Since November 2011 I’ve been doing some sort of regular exercise, mostly in the form of gymnastics and my fitness class. Both were excellent for helping me get back into shape, but I have to credit my fitness class to making me strong and increasing my fitness. It also taught me a lot about general strength training and programming workouts. Over Christmas I read Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and started thinking about using barbell training as my primary workout. At the end of January I started the workouts outlined in SS. For my remaining time in NZ, I tried to lift regularly but sometimes it simply wasn’t feasible due to cost, accessibility, other types of workouts, etc. My lifting schedule in Eastern Europe has definitely been more regular and as such I’ve seen good progress over the past 2 months.
When I say lifting what do I mean? I mean free weight lifting. The lifting that most women do not do, full on heavy barbell lifting. I follow the program outlined in SS which is a full body workout 3x/ week, centered around 5 basic lifts, squat, press, bench press, power clean and deadlift. Though I was familiar with some of the lifts when I started I had never trained these lifts with the exclusive goal of getting stronger. As such, I considered myself a beginner and followed the beginner plan. The backbone of the beginner program is increasing weight on each lift every workout. Since a beginner by definition has not trained before, they improve rapidly and can follow this plan for months before getting stuck.
My experience, so far, has been excellent. Let’s talk numbers (which are going to be in kg because that’s what I use here and what I’m used to). My first full lifting workout was 28 January. I started at 65kg squat, 40kg bench and 100kg deadlift. The squat and bench were 3 sets of 5 and the DL was 1 set of 5, though I broke that set into singles. My first press and power clean workout was a few days later and that was 30kg and 42.5kg respectively. In a period of 4 months, all of these numbers have increased.
Squat: My squat maxed out at 75kg in late April for 5 sets of 3. In 3 months of sporadic lifting that is a 10kg increase. Unfortunately, I had some crazy hip pain that made squats really painful so I have not been doing back squats, instead I first replaced them with goblet squats, then moved to front squats, single leg squats and bulgarian split squats. I have been slowly reintroducing back squats, at very light weight, just to see how my hip responds. No work sets yet. Hopefully I’ll get back to heavy back squats soon, until then though, front squats are working very well. I’m up to 47.5kg for 3 sets of 8, which I am happy with. I assume once I start back squatting again my max will increase rapidly.
Bench: My bench has maxed out at 57.5kg for 5 sets of 3 (though I have managed 1 set of 3 at 60kg). That is a 17.5kg increase. Obviously, 40kg was light for me when I first started. I’ve had problems recently going much above this weight. First, I got stuck under the bar and since then I’ve had some mental problems going for heavy lifts. I recently did 5 sets of 3 at 55kg so I think I’m getting my bench mojo back. It’s entirely mental. I am at the point where I need a spot but because I don’t speak the language here, I can’t really ask for one. For the sake of my training and safety, I need to start asking.
Deadlift: I think I’ve been doing the deadlift sets incorrectly. I can deadlift heavy with the best of them, but once I start deadlifting for reps, as outlined in this program my weight decreases dramatically. I can deadlift for 1 set of 5 unbroken reps at 90kg, and my PR for a 1RM is 115kg. It’s hard to say how much of an increase this is, but I can say that I’ve had never deadlifted over 110kg, ever. I need to continue deadlifting for reps, it’s a killer but I need to do it. That will really get me strong.
Press: The hardest lift to make progress on. One of my biggest challenges with this lift is that gyms often don’t have 1.25kg plates, never mind anything smaller. A 2.5kg increase on this lift is massive so not having small plates makes training a bit more challenging. One solution, suggested by a fellow lifter, is to micro load with extra clips. I thought that idea was genius. Another challenge is that many gyms over here use 15kg bars (I even had a 17kg bar once!) and I can’t tell if I’m getting stronger or using a lighter bar. For a while I was immensely frustrated but since then I’ve let it go. Training conditions for me are not optimal for many reasons and this is yet another non optimal element that I can do nothing about. So I’ve just been doing my workouts. My arms get tired and my numbers have been increasing. That’s really all I can ask for, at this point. My press is now at 37.5kg for 5 sets of 3, a 7.5kg increase. I am very happy with that (I have managed a set of 3 at 40kg, as well).
Power Clean: I had never done power cleans before so this was a learning experience. A major disadvantage is gyms don’t have bumper plates and steel plates less than 60kg are a smaller diameter, which puts the bar at a different height off the ground. This screws me up so bad. Anyway, my power cleans maxed out at 55 for 5 sets of 3, an increase of 12.5kg. I for sure think I am capable of more but a few things have happened. I got sick then decided to power clean my first workout back. It was a massive failure. Since then I’ve had confidence issues. Additionally, most gyms I go to do not have a platform or bumper plates, which means I can’t miss. This makes me go conservative. I think I also have a small technique issue. The bar hits my right knee every time, without fail. It’s painful and screams “You’re doing something wrong!” I also have a hard time getting under the bar enough for it to land on my deltoids, rather than my clavicle, so I often end up with small bruises on my neck/ top of my sternum, right where the clavicle ends. Yeah. I need someone to take a video of it so I can analyse what I’m doing/ send it to my old coach and see if he has any pointers.
I’ve also incorporated some assistance exercises. In the squat section, I mention Bulgarian split squats, single leg squats and front squats. I’ve made progress on all of those. I also do back extensions and chin ups every other workout or so instead of pulling.
Side Note: I don’t use any wraps or straps for anything. No knee wraps for squats, no belt for squats or deadlifts, no straps for deadlifts either. I can actually deadlift 112kg with a double overhand grip. Only recently did I start alternating my grip and even then it’s only for very heavy weights or when I get to the end of a set.
Additionally, at the end of all my lifting workouts I do a 6-15 minute high intensity finisher. It varies every workout. For a while I was doing 10-1 of 3 exercises, then I had a period when I was doing tabatas, recently it’s been EMOM finishers that incorporate rowing. It’s not so much what I do that’s important, more that it gets my heartrate way up and wears me out. That’s the biggest requirement. Unfortunately, this means my workouts typically last about 1hr and 20 minutes, plus travel time to and from the gym, which is usually 10-20 minutes each way. That means I have to allocate 2+ hrs for a workout. On the plus side I only go to the gym 3x/ week.
Anyway, I am for sure stronger. Plus I love lifting. It makes me feel incredibly badass, especially when I outlift men. Dare I say that one of my goals is to deadlift 300lbs. For serious. That would be awesome. I hope to accomplish that before the end of the year. Better hop to it!
Currently I am in Europe. Slovenia to be exact. Last time I wrote, I was just finishing traveling with a companion in New Zealand. Since then I have left New Zealand and have been traveling through Eastern Europe. It’s been lovely. I’ve realized that I really enjoy food. Good food. And since I’m in EE where I can afford to eat out, I have been. Usually just 1 meal per day, or 1 meal every other day, but far more than I have at any other point in my life. I’ve also realized I like coffee. Really good coffee, preferable either espresso, a macchiato, which is espresso with a touch of milk, or Turkish coffee; something strong, that I have to savor with every sip. I buy an espresso every day. Another thing I enjoy? Wine. Red wine. I just love it. Also? Cooking. I knew I liked to cook, but even now when I can easily afford to eat out all the time, I prefer to make most of my meals. Partly because of nutrition, partly because I enjoy it, partly because it tastes better than many places and partly because I’m cheap.
I have been working out, too, pretty consistently. I try to aim for 3x per week, but there are some weeks where that doesn’t happen because of my travel schedule. Before Friday of this week I hadn’t worked out in 10 days. Firstly, I missed 1 workout while I was in Belgrade. It was just so beautiful outside that I wanted to spend every moment outdoors. Then the day after that I moved on to Zurich, where it was 37 CHF for a single entry, which is just over $40USD. I can’t afford that, so I didn’t work out for the 5 days I was there. After that I arrived in Ljubljana, Slovenia. My first 2 days here I experienced a crazy amount of fatigue and absolutely 0 desire to workout. I knew I should have but I would have suffered through it. So I waited two days, and magically my workout mojo reappeared. I finally got in a decent workout on Friday of this past week (and I was subsequently very sore), after 10 consecutive rest days.
I am definitely feeling more comfortable since January. I have lost pounds and inches, so that for sure helps with self confidence. Am I completely satisfied? No. Do I think I will ever get to a point where I feel completely satisfied? I certainly hope so. It would be incredibly sad to go through my whole life in a constant battle with my body. I think I need to be more grateful for that my body can do than caught up in how I look, but at the same time not dismiss the not always positive thoughts I have about how my body looks. Some say it doesn’t matter what you look like, you’re size. Maybe it doesn’t matter to them but it matters to me. And dismissing my emotions on that subject wouldn’t be productive. It wouldn’t solve the problem, only ignore it. So here we go. Things my body can do:
- Gymnastics; handstands, giants, back tucks, tumbling.
- I can deadlift 248#
- Squat 165#
- Bench 132#
- I can walk with my backpack(s) for miles
- I can carry virtually anything
- My strength doesn’t hold me back from daily activities
- 40km mountain bike ride
- Hike up mountains
- Sight see without taking a bus or using a car
I mean, that’s a pretty good list. There is so much my body allows me to do and I do not appreciate it enough. Instead I focus too much on what I want to change.
For now though, I’m definitely more comfortable. And it doesn’t consume my thoughts. I may finally be getting this portion control/ how much do I need to eat thing under control. Crossing my fingers. Another thing I’ve been doing is giving myself permission to have whatever I want. Not in a cheat day way, but in a no food is off limits way. It makes me feel like I have more control; I am actively choosing to not eat something rather than not eating it to abide by a rule. It’s a subtle but significant difference.
Another significant thing I did was give up sweets for a week. I felt like I was craving chocolate or pastries far too often. So I eliminated them from my diet for a week and big things happened. The first few days were tough, but soon I had no craving for them, and that has persisted. I still eat chocolate but I don’t really crave it. It’s strange. When I have really good chocolate I savor it and love every bite, probably because it’s quality chocolate. I don’t really buy cheap chocolate anymore, I buy chocolate from a chocolate shop. The kind of shop where 1 truffle is a dollar and 1 truffle is usually enough. Occasionally, I’ll have ice cream. I’ve realized the only 2 desserts I really love are chocolate and ice cream. I do love cookies, but its so hard to find good ones (if you can’t bake them yourself) that I’ve basically given up. I also love scones but again, any ones I have bought have been disappointing. Cake does not do it for me. Pie probably would. But I think pie is incredibly American. I haven’t seen it anywhere, whether in EE or NZ or Oz. We’ll see what happens when I get back to the states. For now though, the only sweets I’ve been having is chocolate and ice cream. In the last week I’ve had 1 chocolate and 1 ice cream. That is way better than I’ve pretty much ever done.
Overall then, I’d say I am moderately satisfied. During these past few months I’ve learned a lot about what foods I enjoy, what I am okay spending money on food wise, how I like to eat (3 big meals a day, very few, if any, snacks), portion control, satiety, using meat and fat in my diet etc- a lot of valuable life skills.
So then numbers time. How has this translated to pounds and inches (which for some reason, I am still very hung up on). Well…’steady’ is probably the best descriptor. Today my weight was 146.2. My current measurements are as follows:
- Waist: 28.5″ (Feb: -0.5″, OA: -2.0″)
- Hips: 38″ (Feb: -0.5″, OA: -2.0″)
- Thigh: 23″ (Feb: -0.5″, OA: -1.0″)
- Calf: 14″ (Feb: -0.5″, OA: -1.0″)
- Bicep: 13.25″ (Feb: +0.25″, OA: +0.25″)
I didn’t measure my chest or bust. Those are the two hardest things to measure but in actuality, I forgot. Since February, there hasn’t been too much change. Since December though, it’s a decent. I’m sure the difference is visible, but honestly, I can’t really see it. For now, I’m moderately satisfied. I’m glad there is progress, regardless of how slow it is. And I’m happy that I learned so much about myself and my eating habits during these last few months. I am also happy that even though I’m traveling I still lost weight and inches, or at the very least, kept them steady. I’ve also gotten way stronger. My lifting numbers are starting to plateau a little bit, but they did increase a fair amount from when I started. Hopefully this strength gain, along with some strategic HIIT when I get home, will make gymnastics much easier for me.
For the next 8 weeks, the remainder of my time on the road, I’d really like to get below 145. I’ve been trying to break into the 145s for quite some time. I really think I can do it. I’d also like to keep up with my strength and interval training. Consistent workouts make it easier for me to stick to good food choices and increase my self confidence. I feel so much better when I workout. And I’d like to start from a good place when I get back to the USA before I jump in to full on gymnastics training.
I began week 9 with a rest. After all the hiking and mountain biking, my body really needed a break.
Tuesday- Rest/ Short Walk
Thursday- Long Hike/ Walk
Friday- Circuit Workout
Saturday- Long Hike/ Walk
Sunday- Short Hike/ Walk and Travel
Monday- Lifting and Circuit Workout
Tuesday- Rest/ Travel
Wednesday- Rest/ Short Walk
Thursday- Ben Lomond (Long Hike)
Week 9 my diet was all over the place. I was eating a boatload of carbs because I was heavily craving them. Oatmeal, pasta, cereal…all of it. Plus peanut butter and jam. Additionally, I was in a semi-remote area so fresh produce was prohibitively expensive. I did succumb one day and indulge in a tomato, avocado, carrots and an apple. It was pricey but my body was craving nutritious foods. I was supposed to get my period the next week, hence all these cravings. Strangely, my weight still went down. At the end of the week I was at 146.6lbs, down 0.8lbs for the week. That totals 8 lbs lost!
Week 10 my diet was much better. I was back in civilization and bought myself apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, eggs, avocados, tomatoes, chicken….It’s been wonderful. I feel so much better when I eat healthily. I’ve been indulging on sweets a bit, but not too much. I did eat a beef burger this week. I cannot tell you the last time I ate a beef burger. Years, I think. It was after a 6 hour hike where I burned over 1500 calories so I felt okay about it. The other night I had pizza, too. I also drank this week, and more than 1 drink at a time. I did have 2 good workouts this week, but that is all.
Between drinking, pizza, burger, chocolate, desserts and the like, I’m surprised that I’m down a little bit to 146.2. I was thinking that my weight loss was stahling, but it’s probably due more to my over indulgence than anything. I’m okay with it though. I think I needed a bit of a break, as it’s been over 2 months with very small treats here and there.
Weeks 11 and 12 were totally abnormal for me. I had a friend visiting me here so my eating schedule changed as did my workout schedule. He was on vacation, so he was entirely okay with consuming copious amounts of peanut butter, chocolate, cookies, ice cream, drinks, etc. Of course, I partook because “Woo It’s Vacation!” In actuality, he was far more tame than the average person on vacation, but it still was abnormal for both of us to be eating that much chocolate and peanut butter. I went with it though. We were having a fairly active vacation- biking, walking, paddle boarding and hiking, intermixed with the occasional lifting session so the damage was minimal. Plus it was nice to get a break. We did eat really healthy- as I was cooking pretty much all of our meals. But we ate out a couple times, went for drinks and ate more dessert. All together, I’m happy for the break. It was a really good balance of indulgence and activity. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t lose any weight during that time. The day after he left I was 148lbs, but the following two day I was really strict with lots of veggies, fruit, eggs etc and was back at 146-ish in no time.
So that’s where I am right now. At the end of week 12, I am mid 146s, which is basically where I’ve been for the last month. Though I wish it was a bit lower, the indulgent last 3 weeks has been a welcome break, plus it only increases my motivation to stay on track now. Hopefully I can break into the 145s before I leave NZ.
Also, I’m about 2.5ish weeks late with taking measurements. I decided to wait until next Monday (end of week 13) to take them. It gives me a week to get back on track and back into my healthy eating and working out routine.
In somewhat concerning news, my period never showed up. I am typically very regular, 28-30 days, every time. There have been a few blips to this. Well, in the last 10 years, maybe 2 or 3. The first was after I broke up with my boyfriend of 7 years- it was 10 days late. The second was right before I left for NZ. My period was 17 days late. The first two incidents can obviously be attributed to stress. They are the only 2 times in my life when I can remember stress affecting my cycle. The third was my third month in NZ- it was over 2 weeks late. I have no idea what happened during this month. Nothing specific, same as right now. Currently, my period is 3 weeks late.
What a week. Yet another week of no formal workouts, only a super active lifestyle.
Monday- 40km mountain bike ride
Tuesday- Long, easy walk
Wednesday- 1hr medium hike plus another hour or more of walking
Thursday- Low key. Just rested and walked into town a few times
Friday- Hard 5 hour hike
Saturday- Rest. Didn’t even leave the hostel. Took a nap and did my laundry instead.
Sunday-Medium 3 hour hike
Though there were no official workouts, I was very active. Today I am finally taking a break and totally relaxing. I went into town to have a coffee, plan my next few days and catch up on blogging.
Diet: My diet has been really good. Only a little bit of treats and sweets have crept in. I enjoyed a small pizza on the day of my hard hike, plus a cinnamon roll and a chocolate chip cookie or two throughout the rest of the week. Oh and a beer. Over 7 days that’s not too bad though. Calorie wise I’ve been all over the place as a 40km bike ride burns over 1000 calories, as does a 5 hour hike. I’ve been very happy with my diet this week.
Weight: Down again. But my weight has been fluctuating far more this week than normal, probably because of the long days of hiking/ biking. I was in the upper 148s, then dropped to low 147s, then up back to mid 148s, now back at 147.4 this morning. So I don’t know, I’ll go with the 147.4, which is a 1.2lb loss. I think this number is a touch low though. Overall that is a 7.2lb loss over 8 weeks. Woot! I’m pretty happy with that.
My only real concern is that I may be losing muscle, mainly in my upper body. Everything I’ve been doing is lower body focused, so it’s a legitimate concern and I’m not sure what to do about it, if anything. I’m not sure if I care enough to do anything about it. We’ll see.
Besides that, things are going well. I think I’m still losing, though with all the fluctuations last week I can’t be sure. But! I certainly feel more comfortable in my body. So this is a big win!
Last week was pretty good. I spent the first half of the week in Dunedin, then made my way west to Te Anau, Doubtful Sound, Queenstown and Wanaka.
Workouts- I don’t think I did a proper workout this entire week. I’ve been very active but at no point did I do a real workout. Hmmmm….interesting.
Monday- Rest. I went to the library and went into town but did not do much else as I had lifted the previous day.
Tuesday- I walked and hiked like an insane person. 2hrs and 10 minutes of walking plus about 30 minutes of hiking. And it was hot. It was totally worth it though. I went to an amazing beach.
Wednesday- Travel day to Te Anau. I walked 40 minutes with my gian backpack and then walked around Te Anau for a bit. Then ate 6 cookies while drinking tea because I hated my hostel and needed something comforting. I don’t regret that.
Thursday- it rained all day. I used the day to do my laundry ($5 total for a wash and dry!) and get packed up as I was going on a cruise the following day. That night I did go on an hour walk around parts of the lake.
Friday- I went on an overnight cuise to Doubtful Sound. I tried to be as active as possible running up and down the stairs on the boat, going kayaking and jumping off the boat into the water about half a dozen times.
Saturday- I got up early and had a real workout planned, but it was pouring outside so I did a modified 100s workout inside the boat. 100 squats, 100 walking lunges, 100 dips, 100 calf raises, 50 V-ups, 50 plank jacks and 50 pushups. I did work up a sweat so I think it was successful. That night I was in Queenstown and went on an hour or so walk through the city and botanic gardens.
Sunday- I walked a boatload around Wanaka. It is stunning. I probably walked a total of 90 minutes.
Diet- I’m eating a lot of sweets, but also a boatload of vegetables, fruit, yogurt and eggs. I’ve been craving egg sandwiches like mad. Wheat toast, maybe some cheese, tomato and perhaps some avocado. Delicious. One time I had an egg sandwih with cheese and raspberry jam. Who would have thought that’d be good? Certainly not me. It was delicious though.
On the sweets front it’s mostly been chocolate and cookies. It took me a week to eat a big chocolate peanut butter bar and 6 days to finish 20 ginger snaps. Not long enough, though it could have been a lot worse.
On the cruise I ate a lot for dinner. A lot. But I wasn’t stuffed. Full and satisfied but not Thanksgiving sort of stuffed. Plus I had real dessert, cheesecake, chocolate cake, warm fruit crumble and pavlova. It was just a sliver of all those things but that still adds up. The food was so good. So so good. I never eat that well when I cook for myself. Plus it was all included in the price so I indulged.
Imagine my shock when the scale says I’m still losing weight. I am currently 148.6lbs, that is a loss of 6.0lbs in 7 weeks. It makes me think that I was for sure not eating enough for my level of activity when I first arrived in NZ. Now I’ve been averaging 1750 calories per day, but not really working out at all and I’m losing weight rather quickly. A little too quickly probably. But I don’t feel deprived or anything. So this is good. I’m still going to try and eat a bit more, perhaps averaging 1800 calories per day, or more if I do a particularly long hike or bike ride or workout. We’ll see.
Week 5 was my second week in Wellington. As mentioned in my previous post I had joined a gym and was able to work out consitently, in addition to gymnastics. The final week I was there was pretty good workout wise. Monday I took a core class which was meh, then went to gymnastics practice. Tuesday I had a morning lifting session then went to gymnastics. This was a mistake. Gymnastics was terrible. My body was so tired that I could not get anything accomplished. Wednesday I took Zumba, which was awesome. I’ve always wanted to try Zumba but never had. Thursday I was supposed to lift and go to gymastics but I was way too tired. I just hung around the hostel most of the day, plus I got a second hole in my ears. Friday I had a lifting session, as well as Saturday, but I’m pretty sure they were abbreviated workouts. Looking back, I think I did too much. My body was really tired. I would have been better served spacing my workouts out. There are, of course, complicating factors, mostly that I’m preparing for a competition. Well, live and learn.
Diet wise I did pretty well that week. I was walking a lot less but still consuimg more than I should have been. In about 2 days though, my body adjusted and I wasn’t as hungry. Since I went to a fruit and vegetable market on Sunday I was eating tons of veggies the whole week. I averaged about 1770 calories per day. Pretty good.
I was hoping for a 1lb loss. This did not happen. On Monday, when I do my weigh-in, I was 151.4, which is down 0.2 from the previous week. I’m disappointed with that. In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I started my period on Monday. Usually that adds about 1lb of water weight. However, by Wednesday I was weighing 152.4lbs, so I’m guessing the 151.4lb was accurate.
I’m so frustrated. I’m not sure what else I can do here, except eat less. But consuming 1770 calories and working out 4-5 days a week seems like I should be losing. Plus I’m hesitant to eat too much less than 1700 cals/ day. I’ve gone down to 1450-1550 per day and I lost weight really fast, but that was far too little, especially when my BMR is 1400. It is unreasonable and unhealthy to only eat 1500 cals per day when I’m working out this much. I’ll at least wait until my period is over before I make any drastic changes, to see where I actually am.
Plus on Monday I am also going to measure myself for the first time in almost a month. We’ll see what that brings. If I’ve lost a bunch of inches then I’ll feel better about the scale not moving. If not, well then there will some serious reassessment of everything.
This week has been decent. Monday I lifted then I drank a boatload. It was the superbowl and I met a guy in a bar and he insisted on buying me a ton of drinks. Being a cheap backpacker I of course said yes. Tuesday I went to gymnastics practice. It was probably the worst gym I’ve ever worked out in, but I got a surprisngly large amount accomplished. Wednesday I was feeling tired. So freaking tired. I woke up, ate breakfast then promptly went back to bed for 3 hours. The whole day I felt fatigued and sliggish so I canceled my workout. Thursday morning I went to the gym but it ended up being closed because today is a public holiday. Rats! At least there was gymastics that night. It was my last practice before the masters games and it went all right. Friday I went to the gym to do a quick workout, more to just move around and get my heart rate up a bit. I did a simple 10-1 workout of jump squats, med ball twist and plank ups. Then I ran through my beam routine a few times on the mats there. Saturday was the meet, which is like an incredibly easy practice. Not even a practice. And Sunday I did a full lifting session.
Today is Monday and I am finally taking the day off workout wise. I’m still walking a boatload today, though. Anyway, there’s good news! Firstly, I’m down to 150lbs exactly! That’s an overall loss of 4.6lbs in 6 weeks.
Secondly, I measured myself today, just shy of 4 weeks, closer to 3.5 weeks, but I wanted to keep to a Monday schedule for these things. So current stats- here goes.
Current Weight: 150.0 lbs
Waist: 29″ (-1.5″)
Hips: 38.5″ (-1.5″)
Chest: 34″ (-1″)
Bust: 37.5″ (no change; this supposedly makes me like a C cup. Laughable)
Thigh: 23.5″ (-0.5″)
Bicep: 13″ (no change)
Calf: 14.5″ (-0.5″)
For emphasis: measuring yourself is hard. I measured everything at least twice, some three times just to make sure I was accurate. Who knows though. Regardless, there is a downward trend in most things. Now I just need to take some photos. Probs not going to post them but it’d be nice for comparisons sake.
Overall I’m really happy! I had some doubts that I’d be able to make progress while traveling, given my budget, lack of regular gym access, moving around etc. It’s a little slower going than I anticipated but it’s been a much healthier experience this time. I’m for sure eating enough, lots of veggies, lots of variety, even a boatload of chocolate and some cake. I don’t have major cravings or feel like I’m depriving myself. I’m even drinking. I was a little frustrated last week but the numbers today (both weight and measurements) have restored my faith in my plan.
I promised myself I’d do something when I lost the first 5 lbs. I’m quite close to that but I have no idea what I’ll do. Most likely it’ll happen sometime late this week, when I’ll be on an overnight cruise. Maybe I’ll buy some jewelery. Nothing fancy, but something to remember NZ by I haven’t bought anything like that. And one of my favorite things I bought in Argentina was a pair of earrings. We’ll see.
I actually wrote the week 3 recap on time but did not post it as I was on a plane back to New Zealand. It is below.
Oh Week 3. I had intentions of keeping my calories in check but that was tough and ultimately, not terribly successful.
Monday I ate just over 2000 calories, but I also had 2 solid workouts that day, fitness class in the morning then gymnastics practice in the evening. I ate well during the day so I was surprised that I was starving after gymnastics practice. We went to dinner after practice and I tried to eat reasonably. I had 1/2 of a turkey sandwich with zucchini.
Tuesday I slept through my alarm so I did not end up working out, but I was still okay on calories, even with the pizza for dinner. I totaled about 1630 for the day.
Wednesday was also okay. I worked out in the morning and then walked for about 30 minutes in the afternoon. Though I totaled about 1870 for the day I feel that is appropriate.
Thursday is where it started to go downhill. I did not workout but I still consumed about 1770 calories. This is the day I made dinner and dessert for my mom. In reality I think consumed a bit more than that. I made rice pudding for dessert and I really have no idea how many calories were in it. Plus I was snacking on high calorie nuts throughout the day. I am pretty sure I accounted for all of them but I could have missed some.
Friday was worse. Again, I did not workout and I totaled 1830 calories. I was home all day, running up and down the stairs and all around the house. I also had an ice cream sundae with one of my favorite flavors ever, Peppermint. Plus it was basically the last meal/ dessert that I was going to eat at home. Yes I’m rationalizing.
Saturday has also been tough. I had breakfast at home, which was pretty good. Then I had lunch and a snack on the plane. It’s only 8:30pm and I’m already at 1530 calories. And of course there is no working out today. I am traveling though, like on a 14hr flight currently, so it’s hard. I did pace up and down the terminal for as long as possible before I got on the plane.
I’ll report my weekly weigh-in today because come Tuesday I have no idea what the scale will say. At least I will have had a good nights sleep and a good home cooked meal by then but I will have traveled for 36 hrs, arriving in Wellington probably only 18 hours before I would typically weigh-in.
Currently I am 152.2 lbs, which is down 2.4 lbs in just under 3 weeks. This is progress at least. I’m still consuming too much on days I don’t workout. This seems to be my biggest issue. I can usually stay within my calorie range on days I workout, but on days I don’t I have a hard time. This could be a lifestyle issue, at least right now. When I don’t workout I tend to be really lazy and stay inside during the day. This give me easy access to snacks and excess calories. Once I’m traveling again, this should resolve. I am typically out of the hostel and either going on a hike, walking around a city, working out, doing gymnastics etc virtually every day. Every 3-4 days or so I’ll take a day where I ‘catch up’ on email, blogs, laundry, errands etc and those day I’m a bit more lazy but I’m still outside the hostel, usually at a cafe. And since I’m cheap and don’t eat out, I won’t be over eating then. We’ll see. In the first 6 weeks I was in New Zealand, when I was traveling all over, I’m pretty sure I lost weight.
There’s not much I can do except my best. That means committing to working out 4 days a week, as in a serious workout. Either crossfit, lifting, gymnastics or one of my own workouts. The other 2 days I better do something active, whether that means going on a hike or walking all around a city, it doesn’t matter, as long as I am off my butt and moving. Then 1 day a week I’ll allow myself to chill out in a hostel and do nothing, if I want. That might mean reading and drinking tea all day, or going to a movie, or watching a movie at the hostel or anything I want. Based on my pervious experience traveling, this is perfectly attainable for New Zealand.
My first week in Wellington might be tough as I’ll arrive seriously jet lagged and sleep deprived but I’ll do my best.
Now on to last week, which was week 4.
I worked out a fair amount- 2 gymnastics workouts and 1 lifting session. Plus my days were full of walking- I probably averaged 4-5 miles a day. I’m also drinking a lot more water. I bring my water bottle with me everywhere I go and have to refill it multiple times per day. I’m not the best when it comes to hydration so this is progress.
Eating wise I’ve been decent. I’d give it a B+. I’ve been planning my meals and eating lots of fruit and veggies. On Sunday I went to a fruit and vegetable market to stock up for the week. Best part? It was cheap (relatively, of course). I’m crazy excited about it. On the downside, I brought chocolate from home and ate A LOT of it the first few days I was here. Now it’s gone and has not been replaced. I also had a midweek slip up where I ate a boatload of chocolate cake and a slice of pizza. This is not terrible terrible, but it was 1am and I only ate it because it was there. I should have walked right by it, brushed my teeth and went to bed. Obviously that did not happen. I’m over it now but you can believe that I mentally beat myself up about it for a while. I should be kinder to myself.
Calorie wise I’ve been averaging 2000/ day, which seems like a lot but with all the walking plus workouts I’m still losing weight. I have to keep reminding myself that the goal is to eat as much as possible and still lose 1lb per week- not lose weight as fast as possible. For the 7 days that I’ve been here my 5 day moving average for my weight has been decreasing steadily. I’ve been doing less walking these last 3 days so my calories should decrease. They haven’t really. We’ll see.
Anyway, numbers time. It’s been 4 weeks and I’ve lost 3 lbs. My current weight is 151.6 lbs. The second week I didn’t lose anything, which means in the past 2 weeks I’ve lost 2 lbs. Right on track!
Overall this is perfect. I’m still eating a lot (relatively, of course) and losing weight, which is my goal. It just feels so slow. But! I know that this is the best possible way to do it. I just need to remember my #1 goal: Eat as much as possible and still lose weight. Anything else is detrimental in the long run.