Day 85: ???

Day 84

After I got my Bod Pod results yesterday morning, I spent the next hour or so staring at them with what must have looked like a perplexed look upon my face. I pulled out my charts from the past two months and stared at those too. Almost a day later, I’m still unsure how this happened.

As you’ll see below, the Bod Pod claims I lost 3% body fat and 5 lbs of fat. My fat free mass increased by a 1/2 lb.

If you read my post from yesterday morning, you know these aren’t the results I was expecting.

Granted, Bod Pods have a margin of error of +/- 1 to 2.7%, so maybe it’s a mistake?

Rationally, I feel like I should be celebrating, but I can’t help but feel like the Bod Pod is wrong. I didn’t track my protein intake the first month, so I don’t know if I averaged more protein or not, but I do know I failed to hit my 100 grams a day goal. Then again, I averaged about 92 calories less per day this month (which would add up to at least one pound of weight loss) and I did exercise a little more, so maybe it is right?

I took a look at my measurements to see if they might tell me anything about my results. These were my previous stats:

And here are yesterday’s:

Weight: 122.2 lbs

Measurements (in inches) (change from last measurements):

Bicep 10.5 (-0.25)

Chest 33.5 (-1.0)

Waist 28.5 (-0.5)

Hips 35.5 (-0.25)

Thigh 21.5 (-0.25)

Calf 13.5 (-0.25)

A total loss of 2.5 inches; with the most significant loss coming from my chest (which is basically all fat). The month prior I lost 1.5 inches. So I guess the results could be a little more accurate than I think they are?

Who knows? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what the next month brings.

Final step count: 15,055

Day 85

Although it’s technically already Friday, it’s basically Thursday night since I still haven’t gone to bed. I need to figure out what my plan for this new month will be, but that’ll have to wait until the morning.

Happy Friday!

Current step total: 62

Day 63: Dissapointed

Day 62

I went to bed last night feeling pretty disappointed in myself, not because I didn’t hit my protein goal, but because of my attitude about not reaching it. I just didn’t care.

I set this protein goal for a reason, and yet for the last two weeks, I haven’t made any effort to reach it. I’ve whined about not hitting it. I’ve written that I need to try harder. I’ve stated I would do better… but I haven’t. I’ve done nothing to eat more protein, unless my attempts at baking count?

I tried to figure out why I’ve been feeling this way about this particular goal. The only thing I could come up with is that it just doesn’t seem as important as staying within my daily calorie range. Nutrition is where I struggle the most. Although I’m doing a lot better at staying within my target calorie range, it’s still really hard for me to do. I guess trying to eat protein on top of that just feels like a bridge too far?

Whether or not that’s true, I can’t just give up. There are things I can do, like start drinking my morning protein shake again. Earlier this year, I was drinking a protein shake every morning for breakfast. I stopped drinking it over the summer because it just wasn’t filling, so it felt like a waste of calories. It’s an easy way to get a head start on hitting my daily protein goal though, so I need to get back to drinking it.

I also think it would be helpful if I stopped thinking of my daily meals in terms of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In order to eat 100 grams of protein each day, I need to try and break it down into servings. I can eat 15-20 grams of protein if I eat one serving of a lean meat; that means I need to eat 5-6 servings a day in order to hit my goal. I need to change the way I eat from three meals with snacks, to five to six smaller meals a day.

These changes shouldn’t be difficult. They’re not rocket science or some revolutionary new way of eating. They’re the same, basic things tons of other people do. If they can do it, I can do it. I just need to get out of my own way.

Final step count: 16,003

Day 63

Today is the first day of week three. I averaged 1,782 calories a day last week, and lost a little under one lb. I’ve been struggling with water weight fluctuations this past week, so I’m not too concerned about the less-than-1-lb weight loss.

I also took some updated measurements yesterday. In the last two weeks, I’ve lost 1/4 inch from my bicep, waist, thigh, and calf; and 3/4 of an inch from my hips.

Since Day 1 of this challenge, I’ve lost 7-8 lbs, 1/4 inch from my bicep, waist, thigh, 1/2 an inch from my chest, thigh, and calf, 2 and 1/4 inches from my waist, and 2 inches from my hips. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

                           8/4/18     8/20/18     9/20/18     10/03/18
Weight:                    131.2 lbs  131 lbs     126.4 lbs   123.6 lbs
Measurements (in inches): 
Bicep                      10.75      10.75       10.75       10.5
Chest                      35         35          34.5        34.5
Waist                      31         30          29          28.75
Hips                       37         37          35.75       35
Thigh                      22         22          21.75       21.5
Calf                       14         14          13.75       13.5

I’m really happy with my progress so far. Although I’d rather not keep losing inches from hips, I’m happy to see my thighs finally start slimming a bit. They just weren’t budging. Now, I just need to get my next Bod Pod scheduled and hopefully see some real progress in terms of losing body fat.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Current step total: 1,724

Day 49 (Part Deux): Drumroll please…

Day 49

I completed my fit test and Bod Pod this morning.

My hypotheses were:

  1. My total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is higher than my estimated TDEE of 1,822, so I can lose some weight by eating 1,822 calories a day.
  2. I can increase my fat free mass by following the Strong program consistently.

So, was I right?

After tossing out the calories from the first week of binging (I averaged over 2,500 calories a day that week), I ate an average of 1,815 calories per day – a few calories below my estimated TDEE of 1,822 calories. If my estimated TDEE was right, my weight should have stayed the same, but it didn’t. I lost almost 2 lbs. Conclusion: my TDEE is definitely higher than 1,822 calories.

I’d love to call that a win, but…

Despite completing all of my planned workouts, I actually lost 1 lb of fat free mass. Although fat free mass accounts for more than just muscle, I’m feel pretty confident that my loss was primarily muscle mass. Conclusion: I cannot gain fat free mass by following the Strong program at a calorie deficit.

I’m really disappointed. I know I shouldn’t be. It was unrealistic to think I could increase my fat free mass while eating at a calorie deficit. Conventional wisdom says muscles need calories to grow. The most I should have hoped for was to retain the fat free mass I had, but instead, I had hoped I might be the beneficiary of some “newbie gains.” Obviously, I was not.

To add onto my feelings of disappointment, my fit test was a mixed bag as well. I increased my VO2 max and grip strength, but did worse on my back strength and flexibility.

That being said, I don’t feel discouraged. Disappointed yes, but not discouraged. I just need to think this through and set some new goals for the next four weeks. This isn’t over yet.

Current step total: 4,975

Current step goal streak: 19 days 
Previous step goal streak: 2 days
Longest step goal streak: 19 days

Day 8: Welcome to week two.

Day 7

I went straight to bed after writing my Day 7 post. I would have loved to write that I somehow dug down deep and found the motivation to go out for a run and hit my step goal that late at night, but nope. That didn’t happen. It’s still a fail on the books. But, that’s ok.

Final step count: 1,704

Day 8

It’s been one week since I started this challenge. Today, I officially begin week two. It’s also my first (and hopefully last) “restart” day. At the beginning of week one, I shared my “before” stats. I wrote that I would check-in and update these weekly. I have a body fat assessment next week using a Bod Pod, so I considered postponing this update until then, but with the whole step goal fail yesterday, I wanted to restart with a fresh set of numbers. As you’ll see below, after the 2 lbs weight “loss” (fluctuation) I mentioned a couple of days ago, my weight bounced back up last night; and my measurements haven’t changed for the most part. My waist seems to have gone down an inch, but I’m inclined to believe that maybe I just took my initial measurement incorrectly?

I won’t draw any conclusions from these stats just yet, other than to point out that I’m at the very least maintaining my current weight and measurements. While losing weight and inches would have been great, gaining weight and inches would have been worse, so I’m ok with the lack of change this week; especially considering just how much I’ve been eating. I haven’t been great about logging my food, but I did log everything I ate most days since Saturday, and some of what I ate the rest of the days. Let me tell you, I’ve been eating and drinking a lot; to excess really. I truly believe that if it weren’t for all the extra walking I’ve done this week, I likely would have seen my weight, and maybe even some of my measurements, increase. Whether I like it or not, I may have to consider making some diet changes sooner, rather than later. But, not today – today, I’m going to hit my step goal.

               8/4/18        8/10/18 
Weight:        131.2 lbs     131 lbs
Bicep          10.75         10.75
Chest          35            35
Waist          31            30
Hips           37            37
Thigh          22            22
Calf           14            14

Current step total: 838

Current step goal streak: 0 days
Previous step goal streak: 6 days