Although I should probably focus on one change at a time, I feel compelled to conduct a second “experiment” between now and my next Bod Pod appointment on September 20th. I might be setting myself up for failure, but I just can’t help myself.
Hypothesis: I can increase my fat free mass (FFM) by consistently following the Strong workout program.
Unfortunately, my body won’t let me pick and choose where I want to lose weight from. It just sort of takes it from anywhere. This means that when my scale inches lower, there’s no guarantee I’ve lost any actual fat. It could be water weight, muscle, fat, or a combination of all of the above.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the “skinny fat” look, so I want to retain as much muscle as possible while losing weight. This means I need to lose the weight slowly, and I need to do the things that all the smart health and fitness people say I should do, like lift weights and eat lots of protein. They say that if I do those things, I can retain most of my muscle, even while I’m losing weight. I’ve even read that “noob gains” are a thing, meaning I could even gain some muscle at first. Granted, it wouldn’t likely be much of a gain, but anything is better than nothing.
My plan: I will once again restart the Strong workout program (for like the third or fourth time now) today. Since I’ll be eating maintenance calories, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t gain at least a tiny bit of muscle between now and my next Bod Pod appointment – and see an increase in my FFM on my results. It’s possible I may even gain a little weight overall, but as long as it’s in the FFM category, I’m ok with it.
Current step total: 1,038
Current step goal streak: 1 day
Previous step goal streak: 13 days
Longest step goal streak: 13 days
So. Many. Laps.
By 8pm, I was barely at 10,000 steps – and that was after I walked the dog. Walking 5,000 steps worth of laps around my living room was so not fun, but hey, I hit my goal. That’s what matters right? At this rate, I’m going to wear out the floor in my living room from all the pacing.
I logged my meals again yesterday too. Total calories: 1,658. I noticed that I was a lot more cognizant of what I chose to eat throughout the day. That’s the thing with logging your food – even if you’re not trying to change how you eat, you can’t help but make different choices once you’re forced to log each and every bite you take. I’m not purposely trying to eat less, but by logging everything I eat, I’m forced to pay attention to portion sizes and measure everything. I can’t just sit on the couch with a bag of chips anymore, I need to portion out each serving so I can record it in MyFitnessPal. It seems that, unintentionally, that extra step cuts down on how much I end up eating overall; which isn’t a bad thing. Eating over 2,000 calories a day for a person my size is just asking for weight gain.
Current step goal streak: 8 days
Previous step goal streak: 1 day
Longest step goal streak: 6 days
I woke up this morning when my alarm went off at 5:00 am, and despite not feeling the best, I managed to get up and hit the gym. Today, I restarted Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove’s Strong program. It’s a strength training program consisting of three phases of full-body workouts done 2-3 times a week. Today’s workout was Stage 1, Workout A. There was some ab work, legs, upper body, and even a little cardio. It was challenging, but well worth it.
I’d tried Schuler and Cosgrove’s New Rules of Fitness for Women (NROF4W) program in the past and really liked it. Both programs focus on compound exercises, and they start off relatively easy, so they’re great for going from the couch to exercising. I went with the Strong program this time around because although it seems more complicated at first glance, it’s still pretty basic and it’s got the extra cardio component NROL4W didn’t have that I like. I also like that even with that extra cardio part, it only took me about 40 minutes to complete. I know as the workouts progress, they’ll likely take me longer to complete, but for now, 40 minutes works for my schedule. It can be really hard to find time (and the motivation) to go to the gym, so I’m all about any exercise program that is short, but effective (and doesn’t suck). Strong is all of those things.
This morning’s workout also gave me a great head start on my step count, so I’m hoping between those steps and the to do list I’ve got to tackle today, I’ll easily hit my step goal. Otherwise, I guess the dog will be getting an extra long walk this evening.
Current step total: 6,184