Fresh Start: Week 4

Continuing with my focus to eat MORE protein, LESS carbs, and gain muscle while losing fat. Over the first three weeks I lost 4″ and 1.5 pounds.  Here’s to week 4!

———————————————————

DAY 22: Tuesday 7/14
CALORIES CONSUMED: 1,658   EXERCISE:  – 451    NET:   1,207
FITBIT STEP COUNT: 15,258
CARBS TO PROTEIN:   92 / 142

Coffee w/Half & Half and Torani Sugar-free flavoring
Breakfast: 1 egg + 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup oatmeal
AM Snack: Medifast Mashed Potatoes topped with cheese & greek yogurt
Lunch: Protein Power pancakes with cream cheese and raspberries
EXERCISE:  100 mix of hamstring curls w/stability ball and glute bridge lifts, then 10-minutes of ab work
PM Snack: Medifast Pudding w/greek yogurt & TVP crunch
Dinner: Caprese salad: mozzarella, tomato, basil, EVOO, balsamic vinegar + tofu for added protein
PM Snack: Zone Perfect bar

I feel like I am stuffing myself eating this much. I cannot stress enough how HARD it is to eat.  I mean, I’m hungry when it’s time to eat, but it’s hard for me to get through a whole meal.  If I were to eat at a restaurant right now, I’d be boxing up 2/3 of my meal!  But this “hard” work is worth it- I keep losing inches and firming up.

———————————————————

DAY 23: Wednesday 7/15
CALORIES CONSUMED: 1,846  EXERCISE:  -1,105  NET:  741
FITBIT STEP COUNT: 23,216
CARBS TO PROTEIN: 131/ 140

Coffee w/Half & Half and Torani Sugar-free flavoring
Pre-run snack: 1/3 banana
EXERCISE: 2.5 mile run
Breakfast: 1 egg + 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup oatmeal w 1/3 banana mashed in
AM Snack: String Cheese & Zone Perfect Fudge Graham Bar
Lunch: 1 Protein Power pancake with cream cheese and raspberries, dallop of greek yogurt
PM Snack:  EAS Chocolate Shake mixed w/greek yogurt & water, hard boiled egg
Dinner: Salsa Chicken Salad on multi-grain organic tortilla chips with shredded cheese, tomato, pico de gallo, avocado, greek yogurt, olives (basically, nachos!)
PM Snack: Plums….fresh golden plums.  I ate 4 because I couldn’t stop!

Had I not eaten those plums, my carbs to protein ratio would have been 108 / 140.  And that’s with eating those multi-grain chips for dinner, too!

———————————————————

DAY 24:  Thursday 7/16
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,441  EXERCISE:  – 1,075   NET:    366  (OH NO!!!)
FITBIT STEP COUNT: 21,457
CARBS TO PROTEIN: 117 / 142

Coffee w/Half & Half and Torani Sugar-free flavoring
EXERCISE: 2.5 mile run
Breakfast: 1 egg + 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup oatmeal + raspberries
AM Snack: Premier Protein Bar
Lunch: 2 hard boiled eggs (one full, one white only) + Medifast Ready to drink Mocha
PM Snack: (oops)
Dinner: Soft taco filled with shredded chicken, pico de gallo, guacamole and cabbage
EXERCISE: Wendy’s 1-hour Circuit Class
PM Snack: post-workout smoothie: greek yogurt, spinach, protein powder, berries, skim milk

I was not hungry today! I wasn’t hungry after my workout either….but I knew I had to have something ‘big’ or I’d really be in trouble.  That smoothie packs 331 calories, 46 grams of protein, 30 carbs- 23 of which are sugar- but natural sugars from the fruit and milk, and only 3 grams of fat.  Super good!!!

On a positive note, my trainer said she could see my abs starting to show! Yay!

———————————————————

DAY 25:  Friday 7/17
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,885       EXERCISE:  -881        NET:  1,004
FITBIT STEP COUNT:  18,514
CARBS TO PROTEIN:  141 / 148

Coffee w/Half & Half and Torani Sugar-free flavoring
EXERCISE: 1.8 mile run (ugh, I gave up, it just wasn’t working for me)
Breakfast: 1 egg + 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup oatmeal + raspberries + greek yogurt
AM Snack: Nature Valley peanut butter granola bar (it’s what I had in my car, bad planning), 2 hardboiled egg whites,
Lunch: smoothie: greek yogurt, spinach, protein powder, berries, skim milk, oatmeal
PM Snack: Zone Perfect Peanut Butter bar + hardboiled egg
Dinner: giant taco salad with shredded chicken, guacamole, salsa, romaine hearts and greek yogurt (instead of sour cream)
PM Snack: Monster Sugar-free, peanut butter on whole wheat (slice), string cheese

Today was a grab’n’go kind of day- I was in and out running errands and doing a bazillion things.  It was party prep night, too.

———————————————————

DAY 26:  Saturday 7/18
CALORIES CONSUMED:  2,528      EXERCISE:  -563       NET:   1,965
FITBIT STEP COUNT: 16,031
CARBS TO PROTEIN: 197 / 121  

It’s our annual Summer BBQ Day- ultimate cheat day after 4 amazing weeks of weight loss.

Coffee w/Half & Half and Torani Sugar-free flavoring
Breakfast: 1 egg + 2 egg whites
AM Snack: Zone Perfect PB Bar
Lunch: breakfast burrito: chicken, eggs, cheese, salsa, bacon + Medifast Mocha
PM Snack: Pure Protein bar
Dinner: hamburger patty with melted cheddar cheese, topped with blue cheese dressing, feta crumbles, bacon crumbles, frank’s red hot sauce and a dallop of guacamole, a small handful of chips and a bite of a danish
Drinks: about 6 lemonade+vodka mixed drinks (over a 7 hour period!)

I have to say- with the exception of the vodka infused lemonades, I think I did very well eating wise!!  No over indulgences with food calories or eating high-carb foods…. just sugar/alcohol drinks!!

ALCOHOL CALORIES:  875
FOOD CALORIES:  1,653
CARBS TO PROTEIN RATIO (WITHOUT ALCOHOL):    71/121

———————————————————

DAY 27:  Sunday 7/19
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,778     EXERCISE:  – 211      NET:    1,567
FITBIT STEP COUNT:  10,166
CARBS TO PROTEIN: 84 / 109

Coffee w/Half & Half and Torani Sugar-free flavoring
Breakfast: 1 egg + 2 egg whites
Lunch: hamburger patty with melted cheddar cheese, topped with blue cheese dressing, feta crumbles, bacon crumbles, frank’s red hot sauce, handful of chips, Just Chill fruit drink
PM Snack: 2 plums
Dinner: um, same hamburger as lunch, but with a bun this time!  I was HANGRY.

My Fitbit battery died around 7pm so I put it on the charger, but probably didn’t get much more steps beyond that because I was in bed by 8pm!

———————————————————

DAY 28:  Monday 7/20
CALORIES CONSUMED:  2,053     EXERCISE:  -648    NET:  1,405
FITBIT STEP COUNT:  20,948
CARBS TO PROTEIN: 89 / 105

Coffee w/Half & Half and Torani Sugar-free flavoring
Breakfast: 1 egg + 2 egg whites
AM Snack: Pure Protein bar (quick and easy, poor planning on my part)
Lunch: ground beef patty topped with feta, blue cheese and Frank’s Red Hot sauce (last patty left over from the party- yay!  They are GONE finally!)
PM Snack: chocolate avocado mousse (added protein powder this time to boost it a bit!)
Dinner: Tofu French Toast (basically, Tofu sticks fried in a skillet with coconut oil, topped with cinnamon and Walden Farms sugar-free syrup- it was so good!).  I also had a few bites of the family dinner- about 1/3 cup of Jambalaya Rice and 6 asparagus spears.  Strange combination, I know.
PM Snack:  another chocolate avocado mousse.

I’ve been soooo hungry today!!

—————————————————————

WEEK FOUR PROGRESS:  

Weight Loss This week:    1.2 pounds !!
Overall Weight Loss:         2.6 pounds
Inches Lost this week:      1/2″
Overall Inches Lost:         4 3/4″

Body Fat Percentage (Calipers):  19%

Inches Lost utilizes the following measurements: natural waist, belly button line, hips, upper thigh

Calipers measure skin fold at back of arm, halfway between armpit and elbow- I have a mole for a marker, skin fold at waist- direct line with belly button, just above/inside hip bone (at natural indentation), and skin fold at thigh, halfway between knee and groin- I have a mole there that I use each time.  Using the same points each time SHOULD be accurate.  Same time of day as well… around lunchtime.

Fresh Start: Week 3

I’m one of those people who HAS to hold myself accountable in order to make progress.  So I’m continuing this journaling until I reach my goals.

As I mentioned before, I’m no longer doing a specific Medifast program, I’m just following the BeSlim approach- making healthy food choices and eating smaller meals every 2-3 hours.  If I feel hungry, I eat, but eat smart.  If I’m eating properly, I won’t feel hungry between meals, but with my added workouts, sometimes that’s not long after eating!

Here we go for Week 3:

———————————————————

DAY 15: Tuesday 7/7/15
CALORIES CONSUMED: 1,627     EXERCISE:  -288    NET:  1,339
FITBIT STEP COUNT:  13,112
Carbs vs Protein:  190 / 109

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
Breakfast: 2 eggs, Medifast Cereal with whole milk
AM Snack: Special K bar
Lunch:  Stir-fry (teriyaki elk, cabbage, broccoli salad, mushrooms, brown rice)
PM Snack: Greek Yogurt and rhubarb crisp, baby-bel cheese
Dinner: Greek Yogurt and Rhubarb Crisp (bad, I know, but it was soooo good!!)
PM Snack (at class): Medifast Crunch Bar

I started Real Estate school last week.  Thankfully the majority of the lessons are online, and I can use my Treadmill desk while I participate in the course.  But on Tuesday nights, I have a live class to attend, and it’s 3-hours long. That’s 3 hours of sitting!  Plus driving to and from, so 4 hours of sitting.

Further complicating my progress- it’s on the night that I do my circuit class, so that’s one major workout that I’m going to be missing out on every week.  Additionally, I have my daycare job during the daytime, so getting my 10K step minimum is going to be a challenge…..obtaining my 15K ‘average’ will be an even bigger challenge.

—————————————————————

DAY 16: Wednesday 7/8/15
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,965    EXERCISE:  – 1,251    NET:   714
FITBIT STEP COUNT: 21,434
Carbs vs Protein:  183 / 123

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
EXERCISE:  2.1 mile run
Breakfast: 2 eggs, slice of whole wheat toast w/butter
EXERCISE: 1-hour fitness class with Gwen
AM Snack: Pure Protein Bar
Lunch: tri-tip sandwich- whole wheat bread, mayo, horseradish, cheese, lettuce, tomato and 4oz coca-cola
PM Snack: rhubarb crisp with greek yogurt, mixed nuts
PM Snack: chocolate protein shake (cuz I wanted something sweet and needed to bump up my net calories!)

—————————————————————

DAY 17: Thursday 7/9/15
CALORIES CONSUMED: 1,805     EXERCISE:  – 785    NET: 1,020
FITBIT STEP COUNT: 18,240
Carbs vs Protein:  123 / 126

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
EXERCISE:  2.3 mile run
Breakfast: 1 egg, bowl of Medifast Cereal w/whole milk
AM Snack: none (wasn’t hungry!)
Lunch: last piece of tri-tip (finally!), peanut butter on whole wheat bread
UM, not hungry for 3 hours???  What?????
PM Snack: Caprese Salad: tomato, basil, mozzarella, mixed nuts
Dinner: Soft Tacos: carne asada, cabbage, tomato, salsa
PM Snack: chocolate protein shake- needed to bump up calories and get more protein!

I’m finding it harder to eat- I’m not hungry- not sure if it’s because I’m just super busy and not thinking about it, or if my body simply isn’t hungry- which I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing or a good thing? Does that mean my body is utilizing it’s fat stores to fuel itself so it’s not needing more food….or does that mean it’s storing the food I’m eating so it doesn’t need more food?  I guess time will tell. I’ve had really low NET calories the past few days, which I don’t like.

—————————————————————

DAY 18: Friday 7/10/15
CALORIES CONSUMED: 1,751     EXERCISE:  – 754   NET: 997
FITBIT STEP COUNT: 13,770
Carbs vs Protein:  167 / 117

I started a “new” plan today per the recommendation of my trainer, Wendy.  She’s been telling me for a few weeks now that I need to eat more protein, that I need to strive for 1.5-2 times my body weight…..so that would be 200-260 grams of protein every day.  I’m only consuming an average of 100-120 per day, so I need to DOUBLE that, without increasing my fat or carbs.  That’s going to be a challenge because my favorite protein foods are nuts, greek yogurt, cheese, avocado, eggs, all of which either have high fat or a decent amount of carbs.  Actually, she wants me to keep my carbs below 100.   I’m supposed to stay away from fruit for a couple weeks because fruits are high carb……except berries. So, I’m going to start posting my protein and carb counts daily as well….

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
Breakfast: 2 egg whites, 1 egg
EXERCISE:  Circuit Class with Gwen, followed with a 15-minute run
AM Snack: Dutch Bros White Mocha (yep, I was bad)
Lunch: Pure Protein Bar (meal replacement) and slice of cheese
PM Snack: Medifast Crunch Bar
Dinner: Bowl w/ elk steak, black beans, rice & avocado
PM Snack: Medifast “fudge” (Hot cocoa mix w/peanut butter and greek yogurt, chilled), 3 strawberries

—————————————————————

DAY 19: Saturday 7/11/15
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1.501    EXERCISE:  – 289    NET:  1,212
FITBIT STEP COUNT: 12,138
Carbs vs Protein:  98 / 137 (better!!)

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
Breakfast: 2 egg whites, 1 egg
AM Snack: 1/2 Pure Protein Bar (during CPR class)
Lunch: other 1/2 Pure Protein Bar, slice of cheese
PM Snack: Medifast Pudding mixed w/ 1/2 cup greek yogurt
PM Snack: can of tuna (blah)
Dinner: Yumm bowl (chicken, black beans, pico de gallo, avocado, yumm sauce)
1″ slice of birthday cake….er, graduation cake.  Our neighbor brought it over and I just could not help myself- and it was sooooo good.  But that super sweet sugar after-taste is killing me.  Gah.  Yuck.  Although it tasted delicious at the time, that slime coating in my mouth reminds me that this is not the path to 6-pack abs.  Ha!

—————————————————————

DAY 20: Sunday 7/12/15
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,625    EXERCISE:  – 268    NET: 1,357
FITBIT STEP COUNT:  12,003
Carbs vs Protein:  65 / 115

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free
Breakfast: 2 egg whites, 1 egg
AM Snack: Zone Perfect graham bar & slice of cheddar cheese
Lunch: Costco Food Court: turkey provolone sandwich, removed top of bread
Dinner: 3 egg-white omelet with pico de gallo, spinach and cheddar cheese
PM Snack: Raspberries

I was not hungry hardly at all yesterday or today. It’s hard for me to eat enough calories (and I’ve indulged in some high calorie foods!) and even harder to eat enough protein.  Nowhere near the amount my trainer wants me to eat.  So hard!!

———————————————-

DAY 21: Monday 7/13/15
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,679   EXERCISE:  -600     NET:  1,079
FITBIT STEP COUNT:  18,346
Carbs vs Protein:   118 / 148

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free
Breakfast: 2 egg whites, 1 egg
AM Snack: EAS Whey Protein shake with 1/3 banana & 1/2 c almond milk
Lunch: stir fry: chicken thighs, cabbage, broccoli, small amount of yakisoba noodles.  To kick up the protein levels for this meal I also had 2/3 cup greek yogurt with several raspberries.
EXERCISE:  Natalie Jill Fit – Muffin Top Crushing & Bridge Tricep Dip Kicks
PM Snack: Frozen banana blended w/greek yogurt, side of string cheese & 2 hard boiled egg whites
Dinner: Yumm bowl- brown rice, black beans, Yumm sauce, chopped tomato, avocado, pico de gallo, topped with 1/2 a chicken breast.

I ate SO MUCH this day.  It was so hard!!

—————————————————————

WEEK THREE PROGRESS:  

Weight Loss This week:    .8 pounds
Overall Weight Loss:       1.4 pounds
Inches Lost this week:     1 3/8″
Overall Inches Lost:         4 1/4″

Body Fat Percentage (Calipers):  19%

Inches Lost utilizes the following measurements: natural waist, belly button line, hips, upper thigh

Calipers measure skin fold at back of arm, halfway between armpit and elbow- I have a mole for a marker, skin fold at waist- direct line with belly button, just above/inside hip bone (at natural indentation), and skin fold at thigh, halfway between knee and groin- I have a mole there that I use each time.  Using the same points each time SHOULD be accurate.  Same time of day as well… around lunchtime.

Fresh Start: Week 2

At this point, I decided I’m not really following the 4-2-1 plan, but rather just making healthy food choices and eating 6-7 times a day.  I’m still trying to incorporate Medifast Meals as snacks, because I need to USE them since I HAVE them, but I use them more as a base- and add to it in order to ensure I’m eating enough calories.   I have to consume a minimum of 1200 calories on this plan.  It’s not a “diet- eat less” plan, it’s choosing to eat the right things at the right time and eating enough.

I’m definitely taking a more serious approach with my eating and fitness….I no longer have a weight LOSS goal, I have an inches lost and fat loss goal.  My goal is 6-pack abs and a firmer backside!

———————————————————

DAY 8: Tuesday 06/30/15 
CALORIES CONSUMED:  2,120    EXERCISE:  – 829    NET:  1,291
FITBIT STEP COUNT: 15,735

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
Breakfast: Berry Crunch Cereal w/Almond Milk (didn’t drink milk left in bowl)
AM Snack: 1/2 Avocado, 1 T peanut butter
Lunch: Caprese Salad, nectarines, iced latte (homemade) w/ half almond milk,  half skim.
PM Snack: Medifast Pudding
Pre-workout Snack: Protein Bar (2 hours before), 1/2 Banana, PB on slice of whole grain toast (1 hour before)
EXERCISE:  Gwen’s Fitness Class (1 hour)
Post-workout Snack: smoothie with greek yogurt, 1/2 banana, mixed berries, spinach, ground oatmeal, 1/2 scoop protein powder, skim milk

Wow I ate a lot this day!!

—————————————–

DAY 9: Wednesday 07/01/15 
CALORIES CONSUMED:   1,609   EXERCISE:  – 690    NET:    919
FITBIT STEP COUNT: 16,367

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
EXERCISE: 2.1 mile run with my 12 year old daughter!!
Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, 1 slice of whole wheat toast w/ butter
EXERCISE: Natalie Jill Fit 100 Glute Bridge Lifts
AM Snack:  Baby-bel Cheese
Lunch: Tri-tip steak, banana
BODY FAT BODPOD MEASUREMENT: 21% (no eating or drinking for 2 hours prior)
PM Snack: PB&J sandwich on whole wheat bread
Dinner: Spaghetti- but instead of noodles I used ‘cucumber noodles’ and brown rice
PM Snack: Banana

I’ve decided I’m kicking up my fitness level and activities….I’m going for six-pack abs and a cheeky-worthy derriere!

—————————————–

DAY 10: Thursday 07/02/15 
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,735      EXERCISE:  – 1041       NET:  694
FITBIT STEP COUNT: 24,517

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
EXERCISE: 2.1 mile run (record pace!)
Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, 1 slice of whole wheat toast w/ butter
AM Snack:  Medifast Mashed Potatoes w/sprinkling of shredded cheese & greek yogurt
EXERCISE: Natalie Jill Fit Butt Lift Workout (100 per leg: Donkey Kick Ladder)
Lunch: Bowl with brown rice, black beans, salmon and Yumm Sauce, another coffee
PM Snack: Medifast Pudding
Dinner: Salmon and romaine salad
Pre-Workout Snack: Zone Perfect Bar
EXERCISE: Wendy’s circuit class- 1 hour
Post-Workout Snack: Baby-Bel, Corona (had a friend over)

Gosh I hope I ate enough!!

—————————————–

DAY 11: Friday 7/3/15
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,627       EXERCISE:  – 990       NET: 637
FITBIT STEP COUNT:  22,754

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
Breakfast: 2 fried eggs
AM Snack: Medifast Mashed Potatoes with shredded cheese and greek yogurt
EXERCISE: 3-mile walk with hubs!
Lunch: DQ Mini Blizzard- salted caramel truffle (I already had 16,000 steps in by then!)
PM Snack: Mixed Nuts, Banana
EXERCISE:  Natalie Jill Fit 100 Hamstring Curls with a Stability Ball
Dinner: Tri-tip steak slices, Asparagus, Multigrain Sea Salt chips with Organic Salsa
PM Snack: Greek yogurt with cocoa powder and a sprinkling of chocolate chips, Dove Square

—————————————–

DAY 12: Saturday 7/4/15
CALORIES CONSUMED:   2,459      EXERCISE:  -894    NET:  1,565
FITBIT STEP COUNT:  17,214

Considering it’s the 4th of July…. I think I did pretty well!

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
EXERCISE: 2-mile run with hubs!
Breakfast: 2-egg omelet with shredded cheese, salsa, avocado, 1/4 mango
AM Snack: Zone Perfect Bar
Lunch: Buffalo Chicken dip with celery and multigrain chips
EXERCISE: 1-mile walk with hubs!
PM Snack: Medifast Ready to Drink Mocha
EXERCISE:  Natalie Jill Fit 100 Glute Bridge Lifts with Stability Ball
Dinner: 4th of July!  BBQ Burgers (mine was topped with avocado, blue cheese, Frank’s red hot sauce and I used lettuce for the top bun.  Bottom bun was whole wheat).
PM Snack: 4th of July! 2″ Ghiradelli Brownie topped with a 1/2 cup of tillamook ice cream
ALCOHOL:  2 Coronas
Yay for keeping the holiday healthy!!  Relatively….

—————————————–

DAY 13: Sunday 7/5/15
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,615       EXERCISE:  – 220     NET:  1,395
FITBIT STEP COUNT:  12,184

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
Breakfast: 2 eggs
AM Snack: baby-bel cheese, 1 bite of brownie (bad, bad!!)
EXERCISE: 2.5 mile walk with hubs
Lunch: Tri-Tip sandwich: open faced, whole wheat, horseradish mayo, tomato, cheddar cheese, lettuce top
PM Snack: 1 oz of mixed nuts, diet Dr Pepper
Dinner: 2 thin slices of tri-tip, greek yogurt parfait (greek yogurt, blueberries, pumpkin flax granola)
PM Snack:  Dessert- the last of our brownies (we each got 1/2 a brownie- a teeny portion, and 1/2 cup of ice cream)

Desserts are my weakness.

—————————————–

DAY 14: Monday 7/6/15
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,384         EXERCISE:  – 356   NET:  1,028
FITBIT STEP COUNT:  12,119

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
Breakfast: 2 eggs
AM Snack:  MF Crunch Bar
Lunch: Smoothie- mango, banana, berry, greek yogurt, protein powder, skim milk
PM Snack:  Banana Ice-Cream Parfait (frozen bananas- blended, topped with greek yogurt and whipped cream)
Dinner:  Stir-fry with elk, broccoli salad mix, cabbage, mushrooms, brown rice
PM Snack: mixed nuts

WEEK TWO PROGRESS:  

Weight Loss This week:    .6 pounds
Overall Weight Loss:         .8 pounds
Inches Lost this week:      1.125
Overall Inches Lost:          2.875

Body Fat Percentage (Calipers):  20%

Inches Lost utilizes the following measurements: natural waist, belly button line, hips, upper thigh

Calipers measure skin fold at back of arm, halfway between armpit and elbow- I have a mole for a marker, skin fold at waist- direct line with belly button, just above/inside hip bone (at natural indentation), and skin fold at thigh, halfway between knee and groin- I have a mole there that I use each time.  Using the same points each time SHOULD be accurate.

A Fresh Start: Week 1

I use LoseIt.com to track all my meals- calories, fat, protein, sugar, carbs, etc.  EVERY BITE that goes into my mouth.  The “Exercise” number is an automated number linked to my FitBit and MapMyRun accounts.  “Net” is the number of calories consumed minus the bonus for exercise.

While my primary goal is the 4-2-1 plan (4 Medifast, 2 meals and 1 snack), it’s more that I’m trying to eat every 2-3 hours, fueling my body with healthy food options, cutting out sugar, simple carbs, sweets, soda and empty calories.

Here’s how Week 1 went…..

————————————–

DAY ONE:  Tuesday 6/23/15
CALORIES CONSUMED: 1,388   EXERCISE: -458    NET: 930

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
Breakfast: Medifast Mixed Berry Cereal with Almond Milk (didn’t drink the almond milk left in the bowl, though)
AM Snack: Medifast Hot Cocoa (mixed with 3T cold water and 1 T Peanut Butter, chilled until it was a slab of Fudge!!)
Snack: Baby-bel cheese
Lunch: Non-fat, Plain Greek Yogurt with 1/2 cup of pumpkin flax granola and a 1/2 cup of blueberries
PM Snack: Half of a Premier Protein Bar (going to workout at 6:30)
Pre-workout Snack: Slice of whole wheat toast w/2T Peanut Butter
EXERCISE:  6:30pm – full hour of HIIT Fitness Class- WHEW!
Post-workout Snack: Other half of the Protein bar, 1/2 avocado

Comments: Fitness class always screws up my Tuesdays because I can’t eat an actual dinner.  Also, I shouldn’t be netting less than 1200 calories.  I’ll eat more tomorrow!!

——————————————

DAY TWO: Wednesday 6/24/15
CALORIES CONSUMED: 1,871   EXERCISE:  -710     NET: 1161

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
Pre-workout snack: 1/2 Medifast Pudding
EXERCISE:  6:45am- 2.1 mile run
Breakfast: 2 eggs & Medifast Mixed Berries Cereal with Almond Milk (didn’t drink the almond milk left in the bowl)
AM Snack: Medifast Mashed Potatoes w/sprinkling of shredded cheese and 2T Greek Yogurt mixed in
Lunch: Ready-to-Drink Medifast Mocha
PM Snack: Other 1/2 Medifast Pudding, mixed nuts
EXERCISE:  4:00pm Natalie Jill Fit Butt Lift Workout (100 Bridge Glute Lifts & 60 Jumping Jacks)
Dinner: Homemade Yumm! Bowl: brown rice, black beans, Yumm sauce, greek yogurt, salsa, chopped avocado, tomato, black olives and cilantro
PM Snack: 1/2 scoop of Whey Protein powder mixed with almond milk & skim milk & frozen mixed berries

——————————————

DAY THREE: Thursday 6/25/15
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,456      EXERCISE:  -849     NET:    607   (NOT GOOD!!!)

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
Breakfast:  2 eggs & a banana
AM Snack: Medifast Soft Serve Mango
Snack: Baby-bel Cheese
Lunch: Ready-to-Drink Medifast Mocha
PM Snack: Medifast Garlic Mashed Potatoes w/shredded cheese and greek yogurt mixed in
EXERCISE:  Natalie Jill Fit Butt Lift Workout (100 per leg: Donkey Kick Ladder & 3 minutes of jumprope= 11 minutes total)
Here’s where it gets bad….
Dinner: Medifast Crunch Bar on our way to Costco…where I get a Mocha Freeze from the Food Court
Then come home and started setting up our garage sale….. I had 1 beer.
PM Snack: Medifast Pudding w/banana and whipped cream (at 9pm!!!)

I’m really hoping that I don’t screw myself over by having such a low net.  Today’s total was only half of what I’m supposed to net BARE MINIMUM.  Ugh.

——————————————

DAY FOUR:  Friday 06/26/15- Garage Sale Day (from 7am to 9pm!)
CALORIES CONSUMED: 2,065      EXERCISE:  -631     NET:  1,434

Breakast: 2 eggs, Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
AM Snack: Baby-bel Cheese
Lunch: Homemade Yumm! Bowl!
PM Snack: Medifast Crunch Bar, Cherries
Dinner: Chicken Taco Salad: romaine, chicken breast, black beans, salsa, avocado, tomato, sour cream
PM Snack: Nectarine
ALCOHOL: 3 Seagram’s Escapes (yikes these have the same calories and sugar as soda!)

We were so busy all day that I couldn’t find any time to eat- nor was I hungry because it was go-go-go.  Sadly, no exercise today either.

——————————–

DAY FIVE: Saturday 06/27/15- Final Garage Sale Day- Not on track/plan AT ALL.
CALORIES CONSUMED:  2,396     EXERCISE:  -623     NET:  1,773

Breakfast: 2 eggs, Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
AM Snack: Medifast Crunch Bar
Lunch: Caprese- fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato, olive oil & balsamic vinegar
PM Snack: Polish Dog w/ ketchup & mustard
Dinner: Grilled Tri-tip steak/roast (not eaten as a meal, sadly)
PM Snack: Late night- Small Salted Caramel Truffle Blizzard from DQ
ALCOHOL:  2 Seagram’s Escapes

Once again, so busy there was no time to eat regularly, or eat quality meals.  We actually went to Dairy Queen at 9pm to get Blizzards as our “treat” for working so hard for so long in the 95-degree weather!

————————————

DAY SIX: Sunday 6/28/15
CALORIES CONSUMED:  1,278     EXERCISE:  -577     NET:  701

Another busy day of not fueling my body properly.  So glad the weekend is over!

Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
Breakfast: 2 eggs omelet with chopped chicken, avocado, cheese, salsa, bacon bits
Snack: Baby-Bel Cheese, Nectarine and Mango (half of each)
Lunch: Crunch Bar
PM Snack: none
Dinner: Grilled chicken, grilled asparagus, artisan romaine heart w/ Italian dressing
ALCOHOL:  1 Seagram’s Escapes, 1 Corona
Evening walk with hubs….1.0 miles

So that’s 3 days in a row without exercising…..gah!!  I am choosing healthy foods (except for that Polish Dog and the Blizzard), but also a lot of empty calories (alcohol) and not eating regularly, nor enough.

—————————————-

DAY SEVEN: Monday 06/29/15 – Back on Track
CALORIES CONSUMED: 1,647    EXERCISE:  – 482    NET:  1,165

So happy to get back on track!!

Breakfast:  2 eggs, Coffee with Half & Half and Torani Sugar-Free Syrup
AM Snack: Berry Crunch Cereal w/Almond Milk (didn’t drink milk left in bowl)
Snack: Mixed Nuts
Lunch: Chicken Breast, 1/2 slice Garlic toast, mango, asparagus
PM Snack: Pudding w/ half a banana and some whipped cream
PM Snack: Ready-to-Drink Mocha
EXERCISE: Natalie Jill Fit Butt Lift Workout (100 hamstring curls with stability ball w/1 minute high knees = 7 minutes)
Dinner: Grilled Salmon, Brown Rice, Avocado, Asparagus
PM Snack: Mango soft serve mixed with EmergenC
Evening walk with hubs….1.5 miles

—————————————-

WEEK ONE WEIGH IN:  

Weight Loss:    0.20
Inches Lost:     1.75
Body Fat Percentage (BodPod):  21%

3 Years Later- Round 2

It’s not Round 2 of going back onto a full-blown Medifast Meal plan…..but it is Round 2 of re-focusing on my eating habits.

Kind of like… “Help!  I’ve fallen!  And I can’t get up!”  Because I have fallen off the wagon and it’s going to take some work to get back up to the top.

I have reverted to my old eating habits.  Slowly….ever so slowly that I didn’t even realize it as it was happening.  But I’m back to consuming bagels and breads almost daily, simple carbs and sweets, snacking on whatever I’m feeding the daycare kiddos (licking the serving spoons again), eating ice cream (those darn Salted Caramel Truffle Blizzards from DQ!), hitting up Starbucks on a weekly basis (Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappucinos….oh my!), and even (gasp!) indulging in soda a few times a week (good ol’ fashioned Coca Cola).

I felt like I could get away with each indulgence because I am in the best shape of my life.

I’ve been doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts, some pretty intense cardio workouts, and I go through phases where I run 10 miles a week (or sometimes a few weeks go by without a single run), I wear my FitBit every day and typically average 15,000 steps a day.  I’m active….much more active than I’ve ever been in my life!

I’ve built a stronger body, more muscle, more endurance.

My clothes began to get tighter, but I assured myself it was just muscle gain.  Or water retention from muscle repair- because oh man was I working out those muscles!  More muscle means you burn more calories, so I started using it as an excuse to be able to eat more.

Recently, after a couple back-to-back weekend trips (where I’ve eaten a lot more calories than normal and indulging in unhealthy foods and alcohol), I stepped on the scale to see I had gone up a few pounds.  My clothes were also TOO tight.  My loose pants were no longer loose…and my tight pants, well, they were too tight.  I had a bulge around my belly and a mini-muffin stop starting to form.  Nothing like my “before” pictures, thank goodness, but I was certainly on the track to get that old body back!  You CANNOT out exercise a bad diet.

I needed to turn this ship around NOW.

I debated going back on the 5&1 for a couple weeks as a re-start….but I can’t do that plan because of my workouts.  I’m not going to give up my workouts.

I debated trying the Beach Body program that my friends have had success on, but frankly it looks like A LOT of work to pre-fill portions of food into the correct color cups and then eat the correct amount every day…. I mean, that involves a lot of meal planning in advance, for EVERY meal.

I could follow a written diet plan, but that is simply something I cannot personally do. I don’t know about you, but if today is Monday and Wednesday says my lunch is whole grain toast with avocado and goat cheese with a side of strawberries…..and Wednesday lunch time rolls around and that doesn’t sound appealing at all…. what do you do?

So I decided to just really really REALLY monitor what I was eating and make healthy choices.  But, I feared that wouldn’t be enough.  Then I saw this:

Medifast 4 & 2 & 1 Plan

From the Medifast Website:

THE 4 & 2 & 1 PLAN IS FOR PEOPLE:
With less than 15 pounds to lose
Who exercise 45+ minutes a day
Who choose to include whole grains, low-fat dairy and fruit in their meal plans

I do have quite a few Medifast meals left.  Currently, all I ever eat are the bars (for a healthy snack option- probably 3 per week when we’re on the go). Or sometimes when I’m craving a sweet chilled coffee drink I’ll have the Ready-to-eat MF Mocha.   Other than that….nada.

Yet I have packages of Mashed Potatoes, Hot Cocoa, Eggs, Cereal and Pudding.  So maybe it’s time to start utilizing those.  Do the 4 & 2 & 1 plan.

Something like this:

7:00am – MF Meal (cereal)
9:00am – MF Meal (pudding or hot cocoa)
11:00am – Healthy Lunch
2:00pm – MF Meal (mocha)
5:00pm – Healthy Dinner
7:00pm – MF Meal (potatoes) or Protein Whey Shake
9:00pm – Healthy Snack (fruit or something)

That’s do-able.  Totally do-able.  My estimates have me at 1,100 calories consumed daily on that plan.   Based on my previous tracking of calories, I maintain my current weight when I eat about 1,300 calories per day, so this should result in slow and steady weight loss.

But it’s not necessarily how many calories you consume…..it’s more WHAT those calories are made up of.  You can eat more calories if you are choosing high protein, healthy fats and complex carbs.

And if history proves to be true again- just by cutting out the simple carbs, refined sugar, sodas & alcoholic beverages and candy….I should drop that muffin top in a hurry.

At least that’s what I’m hoping.  And that’s why I’m blogging this.  To show you that you can turn that ship around when it gets off course.  We aren’t all perfect.  Sometimes we need a refresher.  It can be done.

So here it is all out in the raw…

Today is Monday June 23rd.  Day One of “GETTING BACK ON TRACK”:

Current Before TSFL After TSFL
Weight 131.4 133 124
Waist (upper) 29.25 29.75 27
Waist (belly button) 33 34.5 29
Hips (widest) 37.25 38 35
Thigh (widest) 21.5 22 20

Keep in mind that I’ve built a lot of muscle, so I might not be able to get back down to those exact measurements or weight.

Realistically, I believe I can hit the following marks if I work really hard:

Goal
Weight 126
Waist (upper) 28
Waist (belly button) 30
Hips (widest) 36
Thigh (widest) 20

Stay tuned to see how I do on the 4 & 2 & 1 and what the result is after a few weeks on plan and continuing my fitness routines!

UPDATE:

It’s been two weeks since I’ve re-focused.  You can follow along with my weekly journals to see what I actually ate, or what exercise I did.  In just two weeks I have made a difference and look forward to continuing on this path.   Here’s my progress thus far:

Start End Wk 1 End Wk 2
Weight 131.4 131.2 130.6
Measurements
Waist (upper) 29.25 28.75 28.5
Waist (belly button) 33 32 31.5
Hips (widest) 37.25 37 36.75
Thigh (widest) 21.5 21.5 21.375

Overall inches lost in just 2 weeks:   2.875 inches
Weight Loss:  0.8 pounds

I’m definitely taking a more serious approach with my eating and fitness….I no longer have a weight LOSS goal, I have an inches lost and fat loss goal.  My goal is 6-pack abs and a firmer backside!

At this point, I decided I’m not really following the 4-2-1 plan, but rather just making healthy food choices and eating 6-7 times a day.  I’m still trying to incorporate Medifast Meals as snacks, because I need to USE them since I HAVE them, but I use them more as a base- and add to it in order to ensure I’m eating enough calories.   I have to consume a minimum of 1200 calories on this plan.  It’s not a “eat less” plan, it’s choosing to eat the right things at the right time and eating enough.

I did a BodPod analysis to determine my body fat (done during the middle of week 2) and the result was 21% body fat.  I also purchased Calipers to measure myself and was able to confirm the same.  My goal is to get my body back to 18% body fat.

Ideas For Those “Not-So-Good” Medifast Meals

I made a goal for myself this week…. to use up my “not-so-good” Medifast meals.   And before I dive into what exactly those are…please keep in mind that everyone’s tastebuds are different….some things that I might like, you might hate, and vice-versa.

My absolute favorites that I keep on hand all the time:

Puddings– all flavors.  Love them as a “dessert” treat. Especially with some whipped cream and a sprinkling of dark chocolate chips or sliced bananas or strawberries!
Hot Cocoa– also a great “dessert” treat when I’m craving something sweet after dinner.
Crunch Bars– most flavors.  I always keep 1 in my purse and 1 in my car for an emergency snack/meal.
Brownies– can you tell I have a sweet tooth?
Mixed Berry Crunch Cereal- simply delicous!  Satisfies cereal cravings for sure!

But I also have a lot of the following:

Soups- chicken & rice, beef vegetable, cream of broccoli,
Soft Serve- mint, coffee, mango
Shakes- vanilla, dark chocolate, cherry pomegranate
Oatmeal- maple
Eggs- original
Pancakes– I actually LIKE these, but just never choose to eat them.

Since I won’t be doing the 5&1 plan again, I really don’t need to have so much ‘variety’ in my Medifast pantry.   I usually only eat 1 or 2 MF meals a day (and not always every day).  I find myself avoiding my non-favorites and only eating my favorite 5’s, so I came up with a plan:

I can’t have any of my favorites until everything else is gone.  Everything.  Gone.  And with the “Stop.Challenge.Choose” 12-week challenge taking place, I’m going to be eating more of my MF meals as I follow a modified plan….not quite a 5 &1, more like a 3&3.

Rather than torturing myself with these unpalatable foods, I decided to use them creatively!

SHAKES & SOFT SERVE:   I’ve learned that shakes and soft-serves can be mixed with coffee and drank as a hot drink (albeit a “thick” hot drink- lol!)  Seriously, though, I add the packet to 12-oz of coffee and it’s just fine.  To make the texture better, I actually mix the packet with about 6-oz of cooled coffee in my Magic Bullet, then pour that into my giant coffee cup, add fresh hot coffee, and maybe microwave it for 20-30 seconds to make sure it’s hot enough.   Even the cherry pomegranate is good mixed with coffee.  You can also make some “ice cream pies” with the soft-serves.  The coffee and chocolate mint flavors make FANTASTIC desserts!  YUM!

SOUPS & CHILI:  If you like chips (potato chips, corn chips, crackers, etc.) then this is a good one!  Make them out of the soup!  They are amazingly delicious and crisp!  The process is simple, really.  Pulverize the soup in a Magic Bullet until it’s a fine powder (sometimes the beans/peas/carrots don’t fully pulverize, but that’s OK).  Pour the powder into a tiny bowl and add 3T of cold water.  Mix into a paste.  Let it sit for a little while to rehydrate some of the dried veggies.  Then, get a cookie sheet out, line it with parchment paper, spritz some olive oil on it, put your “ball” of “dough” in the middle, spritz olive oil on another piece of parchment paper and put that paper on top (oil side down), roll out the “dough” so it’s super thin (think “chip” thin).  Peel off the top parchment paper, put in the oven at 350-degrees for 8-10 minutes, remove, cut into “chips”, separate the chips, put back in the oven for another 4-6 minutes to crisp and brown.  Delicous!  And you can now have “dipping chips” that you can eat guilt free!  Salsa, guacamole, cheese sauce, spinach dip, soft cheeses, you name it!  A great healthy snack!

(I’ve also read that you can not roll the dough so thin….and end up with a “soft shell” of sorts, kind of like a tortilla.  I haven’t tried that yet to confirm.  If you’ve done it, post in the comments!)

OATMEAL & EGGS:  Use those to make muffins, mini-pies, etc!  My favorite is the lemon meringue pie.  YUM.  You can google “medifast oatmeal recipes” and find all kinds of alternate-use recipes.

PANCAKES:  The options are endless there- from pancakes, to muffins, to bread, to donuts!  Mmm….. a great grab and go item!  I like to eat mine as a muffin and top it with fresh raspberries and a dallop of greek yogurt (or whipped cream) as a sweet snack.  I actually like the pancakes, but never choose them as my “snack”.

MANGO SOFT SERVE:  OK, I need help with this one.  I cannot stand it.  At all.  AT. ALL.  Which is weird because I love mangoes.  Does anyone have a creative way to eat this?  I have 7 packets of it!  I did try a “mock cheesecake” recipe with it, and it was so disgusting I spit it out.  And dumped it down the drain.  Please help me!

What have YOU done with those “not-so-good” meals?  I’m always looking for more ideas to share!

(P.S.  I’m still a coach- if you want to join the Stop.Challenge.Choose program, just follow this link and use my name as your coach (Elisa Buckley, Oregon).  It’s FREE and you do NOT need to be following a Medifast or TSFL program to participate!  http://www.stopchallengechoose.com )