Geeky Sewing Project

I saw this shirt at Jinx.com a few months ago and simply had to have it to announce my status as a game geekette who works out. :dbell:

Body by...Tee

Of course, it only comes in the universally unattractive blocky male t-shirt style, so I had to do a bit of modification after my size small shirt arrived.

Here’s my version with the sleeves cut off, contrast white panels added to the shoulders, and major tapering and fitting on the side seams of the body.

My Body by PS2 shirt

I love wearing this one to the gym…and it’s not exactly a lie since I do work out with Yourself Fitness regularly….

CAC W6D1: Still Slooooooooooow

My team worked through the weekend again, which was pretty much what I guessed would happen when I heard that our producer from Konami was coming back for a follow-up visit this week and expecting to see a lot of updates to our current beta build candidate. I did find out that a logo design and layout I did a while back has been OK’ed for the final box art on the PSP Winx game, though, so that was sort of nifty.

I haven’t had the opportunity to go grocery shopping for this week, but I overbought a bit last week, so I have enough to last me through another day or two before I need to restock my veggies, fruit, soy milk and rice cakes. I’m almost out of natty peanut butter, too, which is pretty exciting since I plan to motor over to Whole Foods and try out the Make-Your-Own-Fresh-PB thingie my sister mentioned to me the other week. The cost of the peanut butter is comparable to the stuff I buy off the shelf, so why not? I’m going to dump in some salt and a few packets of the Splenda I bought at the beginning of this challenge and have barely used. Seriously, though, if I weren’t on my last peach and two apples, I’d try to stick it out for another 3 days or so, but c’est la vie.

I did manage to steam boil another round of eggs (21 per week) from the batch I picked up last week, so I’m good on eggs until next Monday.

I ordered my required Instone Nutrition product for the month of July last night: 4 cups of the chocolate high protein pudding from Drugstore.com. I needed to pick up a few other essentials that I never remember to pick up anyway (hair stuff, Carmex, etc.) so I added the pudding to my cart to take advantage of the free shipping and sale. Cost: $6.39, tax-free, no shipping charges. It pains me to pay so very much for four servings of any food when I could easily squeeze two or three times that many meals out of $6.39, but I must follow the rules of the official challenge.

As far as my running progress goes, I’m still a turtle. I ran my timed 5k this morning for cardio and came in at 28:31, about 28 seconds faster than last Monday, but still pretty awful. I was close to my goal pace during the first half of the run when the sun wasn’t quite out yet, but on the way back, I could feel my energy draining away as the temperature climbed and my glycogen stores completely drained.

Running in Florida during the summer on a caloric deficit just blows.

After the Rock n’ Run on September 30, this lil’ cardio snail is giving up the running shoes and switching to indoor, air-conditioned plyometrics, kickboxing, and YF calisthenics for the rest of her life. Physical activity in the great outdoors is highly overrated when you live in the sub-tropics.

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YESTERDAY’S EATS

1. 1/3 c. oatmeal, 3 T. raisins
2. Cheesecake Factory official weekly cheat meal: 1/2 order Vietnamese shrimp summer rolls, Thai chicken lettuce wraps, several bites of Chris’s Bang-Bang Thai chicken curry
3. Nothing (Still stuffed from #2)
4. 1 unsalted rice cake, 1/2 T. all-natural peanut butter, 1 scoop whey
5. 4 oz. chicken breast, 3 c. Romaine salad, 2 T. Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing, 1 peach
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop whey

Water: 16 cups

Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, EAS l-glutamine

Calories: 1803 calories (48.0% carb/38.2% pro/14.6% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* Lower Body Workout (60 min)
* YF Flexibility (65 min)

Calories burned: 761 calories

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DEFICIT: -623 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None

CAC W5D7: Week 5 Stats and Photos

Measurements for the end of week 5 of the Cheapass Challenge (7/30/06) are:

Weight: 133.2 lb
BF%: 17.2% (Omron)
BF%: TBD (RustyIron.net 3-point caliper calculator; didn’t have time to take caliper measurements, but will do these Tues. morning)

Suprailiac: TBD
Tricep: TBD
Thigh: TBD

Chest: 34.5 in
Waist: 25.25 in
Abdomen: 26.75 in
Hip: 37.5 in
Thigh: 21.75 in
Calf: 14.5 in
Bicep: 12 in flexed
Forearm: 9.25 in
Neck: 12.5 in
Wrist: 5.75 in
Shoulders: 41.25 in

CAC Week 5 photos

Just for fun, here is a day 0 shot taken in late June compared to yesterday’s front photo:
CAC Day 0, 6-21-06CAC, 7-30-06

Notes: This is my most successful cut so far in terms of lean mass retention. I’m steadily losing fat all over, but thanks to an increase in the amount of muscle I have in my upper body compared to my 2004 matchstick arm physique and a very good combination of upper body exercises and nutrition, I am not losing much circumference from my arms, chest, or shoulders. It’s nice to see most of the inches coming off of my legs, abdominals, and hips. Now if I could just get rid of the subcutaneous fat that seems to be twice as thick on my back than on my front, I would be a happy girl.

😉

I don’t think I have much visceral fat to be honest. I think my body prefers to store the fluff directly beneath the skin, which is why I have to drop my body fat percentage pretty low to see any definition in my back and hamstrings. 🙄

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YESTERDAY’S EATS

1. 1/3 c. oatmeal, 3 T. raisins, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites
2. 1 peach, 1 scoop whey
3. 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/3 c. oatmeal, 1 c. mixed Mandarin veggies
4. 1 unsalted rice cake, 1/2 T. all-natural peanut butter, 1 scoop whey
5. 4 oz. chicken breast, 3 c. Romaine salad, 2 T. Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing, 2 corn tortillas
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop whey

Water: 16 cups

Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, EAS l-glutamine

Calories: 1454 calories (40.9% carb/43.2% pro/17.2% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* Back/Rear Delts/Abs (60 min)
* YF Cardio (45 min)

Calories burned: 644 calories

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DEFICIT: -855 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None

CAC W5D6: My Biggest (Fitness-Related) Mistake

I have been browsing the photos of several BFL women who have gone on to compete in figure soon after very successfully completing their first or second 12-week challenges, and what I’m noticing is that while they are certainly lean, they don’t have the upper body development (back, arms, abs, shoulders) needed to contend for first place. In some cases, even the lower body could use more lean mass.

They look, in fact, a lot like I did after my first two challenges when I was eating only 1200-1300 calories/day and doing 45-60 minutes of cardio almost daily. I just had more leg muscle thanks to some serious rice paddy peasant genetics and an average of 50 hours a week of constant isometric leg muscle engagement by dint of using a stability ball as my office chair at work.

It was as if someone had stuck an ectomorphic skinny girl’s upper body on top of a mesomorphic figure competitor’s legs, hehe. I used to joke with the upper-body lean-mass-blessed Pam/Rockenmama back in the days when she didn’t train her legs as heavily that if we swapped halves, we’d be able to form one really buff woman and one really skinny one.

:tongue:

I believe my biggest mistake (and that of most women doing straight BFL and hoping for noticeable muscle increase to get closer to a fitness model physique, not just skinny and toned) was not eating enough to support lean mass growth during the initial 8 weeks of my first challenge, and then compounding the mistake by continuing to stay too low for an additional 12 weeks. If you don’t have much lean mass when you start BFL or any other bodybuilding nutrition-based regimen (5-6 small meals/day, lean protein sources, higher than average protein intake, whole grains, reduced quantities of refined and processed foods, yada yada yada), you aren’t going to have much more when you finish if your calories hang out 500-1000 calories/day below your maintenance level on average the whole time.

Body-for-Life, as written in the original book by Bill Phillips, is an easy-to-follow cutting/fat loss plan with a built-in caloric deficit but no actual calorie counting and a moderate (and therefore sustainable by most people) amount of exercise. As I’ve pointed out before, BFL standard will only get you so far in terms of body fat percentage, but that is enough for many people. The ones who want to go a bit further and really shoot for Oxygen model physiques need to go a little further with diet changes, cardio, and, ultimately lean mass growth.

If you are already pretty lean, the latter entails eating at least at maintenance level (preferably higher), and shifting the focus from cardio back to weight training since you won’t be able to pull energy for muscle growth from excess fat stores. What I’ve finally come to accept is that sticking to the classic BFL palm-fist portion sizes is NOT the way to go if you want to gain mass or even maintain. You are always going to be at a deficit on BFL, and that is not going to give you the lovely, full muscles you want if your goals are like mine.

The book does suggest on page 120 that those wishing to gain lean mass (or “bulk”) should double their carb portions in the first three meals of the day. I haven’t given this a shot yet, but it seems like it would work from a mathematical standpoint. Assuming that a typical standard BFL day for a woman of my size comes out to around 1500 calories, adding three extra carb portions at around 120 calories each would bump up my intake to 1860 calories, which is just 100-200 calories shy of maintenance.

I wished I’d known enough back then about muscle growth to take advantage of this information. I would have done a combination of 6 weeks of BFL “bulking” followed by 6 weeks of BFL “standard/cutting” instead of cutting for 24 straight weeks.

And I bet I would have had some decent arms at the end, too.

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YESTERDAY’S EATS

1. 1/3 c. oatmeal, 3 T. raisins, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites
2. 1 banana, 1 scoop whey
3. 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal, 1 c. mixed Mandarin veggies
4. 1/2 c. light soy milk, 1.25 scoops whey
5. 4 oz. chicken breast, 3 c. Romaine salad, 2 T. Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop whey

Water: 16 cups

Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, EAS l-glutamine

Calories: 1366 calories (41.8% carb/46.8% pro/12.9% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* Elliptical (Lvl 10/ 30 min)
* YF Cardio (30 min)

Calories burned: 490 calories

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DEFICIT: -789 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None

CAC W5D5: August 100 Challenge at JSF

If anyone is looking for a hardcore fitness and nutrition challenge in August, check out John Stone’s August 100 Challenge.

Here’s the blurb from the site on the rules and requirements:

This premise of this challenge is pretty simple: Each participant starts the month of August with 100 points. A point is deducted each time a workout is missed, a meal is missed, an unscheduled “cheat” meal or snack is consumed or a daily update to your official challenge post is missed. The goal, of course, is to finish the month with 100 points!

Here are the rules:

1) This challenge is for people who want to commit themselves 100%. Please don’t join if you are not prepared to give a total effort.
2) The challenge begins on August 1, 2006. You must have your starting post up by then. You can not join the challenge after August 1st.
3) It doesn’t matter if you are cutting, bulking or maintaining. The common goal here is 100% consistency.
4) Each person participating in the challenge should start a post in this thread. Your Official Challenge post must be updated each and every day in August. The updates won’t take long (examples below). If you miss an update, you must deduct a point. Please note that you should edit your existing Official Challenge post–don’t start a new post every day.
5) Miss a workout for any reason, deduct a point.
6) Miss a meal for any reason, deduct a point.
7) Eat an unscheduled “cheat” meal or snack, deduct a point.

Feel free to post before/after pictures if you like (optional).

Of course this challenge is based on the honor system. You can cheat, but that would be pointless.

To see a sample challenge check-in post and sign up, visit the 100 Challenge forum.

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YESTERDAY’S EATS

1. 1/3 c. oatmeal, 3 T. raisins, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites
2. peach, 1/2 scoop whey, 1/2 c. light soy milk
3. 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal, 1 c. Mandarin veggie mix
4. 1 unsalted rice cake, 1/2 T. all-natural peanut butter, 1 scoop whey
5. 4 oz. chicken breast, 3 c. Romaine salad, 2 T. Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop whey

Water: 16 cups

Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, EAS l-glutamine

Calories: 1358 calories (47.4% carb/37.2% pro/17.6% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* Recumbent Bike (40 min)
* YF Cardio (30 min)

Calories burned: 472 calories

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DEFICIT: -779 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None

CAC W5D4: Just Another Day

Not much to report today…I’m working another 12 hour day and will probably have to work through this weekend, too, since our producer from Konami is coming back on Monday and expecting mucho improvements in the game and about a hundred or so UI/user interface items from yours truly.

I’m definitely more tired and less energetic this week, not to mention hungry. I can’t wait until my iron and red blood cell counts are back up next week.

In non-empirical terms, I seem to be dropping fat even though the scale weight is still artificially-inflated from TOM water retention. My arms and legs look and feel leaner, the Omron keeps lowering its estimate of my body fat, and the non-muscular parts of my chest are deflating like leaky tires.

I just want my abs back.

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YESTERDAY’S EATS

1. 1/3 c. oatmeal, 3 T. raisins, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites
2. 1 banana, 1/2 scoop whey, 1/2 c. light soy milk
3. 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal, 1 c. Mandarin veggie mix
4. 1 unsalted rice cake, 1/2 T. all-natural peanut butter, 1 scoop whey
5. 4 oz. chicken breast, 3 c. Romaine salad, 2 T. Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing, 2 corn tortillas
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop whey

Water: 16 cups

Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, EAS l-glutamine, Instone Pre-Workout Intensity

Calories: 1438 calories (47.4% carb/37.9% pro/17.1% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* Chest/Arms (60 minutes)
* Run (6.5-8 mph / 30 min)

Calories burned: 732 calories

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DEFICIT: -959 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None

CAC W5D3: Unreal

I would like to discuss clothing size, weight, and body types today after running across a discussion on “Letting it all hang out” (you know what I’m talking about) on the snopes.com boards yesterday and reading the LA Times article that sparked the debate on the boards.

I’ve certainly felt the indirect pressure to stay under a certain size and recall being pretty bummed when I had to move up to juniors size 13/14 jeans at my heaviest point. (Yes, yes, I know that 5’6″ and 158 lbs in a size 13/14 juniors isn’t exactly huge, but it’s all relative. For an Asian gal, that was and is pretty darn fluffy.)

I remember wearing size 9/10 in juniors my freshman year of high school and settling into 11/12 by senior year and through college. I was actually all right with this because I used to make a lot of my own clothes and always knew my measurements down to the nearest half inch, so I knew I wasn’t ballooning out and that retail clothing sizes were arbitrary at best. I bought clothes that fit me and didn’t try to shoehorn my size 12 backside into size 6 jeans.

Mind you, it wasn’t usually my butt or hips that were the problem since American clothing seems to be designed for apple body types with huge waistlines relative to hip measurements. I have just always had large thigh measurements, regardless of whether I was fat or lean. Size 6 pants flat out would not make it over my legs, so I never achieved the full muffin top look that girls with skinny legs and soft, squishy tummies and hips sport all over downtown Orlando on Friday and Saturday nights these days.

Anyway, reading the LA Times article made me feel rather sorry for the young women all over the country who aren’t happy with their bodies, but are compelled by the dictates of fashion, peer pressure, and retail availability to wear clothing that neither fits nor flatters them.

Please don’t try to tell me that EVERY overweight girl in clothes 2-3 sizes too small is just expressing her individuality, body acceptance and self-confidence. Unless they are very delusional indeed, girls know when they don’t look good, and, for the most part, this knowledge does trouble them to some degree, even the nerdy geekettes who seem to have no particular interest in fashion or make-up.

I speak from experience here. 😉

That is not why I’ve brought all of this up, though. Having been on the overweight side of the house, I can certainly feel for the females struggling to find flattering off-the-rack clothing, but now that I’ve been on the physically-fit end of things for a couple of years, I have a minor bone to pick.

Here are the kind of comments that I read all the time in women’s articles and forums targeted at a general female audience:

  • “Manufacturers need to start paying attention to the needs of REAL women.”
  • “REAL bodies aren’t shaped like that.” (Referring to a fashion model, movie star, or fitness model/athlete.)
  • “REAL women have curves.” (NOT referring to the sort of curves built with muscle, by the way.)
  • “Stores need to stock more fashionable clothes in sizes for REAL women/teens.” (Read as: larger than 14)

I’m not saying that the women who write these things don’t have a valid point about the need for more clothing options for today’s bigger body types and non-standard shapes, but I resent the use of the word “real” in these statements. It implies that anyone who doesn’t have the typical pillowy modern female body type is somehow faking, cheating, buying, or otherwise employing some sort of extraordinary measures to achieve a stock size physique.

I work to keep myself in shape and the creep of excess flab in check, but I don’t consider the things I do to maintain my physical condition out of the scope of any normal, healthy adult. I lift weights three or four times a week, do reasonable quantities of cardio at least that many times and eat healthy, balanced meals six times a day. I drink water almost exclusively (and like it, too, so there), conscientiously take my multivitamin and calcium pills daily, and avoid junk foods in my everyday diet.

The key point here is that *I* do these things. *I* put in the effort. No magic pill or surgeon’s knife got me where I am physically today, and as you can tell from my brief clothing size history, I am definitely not a natural Tiny Asian Girl ectomorph who stays thin without effort.

As a result of my *own* work, I DO look good in off-the-rack clothes and current styles. I DO have the general hourglass/X shape that is supposedly so uncommon. I DO have curves, only they tend to be firm and not lumpy.

Yet according to the cries of the multitudes, this sort of fit body type is not REAL. Since when has the word “real” been exclusively defined as overweight and pugnaciously indignant about the unfairness of it all?

When I read statements and comments like the above now, I mentally substitute the word “AVERAGE” for “REAL,” because those writers have it all wrong in their heads.

The truth is that average bodies are formed by inertia, apathy, and inaction. Real bodies are built muscle by muscle out of the basic materials we ALL possess through hours of sweat, discipline, and will.

What is more real, the numbness and sluggishness you feel after downing a 32 oz. Coke and Burger King meal in the middle of a day where the most strenuous thing you do is walk from your car to your office, or the total connection of your mind and body as it gathers its last stores of energy to push out the final rep of three sets of 30 barbell squats or the pumping of your blood through your legs and the rush of air in and out of your lungs as you sprint the last quarter mile of a 5k run?

If the general public doesn’t agree with my opinion and insists that “real” does equal “average” now, I will just keep on being unreal.

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YESTERDAY’S EATS

1. 1/3 c. oatmeal, 3 T. raisins, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites
2. 1 banana, 1/2 scoop whey, 1/2 c. light soy milk
3. 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal, 1 c. Mandarin veggie mix
4. 1 unsalted rice cake, 1/2 T. all-natural peanut butter, 1 scoop whey
5. 4 oz. chicken breast, 3 c. Romaine salad, 2 T. Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing, 2 corn tortillas
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop whey

Water: 16 cups

Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, EAS l-glutamine, Instone Pre-Workout Intensity

Calories: 1453 calories (44.7% carb/37.4% pro/20.1% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* Shoulders/Rear Delts/Abs (60 min)
* Walk (4 mph / 25 min)
* YF Physical Challenge (15 min)
* YF Flexibility (15 min)

Calories burned: 588 calories

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DEFICIT: -800 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None

CAC W5D2: Outrunning & Outlifting the Joneses

JLP at Allthingsfinancialblog.com wrote a post today entitled, “Will Earning More Make You Happier?” based on this College Journal article.

The author noted that while 60.5% of individuals making under $20,000/year said they were “Pretty happy”, only 51.8% of individuals with annual incomes of over $90,000 categorized themselves the same way. She chose to interpret this data as proof that higher income does not necessarily equate to happiness.

Of course, I should also point out that 17.2% of those making $20,000 also said they were “Not too happy” versus just 5.3% in the $90,000+ group.

Apparently money can’t guarantee bliss, but it can sure go far in alleviating misery.

I think it’s a matter of priorities, or, as David Bach likes to put, it values. If you value time with your family, the ability to help others, or your health the most, you can probably manage to be “pretty happy” even if you aren’t making huge pots of money. However, if one of your highest values is security (specifically financial security), then a certain baseline level of income might be necessary for you to be completely worry-free.

Because I always thought that security was more important to me than health (though both are in my top five values), I found one of the comments to JLP’s post pretty interesting:

“There are some recent books/articles that suggest that our happiness is relative – that we’re not happy unless we are not just keeping up with the Jone’s, but beating the Jone’s at their own game. Maybe that’s true to some extent.”

This got me thinking.

Now I make enough money to satisfy my need for security, but I don’t feel all that competitive with my peers or neighbors in regards to actual income or acquisition of material things. I earn enough to set aside more than 37% of my gross pay in savings and retirement funds while still leaving me with a decent amount for a comfortable but not extravagant lifestyle. My younger sister quite frankly makes more than double my gross income, but I spend less and save more. 😉 I have a LOT of friends from college who are now doctors and pulling in six-figure incomes, yet I’m content with what I have.

I have passed that financial baseline needed for current and future financial security, and that’s enough for me.

I am, however, hell-bent on being in WAY better physical shape and health than the Joneses, the Browns, the Smiths, and at least 90% of the general population.

So if a value’s importance is measured by the degree of competitiveness I feel, I guess “health/self-improvement” is actually higher on my hierarchy of values than “security.” 💡

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YESTERDAY’S EATS

1. 1/3 c. oatmeal, 3 T. raisins, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites
2. 1 peach, 1/2 scoop whey, 1/2 c. light soy milk
3. 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal, 1 c. Mandarin veggie mix
4. 1 unsalted rice cake, 1/2 T. all-natural peanut butter, 1 scoop whey
5. 4 oz. chicken breast, 1 c. Mandarin veggie mix, 2 c. spinach
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop whey

Water: 16 cups

Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, EAS l-glutamine

Calories: 1369 calories (45.1% carb/39.4% pro/17.2% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* YF Cardio (30 min)
* 5k timed run (28:57)
* Walk (4 mph / 12 min)

Calories burned: 571 calories

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DEFICIT: -867 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None