Weigh In Wednesday–A Little Late…

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I have been all over the place this week. Just a messy week, full of basically nothing other than mental exhaustion. Since I am late posting these results, we will just call this my weekly weigh in–even though it was done on Wednesday. Whatever.

This has been a big week that follows the ‘no excuses’ theme to a tee. I have had some serious sleep issues that I can’t really explain, which is ensuring that I work my 9-5 exhausted, followed by the gym, and another lack of sleep night. Somehow I have found energy at the gym, and today is the first day that I have missed my morning cardio, which I will inevitably tag on to my workout tonight. Luckily, I haven’t faltered in my diet at all and I am even finding new ways to make meals feel like cheat meals while sticking in my macros.

I actually got the best gift ever yesterday that will make sure I have no excuses at all to fall off my diet. I got my birthday present a few weeks early, Men’s Health Muscle Chow, which looks like the best book invented for bodybuilders looking to also be foodies, like me. I got it yesterday, and I will be experimenting with it and exploring its many wonders for a long time to come, and I am sure I will write all about it once I have had a chance to really look at it. Long live flavor!

Anyway, to my Weigh In Wednesday results:

Nov 20

This week has followed all of my other weeks, with small changes, that will lead to big changes. Kris Gethin always says that in the beginning of a program, changes are happening underneath that you can’t see, and if you stick it out long enough you will be amazed at what you actually have been building. That is true for me, especially in my last program when all of a sudden, I dropped a few pounds and was shocked to see the difference. This is only week 2, so any changes are appreciated. It shows that I am doing something right. I did my measurements really fast, so some of the numbers don’t really make sense. I will probably re-do them on Sunday.

My weight was at 128 yesterday, and 127.8 on Sunday, and 127 today. At least it is consistently around the same number, and under 130!

Highlights:

My weight dropped at least .8 lbs from last Wednesday, 1.8 lbs today. I did a more intense cardio session, so maybe that can be attributed to my 1lb loss? We will see Sunday.

My body fat percentage went down by 1mm, which to me is huge. This took me from 23.8 to 22.1%.

My chest appears to have gone up half an inch, weird. My thighs also went up by 0.25 inches. My calves went down by 0.5 inches.

I have determined that I will re-do my measurements on Sunday when I have more time to be careful with the tape!

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Starting Your Day Off Right

We hear time and time again about the importance of a morning routine and the effect it has on the rest of the day. Starting your day off with positive habits has the ability to improve your mood, while keeping you motivated. I notice a huge difference in my ability to be productive and successful if I have skipped over breakfast and exercise, opting to rush out the door or laze around and watch TV. Of course, it is easy to make a routine and not stick to it, especially when lack of sleep comes into the mix. The ability to have a strong start to the day really starts at night, and that has always been my issue. I often find myself stressed out about having to get up early and do cardio since it requires energy and motivation, both of which are often difficult to find in the morning, especially in the dead of winter when it is dark and miserable out.

Excuses will always exist, and persistence is the key to a successful morning routine. I suggest starting off with some easy to manage tasks, and repeating them every day until they become habitual. Getting up early and completing my morning cardio not only gives me pride, but also gives me a necessary energy boost. I have heard conflicting arguments when it comes to morning cardio, whether it is fasted or completed after breakfast. I have done it both ways, and I am no closer to the answer as to which one is better for you.

Right now, I am sticking to fasted cardio because I am taking fat burners, which need to be taken on an empty stomach (with water) 30 minutes before breakfast. This is a perfect opportunity to fit in my morning cardio without having to wake up half an hour earlier just to take the pill before breakfast, followed by cardio. The cardio I do in the morning is low intensity, another well debated topic. After completing Kris Gethin’s 12 week transformation plan, I came to agree with him that cardio that raises your heart rate, but is not intense enough to surpass the fat burning zone, is perfect for bodybuilding. Intense cardio burns off that hard earned muscle I have worked so hard to build, and that is not what I am going for at all.

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My Routine:

I start my morning off with a huge glass of water, and a fat burner (Ripped Freak). I fill my 1L bottle with 1 scoop of xtend and water, and get on the treadmill for 20 minutes. Right now, I am using an incline of 4 and a speed of 4.2 mph. This is perfect for raising heart rate, but keeping it steady and low enough to burn fat and keep muscle. Over time, I will raise the number of minutes I do cardio in the morning. My last 12 week program began with 20 minutes and increased to 30 minutes. I will be doing the same thing again, raising my time by 5 minutes every 4-5 weeks.

Once I complete my cardio, I make a breakfast that is high in protein. I require 30g of protein in each meal (6 meals a day). I like to switch up my breakfasts to keep it interesting, this way I don’t get bored and want to snack before my next meal. I choose a breakfast option, prepare it, and take it with my vitamins and supplements (OptiWomen, Vitamin D, Calcium Magnesium, Creatine). Simple, but effective.

Breakfast Ideas:

1 cup egg whites, 1 piece toast, no sugar added jam

Oatmeal and protein powder (mixed)

Breakfast Shake (recipe and image below)

Protein Pancakes- made with egg whites, oats and protein powder

P28 bread and no sugar added jam

Turkey Bacon Slices (4-5) and Toast

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On mornings where I am rushed for time, I love making protein shakes in my Magic Bullet. These are great because they can be taken to go, and require less prep and clean up than eggs!

Magic Bullet Morning Shake

1 cup water

1 cup berries (I used blueberries)

1/4 to 1/3 cup oats

1 scoop protein powder (I used Chocolate Coconut)

1 tbsp splenda (optional)

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Ice Cubes

A breakfast that is high in protein and contains good, clean carbs will keep you alert and well fueled in the morning. I eat every three hours, and I require a good breakfast to keep my mind off snacking between meals. This is especially a problem working in a building with a cafeteria and vending machine close by, offering an assortment of unhealthy options. Having a routine definitely helps in the struggle to keep away from these tempting items. I also find that when I drink enough water and take morning vitamins and supplements that I do not have as many cravings.

Who doesn’t love a giant bottle of water with Xtend?

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Cheers to the morning!

Weigh In Wednesday

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So apparently this is a thing–Weigh In Wednesday. I have always just selected Wednesday as part of my twice a week weigh in just because it is in the middle of the week, but hey, if everyone is doing it then I must have the right idea. So here is my first of many Weigh In Wednesday posts. Since I don’t really subscribe to the scale being the best form of progress measurement, I will be including a detailed breakdown of all of my measurements. Ever the pessimist, I also do not trust my scale. Not only do I not trust that my scale is the one and only correct scale (since I always seem to weigh more or less on other people’s scales), but I also do not trust that my scale will not lie to me and change the next day. I weigh in twice a week because I feel that if the scale gives me a similar reading over the course of multiple days, then it has earned my trust. I will not get excited about weight loss until I am certain it is a reality. That is just one of my rules.

That being said, I also only weigh myself twice a week so that I do not get obsessed with the numbers that appear on my scale. I’ve gone through that obsession many times before, and it never ends well. I also tend to set very unrealistic goals for myself, such as losing 20 pounds, hitting the coveted 110 lb mark, etc. and fixating on doing this quickly also ends with me upset, eating chocolate bunnies. Even though this may be part of my long term goal, it is much more than that. I tend to prefer body fat as an indicator of my progress, but even that leaves me confused much of the time, especially since it is confusing to use a body fat caliper.

Right now, I have set a short term goal that I will work towards as a healthy Step 1. That goal is to reach 125 by my work Christmas Party, which takes place on November 30. This is a more manageable goal, and I am tracking my progress on my favorite site in the world, http://www.bodybuilding.com

Nov13 Goals

I started with a weight of 131 lbs, on Saturday, November 9, 2013. After my weigh in today, it is evident to me that part of that was probably water weight, or bloat, caused by my unhealthy diet. Four days later, I have dropped 2.4 lbs, but my body fat percentage stayed the same. I can work with this.

Nov13

Like scales, not all body fat calipers are created equally. The reason I say this is that I measured my body fat today and Saturday, and received a result of 23.7%. A few days prior, I used the electronic body fat calculator at the gym, which provided me with a reading of 20.1%. Since I cannot use that calculator regularly, I am sticking with my 23.7% reading, as I can use this to check consistency, even though deep down I choose to believe I am already at 20%. Either way, changes will be made slowly and that is the way it works. Nothing great happens immediately, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If it’s worth working for, it’s worth waiting for. One day at a time.

For me, I will focus on small changes. These changes can be lasting. This is why I do not subscribe to the idea that cleanses and fad diets work. You simply cannot shred 5-10 pounds of fat in a week. It is unrealistic. What you cannot fake is your measurements, unless you start measuring in different places. I try to be really careful to ensure that my measurements are as accurate as possible. The highlight of this bi-weekly measurement is a loss of .5 inches in my waist. This may also be attributed to water weight, and remains to be seen. Either way, I am really enjoying being back in the game and seeing how a healthy diet and exercise can improve all aspects of life.

The Fluctuation Story

Fluctuation Collage

My issue has never been that I have to force myself to go to the gym. I don’t hate every second I spend there, I don’t dread going. In fact, I actually enjoy it. It is thrilling to me to lift more this week than I did last week. I love seeing the changes that happen in my body. I even love supplementation, trying new products, and waiting for my Bodybuilding.com order to arrive. My issue is not the fact that to be fit, I need to be active. My issue is that I cannot stay consistent. I fluctuate, over and over. I don’t just go up by a few pounds, I don’t drop 5 pounds a week either. I go up and down by 10-15 pounds over the course of a few months. I do it so quickly, that it escapes me that it is even happening. For me, it is all diet. I love to eat, and that is great, but I can’t just have a cheat meal here and there, it has to be every day, all the time. My life is run on cravings, which is extremely unhealthy. 

When I was in high school, I was on the swim team. I was so active, that I could eat whatever I wanted and never notice it. I’d go to grocery stores in the middle of the night, buy a cheesecake, peel back the metal base, and just eat the whole thing like that. Not an inch was gained. McDonald’s was my best friend. No longer. Of course, that comes with age as well. When I went to University, the meal plan killed me like it does every Freshman, but instead of gaining 15 pounds, I gained 34. One day, I woke up and weighed 142 pounds. I didn’t even notice it. I just went to put on a pair of jeans I used to wear, and they wouldn’t go half way up my thighs. Well that was that, right? Changes had to be made? Nope. I have NEVER dropped all of that weight. I have gotten close, but no cigar. People tell me that I can’t possibly weigh the same as I did when I was 17, and that it is unrealistic, but to be a bikini fitness competitor, I best be in better shape than that 17 year old cheese-cake consuming girl. I would hope.

Either way, I went on a journey to drop those pounds, and I have dropped and gained over and over for the last 6 years. It was easy to keep it off in high school. The Catholic School uniform helped for sure. I knew I was getting fat as soon as it became difficult to close my pants. So I would just notice that they were getting snug, and I’d cut back on the crap foods. In the real world, filled with sun dresses and yoga pants, it is harder to track those small gains, leading to bigger gains.

I have never hit 140 again since 2008, just like I have never been below 110. I tend to go between 115-130. I do this over and over again. This is my fluctuation game. For fun, I made a collage of these gains. The first two images are the most serious, since that was my 34 pound jump. After that, I stuck to gaining and dropping 10-15 pounds. The only time this loss was done properly was when I did the Kris Gethin transformation program, which is displayed between the last three images. The first, was March 2013. I started the program in April, and finished at the end of June (the image in the park). Then, I went downhill and ended up back at the last image, today’s image, which has brought on this change.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not constantly obsessing over my weight, but I would really like to make a solid change and live a healthy lifestyle. It can’t be healthy to gain and lose weight over and over again. This pattern will stick with me for life if I don’t break it soon. My father is in the same position, having lost “thousands of pounds” over the course of his life, because we tend to like to over indulge, and then follow that up by obsessive fitness binges. Instead of ending up desperate for change, I want to find a lifestyle I can stick with. I want to stop the fluctuation, and really focus on growing as a person beyond my waistline.

About Me

Welcome to my blog!

My name is Melissa and I am a young professional. As a recent graduate, I am trying to find a balance in my life between career, hobbies, and social obligations. Until recently, I didn’t understand the need for interests outside of school and friends. Since I have been submerged in the 9-5 lifestyle, I am constantly working to fill my extra time with useful activities. I have always found balancing a social life and a fit life to be a challenge. The two never really went together, what with peer pressure to drink and consume terrible carb and fat-filled snacks. I also have a strong love for travel, which inspires me to get fit, then destroy all of my efforts while on vacation.

I have always tended to flip flop with fitness. I am terrible at basically all sports, except for things I can do on my own. Growing up I was a swimmer, and when I got to University I discovered weightlifting. I absolutely love it. I love to see the changes my body goes through, and the strength it makes me feel. My issue is that I can never stick to it long enough to maintain results. I drop 10 pounds, and gain 15. Fluctuating has been the name of my game for the past 6 years. At my highest, I was 142 and at my lowest, 108. Being 5’3″, neither of these numbers ever really fit.

As a competitive, goal oriented person, I have decided to take my passion for fitness and make it more than something I flip flop with. I have decided to take the next year as a personal challenge, and do something I have never done before: stick with the fitness lifestyle CONSISTENTLY, maintain my results, and go over and above and enter a bikini fitness competition. The next year will be a struggle, and a constant challenge, and I am hoping with support and determination that I will be able to achieve my goal of going on stage in November, 2014!

So here’s to me putting down the wine, and lifting some weights!

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