Day 23: Bod Pod Results

My Bod Pod results from yesterday were just as bad as I expected them to be. From October to now, my body fat percentage has increased from 26.1% to 29.8%, and I’ve gained a little over 6 lbs of fat. The worst part is, more than half that increase happened in the last 6 weeks.

Yesterday’s results:

Results from January 25th:

Despite my not-so-great results, I felt pretty motivated to get back on track yesterday. I made some healthy food, went to the gym, and tried my best to get all of my steps in early. I was on a roll until right after dinner time. Then it all went to shit. I felt tired, little man was cranky, and I just felt overwhelmed.

Although I didn’t binge on junk food or anything like that, I did have a drink or two and then went to bed – without checking my step total for the day. Just like that, I ruined my latest streak. I missed my goal by around 3,000 steps.

It’s ok though. I’ll get right back to it today. My next Bod Pod is scheduled for April 15th. I feel confident I can get a new streak going while working towards getting my body fat percentage moving in the right direction.

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 56: Week “2”

Day 55

After walking living room laps for what seemed like hours, I hit my daily step goal and decided to fill out the rest of my tracking sheet for today (with the exception of my step total, since it wouldn’t be accurate just yet). I decided to highlight the last day of each week since my last Bod Pod for easier comparison. I also averaged my daily calories for this first week and wrote it to the right of my highlighted row.

This week’s average daily calories: 1,788.

It’s not as low as I’d hoped, but it’s under my estimated total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) of 1,822. And most importantly, I still lost 1 lb this past week (see below). Win!

Final step count: 15,740

Day 56

On the tracking sheet pictured above, I also wrote my weight as measured by the Bod Pod to the right of the first row. I figured I can consider it a much more accurate weight for comparison than the weight from my home scale. My home scale weighed me in at 126.4 lbs on September 20th; the Bod Pod came in at 125.255 lbs.

One week later, after consuming an average of 1,788 calories a day, I’m down 1 lb. This morning’s weight: 124.2 lbs. It’s what I had hoped to see, but more than I’d actually expected.

I want to celebrate the loss, it’s a win right? That’s what I wrote above; but I am a tad bit concerned that half of that may be muscle loss. I truly do need to step up my protein eating game. I’m so not about the skinny fat life.

Current step total: 387

Day 53: On writing

Day 52

I was concerned I’d end the day close to the top of my calorie range yesterday. I ate quite a bit in the morning. But, I focused on staying active throughout the day to prevent any unnecessary cravings and I drank a whole lot of water. Usually, if I stay hydrated I tend to eat a lot better and crave less, but I haven’t been drinking much of that clear stuff the last couple of days.

The rain finally took a breather and the sun was out, so I spent as much time as possible outside. I took the dog for a couple of extra long walks and did some weeding in the garden. I even took little kid for a bike ride.

The best parts of yesterday though? I didn’t have to walk any living room laps to meet my step goal, I increased my weights during my workout, and I felt really great all day. I felt energetic, motivated, and happy. I also weighed myself in the morning again, right after filling it out my sheet. I’d originally weighed myself while wearing some pretty heavy PJs, heavier than what I normally wear to weigh myself; so I figured it might not be the most accurate weight for today. My updated weight: 124.8 lbs! Not bad for a Sunday.

Final step count: 19,220

Day 53

I’ve been thinking a lot about these daily posts I write. I started this blog to keep my goals fresh on my mind every day and to help me stay accountable. I didn’t start it with the intention of it necessarily being read by others, so the style they’re written in tends to be a sort of edited verbal diarrhea, with no real beginning or end.

Although I’m writing for myself, I did assume there might be someone out there who’ll read what I’ve written, so I think I’ve held back my “authentic voice” a bit. The unedited me is a lot more volatile, to say the least. And a lot more verbose. I talk a lot “in real life,” and that means I tend to write a lot too. Plus, I love to write, so I can easily do it for hours. It may not be good writing, but I can do a ton of it.

Since I’ve started this blog though, I’ve been followed by a few people, which is really cool and super motivating. Knowing there might be at least one person out there reading my posts and hopefully getting something out of them has really helped me stick to this challenge. If it weren’t for this blog and the people who’ve chosen to read it and like and comment on my posts, I’m pretty sure I would have given up already. I wouldn’t be seeing the changes I’ve made so far by sticking with it.

The thing with having readers is that it’s made me wonder if I should change my writing style? Should I write assuming my posts will be read by at least one other person? Should I add more details and make the things I have to say a lot more engaging? If I’m just writing for myself, I can limit my daily post to, “I hit all my goals yesterday,” because well, I was there. But if I write for a reader, I can include a lot more detail about how I got there, what challenges I faced, how I overcame them or why I failed.

I’ve never been confident about my writing ability, so I guess I’m afraid that writing for others will highlight my flaws and open me up to judgment. But, If I’m writing for myself, it doesn’t really matter if the posts are bad or whatnot, they’re not being written for “public consumption,” so to speak.

For me, life is about growth, and you can’t grow unless you take risks and try for more than you’ve done before; so going forward, I think I’ll start writing for others and I may even start to share my “true” self. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Current step total: 91

Day 52: Updated stats

Day 51

Yesterday was an ok day. I stayed in my calorie range and hit my step goal. I found out my Garmin app keeps track of my streaks, so I don’t need to keep typing it out in every post. And it occurred to me that I can still salvage Thursday if I eat less than 1,615 calories a day for the rest of the week. Now that I’m tracking my calories in terms of daily average calories per week, I can adjust as needed to make sure I still reach my goal, instead of measuring my success or failure based off of one day’s calories’

I also realized that I hadn’t posted any updated stats on Thursday; I only shared my Bod Pod results. That morning I took my measurements and was pleasantly surprised to see some of them moving in the right direction.

                 8/4/18     8/28/18     9/20/2018
Weight:          131.2 lbs  128.6 lbs.  126.4 lbs
Measurements (in inches): 
Bicep            10.75      10.75       10.75
Chest            35         35          34.5
Waist            31         29.5        29
Hips             37         36          35.75
Thigh            22         22          21.75
Calf             14         13.75       13.75

Granted, the changes in my chest, hips, and thigh measurements are so small they could be errors, but I checked the waist measurement a few times and I definitely dropped half an inch there. Not too shabby for a three-week period.

Final step count: 18,968

Day 52

It’s Sunday. I’ve got a workout to get done this morning, but that’s about it. Depending on how I’m feeling after I lift, I might go for a short run. I’m feeling motivated today.

And frankly, I need the extra motivation. I’ve been doing pretty awful with my protein goal. No wonder I lost a pound of fat free mass over the past three weeks; I barely hit 50 grams of protein on most of those days. I need to start drinking my morning protein shakes again. More than anything, I need to hit my protein goal today to get me moving in the right direction this upcoming week. Wish me luck!

Current step total: 887

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