Category Archives: Real Food

Weigh-in and weekly workouts

Well so much for my quick 3 pounds down. The last couple of days it has gone up again, but at least the body fat is staying down.

Last week 132.2 pounds, 29.5% body fat

This week 131.2 pounds, 28.5% body fat

So I only ended up being down 1 pound and 1% body fat. I guess its okay to be higher in weight and lower in body fat though! Not that I have really gained any muscle this week, lol. So I still have 6 pounds to get back to pre-Vegas weight.

I have still been eating really well. The only days I had some questionable things were Friday and Saturday. Friday I ended up eating a chicken sandwich from K’s store (7-11), that was not that good, but I ate it anyway. And because it wasn’t great I had a chicken wing after, which was also not great. Then later on we went to a school play and I was craving candy, so we bought some skittles and gummy stuff. I didn’t have a ton of it, probably a serving and a half overall. Yesterday I decided I wanted to have some beer, so I ended up having 3. And I had some more skittles.

The junky stuff I picked wasn’t good or satisfying. And I really don’t want to have candy and junk in the house, so I’m not going to buy extras anymore. There is only a little candy left, and I think I’ll just ‘hide’ it in the cupboard so I forget about it. Or just throw it away.

Workouts this week were great!!

Sunday I did a 40 minute spin workout, mostly short high intensity intervals, and then a 1.69 mile walk on the treadmill to finish out the movie I was watching.

Monday I did 3 miles on the treadmill at an 11:05 pace. I hate the treadmill for running, it always seems so much harder than getting outside. So this one was slow. But I’m going to try and do my shorter runs on the treadmill, hoping that it will be good for my joints. I also did a quick strength session afterwards. I did goblet squats, bench presses, step-ups, db rows, and jump squats. Those jump squats kill me!

Tuesday I ran 4 miles outside at a 9:20 pace. This one was hard on me too, I felt like I was going so slow, but it was a pretty good pace after all. I did a quick Zuzka workout after my run too.

Wednesday was a rest day!

Thursday I ran 3.13 miles with an 8:49 pace! I tried to go faster on the middle mile and it was hard to recover after that, so the the next mile was pretty quick too. It felt great in the end! I did strength after, deadlifts, bench press, split squats, and kb swings. I haven’t done deadlifts or swings in so long, I was beat after this workout!

Friday I did a 50 minute spin workout. For the first half I just alternated between gears 11-13, switching every minute. Then I did my high gear intervals. I just do gear 12 for a minute and then gear 20 for 30 seconds. It really gets my heart rate going and it feels like I’m getting a really good workout in. I was going to do another Zuzka workout but I didn’t want to trash my legs for my long run.

Saturday was my long run day. I did 8 miles on the parkway in an hour and 18 minutes for a 9:41 pace. This was great considering I was just running most of it ‘easy’. I felt like I could easily go another 5.1 miles, which is good because my half marathon is in just 7 weeks. The last 2 miles I did run a full minute faster. I did some drills in a parking lot by my house when I was done.

So this week I’ll just continue on. We went shopping yesterday so the fridge is full of good produce. I will do a bit of meal prep today and make sure I pack food every day for work. I’m just going to eat 3 meals a day when I’m hungry, and try not to eat too much. I’m going to keep up with the strength workouts, but not go too hard this week since I have a race on Saturday. The 2nd RUN SLC run is Saturday, and I’m definitely going since I missed the first one. I’m going to dial things down a bit this week so I will feel great on Saturday. And I’m not going to have any beers until Saturday after the race!

4 pounds to go

I’m weighing in this morning at 129.4, 4 pounds to lose until I am where I was before we went to Vegas. I also have 3% body fat to lose. Getting there!

Food 2.26

Yesterday’s eats were…interesting. I didn’t end up eating breakfast until about 11:30. Pretty late, but hunger came and went and that’s when it came back again. I had some kefir, almonds, and a Pure bar. I don’t really like those bars, I just have a few left from when I bought them. They don’t do anything for hunger/satiation! I also had a clementine. I was able to make it through my workout, 3 miles run and 40 minutes of strength training. I did deadlifts, bench presses, elevated split squats, and some kettlebell swings. It was tough! I did 80 pounds on the deadlifts and a total of 95 swings with 25 and 35 pounds. I prepped dinner and got it in the oven but decided I couldn’t wait the 45 minutes, so I had a string cheese to tide me over.

Run 2.26

2.26 Pace

Dinner was the interesting part. I had made some tofu that was pretty good at first, but we all agreed it wasn’t our new fave. I cubed up some yams to roast and thought that chinese five spice sounded good with them. I was the only one that liked that! I also roasted some asparagus with sesame oil, and I’m really the only one that loves asparagus, but oh well. In the end it was just too much going on on the same plate. You win some and lose some! After dinner I had a fruit bar.

Already this morning my brain is saying ‘It’s Friday! Would be nice to have a drink after work to wind down for the weekend!”. But no, I have to attempt 8 miles tomorrow morning! So I’m just going to do my thing, get on the spin bike later and maybe do a quick strength session and get to bed as early as possible 🙂

 

Meatless Monday – Farro and chickpea salad

I’ve been eating pretty well these past few days! Having time and desire to cook sure helps. I’m trying to eat just enough, and cut out the snacks. These are screenshots from my YouFood app.

Sunday was a pretty good day. I slept in until 7:30, getting almost 10 hours of sleep! And that was with an hour nap on Saturday afternoon too! Must’ve needed it big time. We had pancakes and a smoothie for breakfast, then I did my workout. I was going to do weights, but by the time I was done on the spin bike I didn’t have it in me. I walked for another 30 minutes on the treadmill though. Lunch was a big salad and then 3 squares of milk chocolate. We had an early dinner of pork roast, wild rice, and I made this awesome beet and carrot salad. The herbs and lemon made it taste so fresh and the pistachios and raisins really pulled it all together. I will make that salad again for sure. It was all really tasty. I had an Outshine fruit bar after dinner, and then later I needed a snack so I had some pineapple. I really wanted to just sit and eat chocolate but I didn’t 🙂 I also forgot to snap a few pictures, oh well.

Sunday eats

Besides making the beet salad, the only food prep I ended up doing was to make some farro for Budget Bytes’ Mediterranean Farro and Chickpea Salad. I’ve made farro before, but never toasted it before cooking. So the first batch I measured out, I put it in the pot, stirred it, and then forgot about it until it was burning on the bottom! I had to dump that and start over obviously. I used her method of toasting, boiling, and draining, but I went an extra step and steamed it for 15 minutes on low with the lid on to get rid of any excess moisture. It seemed like it worked pretty well!

So that’s what we had for dinner tonight. It was delicious! I remember hating tahini but I haven’t tried it in years, and the dressing was really good!

Monday eats

Monday eats

My other eats today were shredded wheat cereal with milk, 2 clementines, and almonds for breakfast. Lunch was more beet and carrot salad, some cottage cheese, and a fruit snack bar. I also had some more pineapple after dinner. I will probably have some yogurt with jam if I get hungry later. I also got a pretty good workout in today! I did 3 miles on the treadmill, slow, but got it done. Then I did 2 sets, 15 reps each of ‘running’ in place with dumbbells, goblet squats, bench presses, step-ups, dumbbell rows, and jump squats. I wanted to do more but just didn’t have it in me! I’ll get back to harder workouts soon enough.

 

 

Food Budget Week 1

I’ve decided to start doing the Food Budget again! I did this a couple of years ago, aiming to keep under $125 a week for our family of 3. I’m going to comb the sales flyers for the stores I like to shop at each week, attempt meal planning, and try to just buy what we need. I’ll recap what we bought each week.

This past week we shopped at Costco, Harmon’s, and Sprouts. I’m adding the 1st – 9th together for the first week of the year. We spent $208.12 and went shopping 3 times in those 9 days. This week is high, but hopefully we’ll get it a little lower next week. Here’s what we bought:

Half of our grocery haul Week 1

PRODUCE:

  • Acorn squash $2.46
  • Organic apples $3.00
  • Avocados $3.75
  • Organic bananas $2.63
  • Bell peppers $3.96
  • Blueberries $3.00
  • Brussels sprouts $3.99
  • Cilantro $1.19
  • Clementines $5.99
  • Cucumbers $1.00
  • Garlic $1.38
  • Grapefruit $1.50
  • Green onions $.79
  • Kiwis $2.04
  • Baby romaine $2.50
  • Onions $1.77
  • Oranges $3.98
  • Organic russets $2.50
  • Power greens $3.99
  • Serrano pepper $.09
  • Spaghetti squash $4.48
  • Grape tomatoes $5.00

OTHER:

  • Organic butter $7.99
  • Sliced havarti $7.99
  • Sliced swiss $8.99
  • 3 quarts of kefir $5.00
  • Cottage cheese $7.50
  • Fage $6.49
  • 1 1/2 dozen eggs $3.99
  • Sliced ham $6.59
  • 1/2 gallon milk $2.99
  • Baking powder $1.79
  • Yeast $6.99
  • Bread $3.69
  • Organic chicken stock $11.99
  • V8, tart cherry juice, and apple juice $12.49
  • Bulk cumin $3.00
  • Buckwheat flour $4.79
  • Amaranth $8.99
  • Carob nuggets $4.40
  • Fish sauce $3.99
  • Flax seed $1.34
  • Grapefruit juice $4.49
  • Millet $3.39
  • Soy sauce $2.29
  • Teff $6.99
  • Organic diced tomatoes $6.49
  • Corn tortillas $2.49

 

My Weight Loss in 2015

I’ve been waiting to do this post for a year. I didn’t take many body photos along the way this year because I wanted to be able to see a difference. I can’t believe I’m going to share them publicly on the internet, but I am. I have been going on all year about losing weight and eating ice cream, and I want people to see that it really IS possible to lose weight and keep it off without restricting foods, going into a deep calorie deficit, and going insane. With just plain old moderation in eating and regular exercise.

To recap:

My mission for this year was to not drink alcohol and to take control of my health by eating better and exercising consistently. I decided I would lift weights and try to eat close to maintenance to try to do some body recomposition. First let me say that I could not have done any of what I did this year without giving up alcohol. I wouldn’t have had the energy or drive to continue working out long-term if I kept it in the mix. Second, I also made the decision to just work out per my schedule, no matter what. I did that, except for in May when I seemed to be sick and fatigued the entire month. I’m not sure what was happening there. But I just let my body rest and heal.

I started small, just lifting weights 3-4 times a week for about 30 minutes each time. I used Nia Shanks’ Lift Like a Girl routine for a while, just basic stuff but trying to lift a little heavier whenever I could. I also did most of her Train to be Awesome program. I started running again, 3 days a week, anywhere from 2-5 miles. I did this for a few months and then started to work in more running. Now I am running 6 days a week, about 27 miles a week, and still trying to lift heavy-ish 2-3 days a week.

As far as eating, I just ate what I wanted. I tried to be reasonable and aim for balanced meals. I also tried to be hungry for my meals, not starving, but hungry for a while. I never cut out sugar or wheat or anything else. No need! Not giving up anything I loved made it easy. That just leads to deprivation and guilt when you finally cave and eat all of the things that you aren’t ‘supposed’ to be eating. Anyway the food part was really that simple. I ate ice cream almost every day for many months. Oh, and I never counted calories.

Fast forward to today and I made so much progress in 2015! I ended up losing just under 26 pounds, 11.5% body fat (according to my scale which I know isn’t completely accurate), and 17.25 inches!! That averages out to be just 2.15 pounds and about 1.5 inches lost per month. That would have driven me crazy in the past to only lose 2 pounds every month, but I knew it was going to be the only way for me to finally make lasting change and my best hope to keep the weight off. So far it’s working. I could have really gone nuts and tried to lose more weight and do it faster, but I know that would have backfired. I didn’t try to eat too little because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sustain my efforts in working out. Working out was what was going to change how my body looked. Besides, if you are trying to re-comp, your muscles need fuel to grow!

I thought I’d give a monthly breakdown of my weigh-ins this year to give a better idea how I moderately lost weight. The first number is pounds, the second is body fat percentage.

January 1 – 152.2, 37.5%

February 20 – 148.2, 33.5%

March 1 – 147.6, 34.5%

May 1  – 142.6, 32%

May 29 – 142.2, 33%

July 5 – 139.6, 32%

August 2 – 138.4, 31%

August 30 – 136.4, 31%

September 27 – 134.8, 29%

November 1 – 131, 29%

November 30 – 126.8, 26.5%

January 1, 2016 – 126.4, 26%

I also took measurements monthly. That was where the progress was the most exciting for me!

January 17, 2015

  • Bicep – 12.25
  • Chest – 39
  • Waist – 31
  • Belly – 36.25
  • Hips – 40
  • Thigh – 24.75
  • Calf – 13.75

I lost anywhere from .5 to 1.75 inches each month.

January 1, 2016

  • Bicep – 11
  • Chest – 36
  • Waist – 28
  • Belly – 32.25
  • Hips – 36.75
  • Thigh – 22.5
  • Calf – 13.25

If my math is correct, I lost 17.25 inches this year!! My goal was to change my body recomposition and I’d say that was a huge success.

If I could give anyone some advice on how to lose weight I’d say this:

Find a way to move your body that you like, that you will do consistently long-term. If you can, lift weights to give you the most ‘bang for your buck’. What worked for me is lifting and running. Use activity to make you feel good! Just stick with it.

Eat what you like, but try to focus on getting regular, balanced meals. Try not to eat too much.

Don’t use exercise to punish yourself for eating. Don’t burn off calories for eating too much. If you ate too much, just use it as a learning experience and move on.

Don’t label food as good or bad. Food is just food, fuel for our bodies whether it is cookies or salad. Don’t attach morality to food, it has no moral value, just nutritional. Save yourself the guilt trip!! Just try to eat in a way that makes you feel good.

Don’t deprive yourself of things that you love. If you love chocolate or ice cream (ME!), eat it, just in appropriate amounts.

So that’s that! I feel like I made huge strides and changed a lot in 2015. I reached my goals of consistent exercise and weight loss. I never really set a specific number goal and don’t think I will. I’m just happy to have lost the weight and inches and my new goal will be to keep them gone.

And here’s something I never thought I’d do, but I (mostly) feel comfortable enough now to do it. Post before and now pictures. This was from June 2014, I pretty much looked the same in early 2015.

150 pounds

June 2014 around 150 pounds

26 pounds lost

January 2016, 126 pounds

I’m still carrying some fat, but not that much. And as you can see it is almost all in my belly, butt, and thighs. My body isn’t perfect but I love my body now! I actually have some muscle definition! If I never lose any more weight I’ll be fine with that, because my body can do cool stuff, like run and lift heavy things. I know I’m strong and that feeling is priceless. I imagine though that I will be able to lose 10 more pounds or so, if I keep lifting and running, which I intend to do.

So there you go. My year of change and weight loss. I hope that I will maintain it and not regain it. It wasn’t necessarily hard work but it took a long time and I don’t want it back!