Sunday Picture Day: Week 2

This is my first progress picture day since I started this transformation program. Photos are the best way to notice changes in your body, and it is fun to compare before and after pictures. I have seen some fairly substantial changes this week.

I started my new program on November 9, and made a small goal to reach 125 by my work’s Christmas Party. I am already more than halfway to my goal, and I am on track!

week 2 numbers

I am very happy with the change in body fat. On the caliper, I have dropped 1mm, which is a fairly substantial change. I am interested to see my measurements on Wednesday to see where the fat loss came from. All of my workouts were very challenging, and I did not skip any cardio sessions.photo (2)

Overall, I am very happy with my progress so far and I look forward to seeing small changes take place every week.

photo 5

Rules are Made to be Broken?

celeb_scale

Although I love and idolize Gizmo, I do not aspire to be him on the scale 😉

Today I broke my rule of stepping on the scale between weigh in’s. This can be just as dangerous to progress as eating between meals. When you step on the scale, you may be filled with optimism, reminiscing on that terribly difficult HIIT session you did the other day, or all the water you drank that must have flushed away the excess water weight you have been holding onto. Sadly, all your dreams may be dashed away in seconds when you see that your weight is the same as the last time you were on the scale, or even worse- went up.

When you are keeping this close of an eye on your weight, the scale is bound to lie, at least a little bit. Deep down we all know that the scale can only tell us so much about our progress, but sometimes it is hard not to fixate on a magic number that you desperately want to see. I have been dying to see my scale tell me I am 110 since 2008, but this isn’t going to happen overnight, and I also have to accept that it may never happen again. I have never really been the type of person who just drops 5 pounds fast. I have no idea how people do this, it can’t possibly be healthy, and it never happens for me.

After seeing my weight rise 0.2 lbs between Wednesday and Today, I decided to check out my weight history on my bodyspace to see how my weight changed the last time I did a transformation program, and when I was living a more sedentary lifestyle.

MY WEIGHT HISTORY 2011-Nov2013

My body tends to like to stay in the mid to high 120s naturally. If I am inactive, and spend a lot of time in restaurants, I will get closer to 130. It takes a lot of effort and careful eating for me to get into the 110s now, but I tend to feel much better and more energetic when I live this type of lifestyle. When I started Kris Gethin’s 12-week transformation program, I was about 130 as well. I started on April 1, 2013. I slowly edged my weight down from 128 to 124 in four weeks, which is a healthy loss of about 1lb per week. The greatest changes started to happen for me between weeks 4-8, and by week 8 I was in the best shape I had been in since before grad school.

This demonstrates that it takes a long time for my body to adjust to a new exercise program, and that consistency is the key to seeing results. During that diet, I only cheated three times and each time it was an emotional binge on a chocolate bunny I had stashed away from Easter. This time, I am taking a different approach. I will be attending events, just like I did last year, but instead of restricting myself entirely, I will be allowing those to be planned cheat days. This may make my progress a little bit slower, but if this is going to be a sustainable change, I have to be open to cheating a little bit, considering I won’t be doing a show for quite awhile.

BF Percentages 2011-2013

I tend to see body fat as a better indicator of progress. It is hard to lose body fat, and since I am using a caliper, I need to lose an entire millimeter to see a change in percentage. My issue with measuring body fat is that I am not the greatest at it. A lot of my measurements were completely wrong because I had no idea how to use the instrument properly. Sometimes I would find websites to calculate body fat for me based on measurements. I am really happy when those measurements give me the same result as my caliper, then I start to think I am on the right path.

I can say without a shaddow of a doubt that all of my measurements for March 2013 are wrong. I calculated the 25.5% measurement using a website, and I believe that result much more, considering I have seen my body at 20% and it did not look like the pictures from March. Again, like with the scale, I slowly edged my body fat down to about 18%. It stayed there for quite awhile. When I get back there, I am fairly certain that I will probably be hiring a competition trainer to help me lose the rest.

After carefully scrutinizing these numbers, I feel very confident that I can achieve the same results again. I am starting in a slightly better position, as my body fat is lower, even though my weight is higher. I maintained some of the muscle I had built between April-June 2013, since I was going to the gym fairly consistently despite my questionable diet and lack of cardiovascular activity. I am excited to see my results over time, and I will be sure to keep an open mind about the numbers. After all, they are just numbers.