without.

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I eat in moderation.  I schedule my daily exercise based on my eating plan for the day, or I modify my eating plan based on my exercise commitments for the day.  It’s all very fluid.  Right now, as I’m committed to The Master’s Hammer and Chisel program for the next 7 weeks, I just can’t get behind the food container system because my allowances change based on the exercise I do each day, and that’s just too hard.  If I’m using the containers, I want to know that every single day, no matter what I do in regards to exercise, I get 3 containers of this, 2 containers of that, etc.  When I tried that, I was starving and there was no way the bracket I was assigned could provide the calories I needed each day to not go into “starvation mode.”  I think the container system is great for people who are new to nutrition and aren’t sure what a real serving of each thing looks like, but I’ve got it pretty figured out.

I count calories and I plan to net (total calories minus exercise calories burned) 1350 calories a day.  Most days I hit that, some days I don’t.  I come in 100 calories under my target quite a bit, and I go a few hundred calories over once a week because I believe in having a “free day” when it comes to nutrition.

Today was my free day.  🙂

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I’ve been at this nutrition thing long enough to know what counts as a serving of veggies or fruit (1 cup), a serving of dressing (2 tablespoons), etc.  With that said, when I make mason jar salads, I totally get out the measuring containers because it is really easy to go overboard on salads!  I also know that a serving of carbs is 1/2 a cup of physical food and because that can be hard to eyeball, I usually measure those with measuring cups.  Measuring cups are much easier to use than the square containers, at least they are for me!

  • Fruits and vegetables – 1 cup
  • Proteins – 3/4 cup
  • Carbs – 1/2 cup
  • Healthy Fats – 1/3 cup
  • Seeds/dressing – 2 TBSP

Yesterday was NOT my free day, but we decided to have fajitas for dinner.  I measured out my allotment of sour cream (2 TBS), cheese (1 ounce), chicken (6 ounces), and soft corn tortillas (4) and stuck to it.  Yep – I weighed and measured because I can’t be trusted on “taco night” and I didn’t want to blow it.  I dropped 0.4 pounds between yesterday and today because I stuck to my daily 1350 calorie limit.  My system works for me.

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I put a lot of work into figuring out the daily net calorie goal that works for me.  When I was netting 1200 calories a day, my results were hit and miss after my initial big weight loss last year.  When I upped it to 1350 a day, I started dropping weight slowly and consistently again.  My body obviously wants more nutrition than less on the workout schedule I follow (it is very rigorous and more intense than it’s ever been) and I’m committed to giving it what it needs.  It’s no fun being hungry 50% of the day, believe me.

I don’t make special dietary changes based on new years resolutions or choosing a new fitness program – I just want to net 1350 calories each day with healthy calories and calories balanced across fruits, veggies, carbs, fats, and proteins (and some goodies like ice cream!).  Every calorie counts.  Every decision counts.  I have no shame in making an unhealthy decision because I really want something tasty – I just don’t do it every night and I usually save it for that weekly free day.

But I DO.NOT.DIET.  Uh uh  No way!

 

 

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Complete: Last 8 Weeks of Summer Fitness

It’s been a great 8 weeks! I was super focused on getting my body back into tip-top shape in preparation for the fall when I’ll have to move most of my workouts indoors. Let’s face it, running outside 5 days a week isn’t going to be doable. Bring on the kickboxing and INS.ANITY workouts!

I knew going into these 8 weeks that weight loss would be hard. I’d crept up to 146.4 in June and seemed to be hanging out there. I’d lost track of food and as we all know, you can’t out-work a crappy diet. That weight is still well within normal for my height and build (5’7 with a medium-large frame, BMI of 22.9), but it was feeling uncomfortable knowing that fall was around the corner. It was time to step it up.

I set goals for core strength, but I was meeting them almost immediately, so I dropped them. I set goals for cross training, and failed miserably. But in calorie consumption, mileage, and activity time goals, I exceeded all expectations… and they were lofty expectations! 1330 net calories a day, 5 hours a week of exercise, and 20-30 miles a week of running (or hiking or very brisk walking). As far as I’m concerned, these last 8 weeks have been very successful and I’m super happy. On top of meeting/exceeding those goals, I managed to drop a very solid 4.2 pounds (my wake-up weight today after no rigorous exercise yesterday and a rather unhealthy dinner last night) and I lost 1.0% body fat (which is 4.4% of the body fat I was carrying). I also dropped a collective 1.75 inches from my frame.

Going into the next 10 weeks, I have three simple goals… I must weigh 145 pounds or less every Wednesday, my body fat cannot go above 24%, and I want to keep doing 5 hours a week of vigorous activity. I chose Wednesday as my weigh-in day because my body has always corrected itself by then from the weekend before. Since I’m truly in maintenance mode (my rib cage is a solid 31 inches measured just below my breasts, and the doctor says it is impossible for it to get smaller, that this is how I’m built), a mid-week weigh-in makes sense. I’ll create a boring page for tracking purposes. I love tracking information!!!

Here are my stats from the last 8 weeks:

Summary (07/04/2015 – 08/28/2015)

  • Weight: 142.2 Pounds
    • Pounds Lost or Gained (started at 146.4 pounds): 4.2 Pound lost
  • Body Fat %: 22.7%
    • Body Fat % Lost or Gained (started at 23.7%): 1.0% Lost
  • BMI: 22.3
    • BMI Points Lost or Gained (started at 22.9): 0.6
  • Workout Days (goal is 48 days)/Time Spent Being Active (goal is 40 hours): 44 Days/44 Hours 35 Minutes
  • Miles Run (goal is 160-240 total miles): 199.70 Miles
  • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (goal is 45 days with an average of 1330 or less per day): 45 days
    • 49,983 Total Calories in 45 days (average was 1110.73 calories per day
  • Measurements:
    • Natural Waist: 27.5 inches (28.25 inches on 07/07/15)
      • Loss of 0.75 inches
    • Belly Button: 31.75 inches (32 inches on 07/07/15
      • Loss of 0.25 inches
    • Hips: 35.75 inches ( 36.5 inches on 07/07/15)
      • Loss of 0.75 inches

Fat Girl – A Confession

I have been MIA lately, and for lots of reasons.  We are so busy… so busy with life, so busy weaning (that went so well, I can’t believe it!), so busy making career/life decisions, so busy getting out on dates every weekend, so busy trying to purge the house of un-needed things (I am a FB swap-group selling goddess (this is the only thing I’ve ever been a goddess of) and have made over $2,000 so far and still have over $1,000 worth of things to sell), so busy just trying to keep up.  Because of our “case of the busy’s,” I have moved more into a maintenance mode with fitness which is nice, but also scary for me.

Weaning and going on a new birth control pill caused a little correction in my weight.  A 3-5 pound correction.  I knew this was coming, but I honestly thought that if I kept working out, it wouldn’t really happen.  But it did.  Turns out, my younger son was burning a lot more of my calories than we ever imagined and he was, all by himself, a very effective little cardio machine!  After two weeks of a steady climb, my body is back to burning fat and knowing what to do, so I’ve relaxed.

But I was tense.  So very tense.

This all leads me to something that is very sad and hard for me to admit.  No matter how thin I get, no matter how fit and strong I get, no matter how good I look in my clothes… I will always view myself as a fat girl.  I weigh less now than I did my freshman year of HIGH SCHOOL, but I still look in the mirror and think, “careful or you’ll get fat.”  I check my face daily for possible visible gain.  Isn’t that pathetic?  I have always had body image issues and it appears that those are going to continue no matter how thin I get, and that makes me a little sad.

I skipped my workout today.  It took everything in me to skip it because, well, I don’t want to get fat.  I know that one skipped workout isn’t going to make me fat, and I know I ate pretty well knowing that I may not have time to workout, but I still battle those little demons in my head that say, “don’t slip.  Don’t get fat.  I bet you’ll weigh a pound more tomorrow.”  My husband is on the road and I called him to chat so that I would not go run on the treadmill.  I think it’s healthy to skip it – I don’t have to run 6 miles every freaking day.  But what I think, and what I really think don’t agree with one another.  My shins hurt, I plan to hit up an intense 10:20 class tomorrow morning and hopefully run at nap time, and I still felt the urge to just go run out of fear of getting fat.

This is pathetic.  But it is my reality.

I was raised by a woman who was pencil-thin her entire life until she quit smoking (I honestly believe she was anorexic on top of smoking – she even admits “preferring the anorexic look”) and a man whose family was so obsessed with weight, that I’d have mini-panic attacks before heading down to visit them if I’d gained a pound since the last time I saw them.  I loved my grandma, but that woman could sense any weight gain or loss of 0.5 pounds or more in a New York minute.  The first topic of conversation was always about how you looked, and you always hoped you looked good enough (I’m rolling my eyes writing that).  It’s no wonder I have body image issues.  My dad always told me I was “built like a house” while I was growing up and my mom liked to go on and on about how thin she used to be before she quit smoking.  That same woman was quick to tell us girls when to take it easy on the food because, “you came back from your freshman year a very big girl” (and enter my first real game of starving myself to get back to where I was before college).  Nothing was ever good enough, except, of course, when my older sister was really starving herself and looked how my mom and everyone else wanted her to look (frail).  Jesus.

So here I am, hovering at 140 pounds at 5’7 with a super healthy BMI and a body fat percentage of 21.5% and abs that show without flexing them.  But I still feel fat.  I still can’t believe I wear a size 6/8 jeans and have a 27.5 inch waist – I swore to a sales lady at a boutique two weeks ago that I couldn’t go down a size because, “I am no 27” (but alas, I am).  My first reaction looking in the mirror is still, “you look fatter than yesterday” before relenting and thinking, “no, you’re looking good.”  Hell, I took this picture of myself on date night two weeks ago because I couldn’t believe it was me staring back at me from the mirror, in those 27 jeans and medium top that was too big in the shoulders (but they didn’t have a small).

Fat Girl

I took the picture to remind myself that these actions, these thoughts are pathetic.  That no matter how I see myself, others see me this way – thin, strong, healthy, fit.  I’m trying so hard to not think of myself as a fat girl, but it’s not working.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get there.  That makes me sad.  And it makes me grateful that I don’t have daughters to screw up with these issues.  In my branch of the family tree, it stops here.

 

A Second 10 Weeks in Review

Here I am, another 10 weeks later (actually 12 weeks later because of vacations), and I’m happy with my final statistics.  I didn’t hit my weight goal, but I did exceed my body fat goal, which is awesome!

Here are my 10-week stats (I didn’t test with push-ups, sit-ups, or the mile run… sorry!):

second 10 a

 

  • I lost a total of 4.25 inches over my entire body
  • I lost 10.4 pounds (goal was 12 pounds)
  • I lost 2.3% body fat (goal was 2.1%)
  • I lost 1.7 points in BMI

I had a goal of working out 6 days a week, and when this was all said and done, I ended up at 104% of that goal, which is something I’m super proud of.  Many days included double workouts, and I spent at least 5 hours a week, every week, exercising.  I also added a lot of strength training to this 10 weeks, which was really needed.

 

Here is my weight tracking over the 10 week period:

weight 10

 

And here are my before and after photos.  Please remember that the before photos from June are just hideous because I NEVER stand like that in real life.  The side view of the before photo still nauseates me, but it does show how far I’ve come in 23 weeks now!  There was no sucking it in in the after photos – just flexing those abs and arms!

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Top left 6/14/14; Top right 8/23/14; Bottom left 10/18/14; Bottom right  11/22/14
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Top left 6/14/14; Top right 8/23/14; Bottom left 10/18/14; Bottom right 11/22/14

 

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June 14th to November 22nd… oh the difference 5 months can make!
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5 Months of hard work!

 

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Today!

 

 

So there it is – not a lot to say because it’s late and I’m super tired, and I just did strength training for over an hour while we watched TV.  I start a new session TOMORROW and will post my starting stats (they may be different from these ending stats from Saturday).

10 Weeks in Review

I don’t know what to say right now.  I’ve spent the last 10 weeks working my ass off and eating as intelligently as possible.  I’ve enjoyed it immensely and was completely wrapped up in the challenge.  These last 10 weeks gave me my “normal” self back – the Courtney I was before we found out that we couldn’t have babies the normal way.  The healthy and active Courtney I was before infertility became the focus of our lives (for 2+ years before conceiving my first son, and then again as we ramped up for the second).

I feel like myself again in my own skin.  I feel good.  I feel strong.  I feel proud!

I didn’t win the $1,000 challenge.  My stats blew the winner away and the photos – well – they speak for themselves.  BUT – even though I was in it to win it (and I am so competitive with myself and others, it’s ridiculous), I’m so proud of what I accomplished in 10 weeks.

I’ve broken down the data in many ways because I know I’ll want to look back on this someday and not have to run all of the numbers.

Here are my 10-week stats:

2014 Stats

  • I lost a total of 21.5 inches over my entire body!
  • I lost 25 pounds exactly (but 26.2 on the gym’s scale)
  • I lost 8.1% body fat (23.9% of the fat I was carrying 10 weeks ago)
  • I lost 3.93 points in BMI and am now in the healthy range
  • I more than doubled my push-ups (ended at 78)
  • I did not double my sit-ups 😦
  • I gained 2.5 inches in flexibility
  • I took 2:21 off my mile time!

Here is a comparison of my first 10 weeks (over 8 years ago!) to this most recent 10 weeks:

2006VS2014

  • I lost 2 inches more in my chest, 4 in my waist, 1 in each arm, and 0.5 in each thigh this time around.
  • My hips aren’t as small as they were 8 years ago (surprise!)
  • I started 6.8 pounds heavier this time around and ended up 5.6 pounds lighter!
  • I ended up 2.1% lower in body fat this time around
  • I lost 0.7% more body fat this time around
  • I finished way stronger in push-ups this time around
  • I beat my 2006 final mile time by 1:31 this time around
  • This 10 weeks was way more productive than my first 10 weeks!

Here is my exercise log from the last 10 weeks.  Expect to see something almost equally aggressive in the next 10 weeks:

Workout Tracking

  • My goal was to workout 6 days a week – I exceeded that goal by 3% overall and 13% in the second half of the session
  • Many days had multiple workouts
  • Doing this helped me plan my work for the next 10 weeks

Here is my weight tracking over the 10 week period:

Weight Tracking per Week

And here are my before and after photos.  Please note that the before photos were really hard to prepare for because I NEVER stand like that in real life.  It’s amazing how much our daily posture holds us together in our mid-sections.  I had to think really hard about letting it just hang out like that.  The side view of the before photo nauseates me, but that after photo makes me SO PROUD!  There was no sucking it in in the after photos – just flexing those abs and arms!

WP_20140824_09_49_03_Pro (1) WP_20140824_09_49_22_Pro (1)

I worked really, really hard at this, and near the end, it really felt like my job (a job I loved).  My husband viewed it the same way – we talked about it on Saturday.  I said that I felt like the last 10 weeks was all about me getting back to how I like to feel, how I view myself, etc. and that it felt like a true job, and he agreed.  He was SO supportive, it was amazing.  I don’t know how many mornings he sat up with our little guy in the rocker while I kicked bags at class.  On many occasions, he rushed home from work so I could get to a late afternoon class because I’d been up all night with the little the night before and just could not get motivated to go to class at 6:15 AM.  He admitted on Saturday that he got nervous about “the gear” purchases but didn’t say anything because, “I knew it would help you stay motivated, and I wasn’t going to mess with that” (he also said he was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t buy a ton of stuff!).  This really was a team effort, as fitness always is in this house.  It was awesome to both be so focused on my success at this!

Paleo Week 5 – Last Big Week!

This is the final week of my 10-week fitness challenge and our fifth week of being Paleo.  I told B that we need to stop eating pork this week and focus on lean meats.  If we focus on lean meats but don’t worry about the rest, good things will happen.

HERE WE GO!

Sunday, 08/17/2014  *** Chipo.tle ***

We got back from Chicago around dinner time, and both kids were EXCELLENT in the car the entire time.  We rewarded them with their favorite thing (and our favorite thing – so that worked out!) – Chip.otle!  Because it was a day of limited food, and because it was technically my free day, I had the soft corn tortillas with my tacos and they were great!

Monday, 08/18/2014  *** Pan.era ***

Tonight marked the last night of my older son’s swim lessons at 7:00 at night, and I had preschool orientation at 5:00, so we decided to just go out to make it easy on us all.  There was no time between both activities to get us all together around our table for dinner.

I kept it Paleo-friendly with a cobb salad with avocados.  It was good.  It always is!  B had some Paleo bowl with eggs, spinach, olive oil, bacon, and lemon.  The boys had chicken.

Tuesday, 08/19/2014  *** Greek Chicken (Again) ***

Our Greek Chicken hiatus is over.  This one was the best so far.  I remembered to cook the breast side up so that B had lots of crispy skin to enjoy.  We made asparagus again, but knowing that the little guy would eat 3/4 of it, I popped some rainbow carrots in with the chicken with 45 minutes left to go.  I just salted and peppered them and tossed them in.  They were divine.  Absolutely perfect!  My big kid even ate them – we told him they were candies and he agreed!  As expected, my little ate 3/4 of the asparagus.  There was no chicken left – my oldest polished it all off.  This meal is a hit!

Wednesday, 08/20/2014  *** Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Pineapple Tidbits (AKA Srirachi Shrimp) ***

Yep – we did this one again!  We both love it and it’s easy.  Because of my lean meats rule this week, I only had the equivalent of 2-3 strips of bacon (which I entered into MyFit.nessPa.l as 3 strips to be safe) but it was still awesome!

I made green beans again and once they were soft in the steamer, I then tossed them into the bacon grease to finish them off.  I thought this would be terrific.  It was just OK.  I’m trying to shake up our green beans a bit, but this is not the way to do it.  Wasted calories.  They weren’t the worst thing in the world, but they weren’t worth doing again.  I figured that the fat grams from the bacon were already included in MFP with those 3 strips (nutrition information is pre-cooked, so accounts for all fat content before cooking it off), but it wasn’t necessary.

Thursday, 08/21/2014  *** Cilantro Lime Chicken Breast with Browned Brussels Sprouts with Maple Butter Chic.k-fi.a-A Dinner ***

I chose this meal for tonight because it’s super easy – at least the chicken is.  Matthew has a haircut at 5:45 so we’ll be rushing home to cook quickly and eat (we usually eat at 6:00 sharp).

The cilantro lime chicken breasts came from the meat counter at our local grocery store.  They’re really good.

If you know me at all, you know that I love, Love, LOVE brussells sprouts!  I don’t really care how they’re cooked as long as they’re not just steamed – they need to be crispy.  When we were at our new favorite place here in town a week ago, we had their brussells sprouts that are cooked in pomegranate molasses – whatever that is.  I don’t care what it is – it is AWESOME!  We won’t use molasses in this house, so I had to find something that was similar in sweetness to satisfy my need.  I found this little dandy while coming home from Chicago because I was looking up recipes for Maple Butter Syrup (had some of that while in Chicago and holy hell – it’s divine!).  I’m not sure that this is a good match for the chicken, but I could care less.  I’m doing it!

Scratch the above – we were way too busy tonight to get dinner made!  With 10-week testing coming up, we decided to go to Chi.ck-Fil-A for dinner since they have the easiest healthy options for Paleo folks and because they were right next to Matthew’s stylist’s studio (he had a long-overdue haircut!).  I got the 12 piece grilled nuggets and fruit, and then ate an extra 3 nuggets that the boys didn’t eat from their meals (we all get grilled nuggets – they have never even tasted fried chicken).  This meal is low in calories, but high in protein, so it was a slam dunk.  It was great!  Good ol’ Chic.k-fil-A!

Friday, 08/22/2014 – *** Greek Chicken (Yes… AGAIN!) ***

This meal does wonders for the scale, so we’re doing it all over again before final weigh-in Saturday morning.  Greek chicken with plenty of garlic?  CHECK.  Lots of asparagus for the little?  CHECK.  Tons of carrots for us (“candies” for Matthew)?  CHECK.

The carrots were awesome again!  I swear by using green-top carrots because they’re just fresher and taste WAY better than bagged carrots.  We’ll never get bagged carrots again.  I kept the skins on this time – a secret I learned while in Chicago and dining at the Gran.d Lux Ca.fe.  Keeping the skins on is AMAZING and even my husband loved it!  We’ll never skin carrots again!  My little guy switched his preferences to the carrots, leaving lots of asparagus for us.  I hardly got any carrots, and we cooked two bunches of them.  Next time – 3 bunches of carrots, no asparagus, and a bigger chicken.  These boys are eating me out of house and home.  No leftovers!

Saturday, 08/23/2014 – *** PARTY ***

Tonight is celebration night – I am eating whatever I want, whenever I want.  The end!

(Back to our regularly scheduled Paleo lifestyle tomorrow!)

Week in Review:

  • Weight Lost This Week:  3.8 pounds
  • Weight Lost So Far (in 5 weeks):  12.2 pounds
  • Fat % Lost This Week:  0.8%
  • Fat % Lost So Far:  3.4%
  • Noteworthy Points: We’re converted.  Eating this way is so easy and so worth it!  I have not missed my secret trips to McDona.lds for my “large #2 with pickles and cheese only please, with a large Diet Co.ke.”  I have hardly missed our many-nights-a-week trips to D.Q.  I don’t miss much.  I kept Diet Pe.psi and Diet Co.ke in my diet because asking myself to give that up is just too much.  I haven’t had fried food in 10 weeks (not even on my free days) and I’m thrilled about that.  THRILLED!  Sure, I’ll have McDon.alds again someday – but not any day soon.  Sure, I’ll have fries again – but it’s going to take a lot of desire to actually order them.  And yes – at this point in the game, I’m dying to go to D.Q for a blizzard with ore.os.  And I will be getting myself a cupcake (or 2) on Saturday after final testing.  But those things aren’t going to be regulars in my life anymore.
  • How I feel:  GREAT!  There is no other word to describe it.  Well, maybe there is… PROUD!

Goal: Achieved

I did it.

As of this morning, prior to any workouts, water, or food, I weighed 155.6 pounds. I was only expecting to see 156. I hit my 25 pound weight loss goal with a full day of health and exercise ahead. I am shocked!

Even more surprisingly, my body fat is officially down 8%. I’ve lost 23.6% of the fat I was carrying 10 weeks ago. I was shooting for 9-10%, but I’m over the moon with 8%. To lose 10% in 10 weeks, especially being female, is REALLY hard to do. I’ve only seen one woman ever do it, and she started out with a 40% body fat percentage (I started at 33.6/33.8). Regardless, I wish I could have hit 10%. “Hard to do” has never stopped me! 😌

I’ll be posting final stats, before and after pics, and my exercise log on Sunday. Until then, this photo will have to commemorate this day (taken after some serious weight lifting… Still working on that body fat percentage!).

Thank you all for your encouragement here, on myFitnessPal, and via text messages! Fitness is always a team effort!!!