CAC W5D1: Week 4 Grocery Expenses and a Slow 5k

Well, I did indeed have a killer cheat meal with Mommy and Daddy Wang last night: Two heaping bowls of Chinese beef noodles with spinach, scallions, and homemade kimchee, lots of delicious garlic jumbo shrimp, and a bag of light kettle corn.

I didn’t bother to weigh my puffy but happy self this morning because I know I’m at least 2 lbs over my actual weight from last night’s cheat meal and TOM water weight.

:whistle:

I did take advantage of my carb boost by doing a 5k timed run this morning after warming up with YF cardio for 15 minutes. It was f$#!$# HOT outside and pretty miserable the entire route, but I got back in just under 29 minutes at 28:57. That means I have until September 30 to knock off 2 minutes from my time to beat my best official 5k time.

I know, I know. I’m a slowpoke. :tongue:

This means that I MUST get down to goal weight and/or body fat by early September so I can start raising my calories and carbs enough to actually work on speed and endurance in running. Right now I’m just getting through my running cardio sessions through sheer pigheadedness.

I finished up another 15 minutes of YF cardio after the run and will try to squeeze in a lunch hour 1 mile walk around the office complex in a bit.

Groceries for this week came out to $15.03 because I had to replenish my raisins and cooking spray. I also picked up 18 eggs for $1 that I probably won’t even use until next week. The soup, salad, and extra broccoli I had this week that weren’t part of my regular groceries set my budget back $1.75, but I’ve been so frugal in the previous 2 weeks that I now have $133.60 (or $16.70/week) left in my budget for the remaining 8 weeks.

* Note: I may actually subtract the cooking spray since I barely used the can from Week 0. I’ve been steaming all of my eggs instead of making omelettes, and my lunches and dinners have been “cooked” from scratch in La Microwave with no added fats. My boyfriend has been rather profligate in his use of the spray however, so perhaps I will count that first can as HIS expense and not part of my challenge. 🙂 The same goes for half the bananas from last week. I only got two or three out of the seven I bought because Chris suddenly developed a banana craving.

Amount spent so far (out of $480 budget for 12 weeks): $346.40

Cheapass Challenge Week 4 Groceries

CAC End of Week 4 budget status

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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. Chinese beef noodles, garlic shrimp, light kettle corn (Official weekly cheat meal!)
6. 2 c. light soy milk
Water: 16 cups

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

Calories: 1974 calories (49.8% carb/35.3% pro/17.6% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* YF Core (30 min)
* Lower body workout (60 min)

Calories burned: 557 calories

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DEFICIT: -248 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None

CAC W4D7: Week 4 Photos and Stats

Measurements for the end of week 4 of the Cheapass Challenge (7/23/06) are:

Weight: 135.2 lb
BF%: 18.0% (Omron)
BF%: 14.49% (RustyIron.net 3-point caliper calculator)

Suprailiac: 10.5 mm
Tricep: 8.5 mm
Thigh: 13 mm

Chest: 33.75 in
Waist: 25.5 in
Abdomen: 27.5 in
Hip: 37.5 in
Thigh: 22 in
Calf: 14.5 in
Bicep: 12 in flexed
Forearm: 9.25 in
Neck: 12.5 in
Wrist: 5.75 in
Shoulders: 41 in

CAC Week 4 Pictures

Week 4 photos have been posted.

Scale weight and abdominal measurements are up today due to water retention from my monthly cycle, but my body fat is down almost a full percentage point from 18.9% last week to 18.0% according to the Omron. My low unbloated weight this week was 133.8 lbs. I expect a 2-3 lb drop by next Sunday as my hydration levels return to normal over the next seven days.

😉

I’m starting to notice more hunger now in the evenings leading up to and following meal 6. The reduction in my intake by 150-100 calories a day sounds trivial, but given my activity level, it is enough to send me to bed still feeling somewhat peckish every night.

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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, 2 c. Romaine salad, 2 T. FF Italian dressing, 3/4 c. Mandarin veggie mix, 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: 1454 calories (40.9% carb/43.2% pro/17.2% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* YF Flexibility (30 min)
* Back/Rear Deltoids/Abs (60 min)
* Elliptical (level 10 / 6.5 – 11.5 mph / 30 minutes)

Calories burned: 789 calories

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DEFICIT: -1000 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None

CAC W4D5: Friday and Saturday Happenings

Today was my first day off since July 6. I actually got to take my time this morning at the gym, switching to Kim Oddo’s longer 4-day split and taking nearly an hour to do my back/rear delt/ab workout this morning and following up with 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer at level 10/6.5-11 mph.

I switched my meal timing around a bit and ate my breakfast before heading out for my workout since I was in for a full hour of lifting. The food sloshing around my stomach made the 30 minute Yourself Fitness flexibility session rather interesting as well. It’s hard to forward fold when you have 2-3 cups of food volume in your upper abdominal region. However, my gym workout was stellar because of the extra fuel.

By the way, I am not counting the Yourself Fitness workouts as part of this challenge officially since they don’t burn enough calories to count as real cardio. (The average is only 120-150 calories burned per 30 minutes, less than half of what I burn when I use a cardio machine at the gym.) I am treating the YF workouts as active video gaming time instead. I *REALLY* want to finish unlocking the rest of the music tracks and workout venues in the program, so I am doing one 15-30 minute session a day on top of my scheduled Cheapass Challenge workouts.

I may have to restrict myself to YF core, flexibility and cardio workouts however, as I’ve told Maya that her workouts were too easy so many times that she now gives me leg and arm exercises that actually challenge me enough to cause DOMS the next day. With the increased volume of weightlifting I’ll be doing for the next four weeks, I don’t want to screw my muscles out of their needed recovery time.

(For those of you who are interested, you can find the PC and Xbox versions of YF on ebay pretty cheap. I got my PC copy for $13.50 shipped, and my Xbox version for $17.99 in the clearance bin at Toys ‘R’ Us last year.)

I met up with Chameleon/Tanisha from the JohnStoneFitness.com forum last night at Borders to chat about our respective current cutting programs, LISS vs. HIIT cardio, experiences with various nutrition plans, and other fitness geek minutiae that would no doubt bore our other friends into catatonia. We, of course, managed to converse for nearly four hours about that sort of stuff, eventually moving across the street to Chilis where T could enjoy her carby post-workout meal 6 on the Swolegenix plan. I stuck with a tomato-based veggie soup that probably had way too much sodium in it and a dry side salad.

LOL…I just realized how insane this entire post must sound to anyone NOT into this stuff…

In non-food and fitness related news, I have a possible new addition to my little family. My co-worker dropped off the sweetest white cat today (not quite sure if it is a girl or a fixed boy) at my house. He and his wife have been leaving food out for this cat for about four months now, but they can’t officially adopt it because they are living with his mother in law at the moment, and they are already pushing their luck by having their two indoor cats in her house.

I offered to take the outdoor cat (apparently an abandoned pet, because it is completely tame and loves people) on a trial basis pending a full check up by my vet. The cat is spending the weekend in the enclosed Florida room until its Monday morning vet appointment, but if the doc gives the all-clear and clears up the small tapeworm issue I noticed, I’ll officially qualify as a Woman With Cats, aka a Crazy Cat Lady since this will be feline #3 for me. Slinky, my older cat, has shown zero interest in the interloper in the patio, but Neville Longbottom has definitely taken notice that his sun room has a new occupant.

We’ll see how it goes.

Okay, signing off and heading to bed before the PMS munchies strike again, and I dive into a bag of knock off Malt-O-Meal frosted mini-wheats or wind up making myself a huge bowl of broccoli in oyster sauce.

I’ve burned enough calories in my 2 hours of exercise today to handle a bit more food, but I can’t afford any more extras this week if I want to stay under budget.

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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. (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 and spinach salad, 2 T. FF Italian dressing, 1 medium apple (microwaved)
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop whey, 1 c. tomato veggie soup, 1 small dinner salad (dry)

Water: 16 cups

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

Calories: 1559 calories (49.6% carb/36.1% pro/16.3% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* YF Lower Body (30 min)
* FGX Upper Body/Back (35 min)
* Run (7 mph / 0% incline / 15 min)
* Walk (3.5 mph /10% incline / 15 min)

Calories burned: 748 calories

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DEFICIT: -854 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: Subtract $1.25 for cost of soup and salad ingredients

CAC W4D5: Broccoli Binge!

Sadly, I have to report that PMS struck me Thursday night in a major way, and I gave in to temptation.

Yes, I ate 1.5 cups of unplanned broccoli with my whey and soy milk shake in meal 6.

Now I have to knock another $0.50 from my remaining grocery budget.

At least I got plenty of fiber for the day.

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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. (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 and spinach salad, 2 T. FF Italian dressing, 2 corn tortillas
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop whey, 1.5 c. broccoli

Water: 16 cups

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

Calories: 1434 calories (46.7% carb/39.4% pro/17.1% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* YF Core (15 min)
* Recumbent Bike (Level 8 / 10 min)
* Run (6.5 mph / 0% incline / 5 min)
* Walk (4.0 mph /15% incline / 15 min)
* Stepper (Level 5 / 5 min)

Calories burned: 511 calories

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DEFICIT: -742 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: Subtract $0.50 for extra broccoli from work-provided meal

CAC W4D4: Recent and Upcoming Tweaks

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed given how boring my diet has been during this cut so far, but I’ve made some minor changes in this past week to reduce my calories slightly. Meals 1, 2, 4and 6 are the same, but I reduced the amount of oatmeal I have with meal 3 from 1/2 c. to 1/3 c. and cut the carb in meal 5 down from around 20 g carb each day to 0-10 g carb on cardio-only days. This results in a lower carb and calorie day around 1350 calories on cardio days and a slightly higher carb and calorie day in the 1450 range on lifting days. My free meal is taken only on Sunday so I have an entire week of clean eating before my next set of measurements and photos.

I’ll be keeping this meal plan in place for at least another two weeks, and then see if modification is necessary.

Sorry if anyone was expecting a drastic overhaul of my menu for month 2 of this challenge. To stay under budget and get the most consistent fat loss, I am going to continue to eat EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS that I’ve been eating for the past four weeks, just a little less of them as time goes by.

I’m taking the EAS l-glutamine every night, but the Instone Pre-Workout Intensity is reserved for weightlifting days only. I take half the recommended dosage of eight capsules before heavy workouts and four capsules before moderate workouts since I believe that said recommendations assume that I am a 250 lb male bodybuilder when I am in fact about half that size. I calculate that I will do 44 weightlifting workouts during this 12 week challenge, and since the bottle is 192 capsules, this will be enough for me to take 4 capsules per workout for the entire challenge without picking up a second bottle. To meet the “one Instone product purchase per month” requirement, I am going to get a four-pack of Instone protein pudding (under $8) in July, August and again in September.

Starting this Saturday I switch to a four day lifting split Sa/Su/Tu/We. Cardio frequency and duration will not change unless fat loss slows, but the days will switch around a bit. Moderate intensity sessions will be done for 30 minutes on Sa/Tu/We, while 45 minute higher intensity sessions will be performed on non-lifting days (Mo/Th/Fr). I’d really rather not push into double cardio sessions this early in the game as long as I am steadily dropping 1-1.5 lbs per week. I am only 7-8 lbs from my target weight at this point with another 8.5 weeks, to go, so I am on track to meet my goal.

Sunday remains a workout rest day for now.

Some observed differences between this cut and my first two Body For Life experiences:

1 – More inches are coming off my lower body than my upper body this time.
2 – My shoulders, arms, and upper chest are not shrinking, so I still need to buy Medium or Large in Juniors when shopping for sleeved tops and taper down the sides to get a decent fit for my arms/shoulders AND my torso/waist. In my BFL challenges, I didn’t have as much lean mass in my upper body, so I was narrow enough through the arms and shoulders to wear size Small at this weight.
3 – I am averaging 250-300 calories more per day than I did on BFL and still losing weight at the same rate.
4 – I don’t have as much energy in the mornings for HIIT style cardio, due, I’m sure, to the restriction of carbs in meals 5 and 6 each day.
5 – Either the carb timing, supplementation, higher calories, or a combination of those factors is helping me preserve lean mass in my upper body this time around despite the higher quantity of cardio.

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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. (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 and spinach salad, 2 T. FF 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 (4)

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

=====================
YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* YF Upper Body (30 min)
* FGX Legs/Abs (40 min)
* Walk (4.0 mph /0% incline / 12 min)

Calories burned: 490 calories

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DEFICIT: -728 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None

TODAY’S WEIGH-IN: 133.8 lbs

CAC W4D3: 25 Random Things I’ve Observed On The Road To Fitness

25 Random Things I’ve Observed On The Road To Fitness

  1. Nobody is stuck with being too heavy or too skinny unless he or she chooses to be so through inaction. Fate and genetics do not have the final say in body composition; you do.
  2. Body-For-Life, if followed for 12 weeks as written in the original book by Bill Phillips, will not give bodybuilder or even fitness model muscles to a woman who does not already have a decent amount of lean mass under her flab. You will get leaner and firm up the deconditioned muscles you have, but if you started out with small arms and legs under your fluff, you are STILL going to have small arms and legs when you are done.
  3. Genetic predisposition can make it difficult to put on lean mass in certain areas without careful attention to exercises and a caloric surplus, especially if you are female.
  4. Cardio + Weightlifting + Diet + Faith + Commitment + Planning + Patience = Success
  5. Cardio + Weightlifting + Diet + Doubt + Vague Desire + Improvisation + Impatience = Failure
  6. You can usually lift a little heavier and run a little faster and longer than you think.
  7. Cardio feels a heck of a lot better after a cheat day and at least two meals with carbs than it does in a fasted state in the morning after five days at a caloric deficit.
  8. Street clothes that fit your torso and waist will invariably be too small for your shoulders, arms, and legs once you really get into shape.
  9. #8 is mitigated somewhat by the fact that you will look REALLY good in a swimsuit, anything sleeveless, and stark naked.
  10. No matter how unmotivated or sluggish you feel before a workout, you never feel worse after finishing it, so you might as well get it done.
  11. Deliberately gaining weight to add more lean mass is quite psychologically difficult after you’ve busted your butt to lose weight and get lean in the first place.
  12. The busier you can keep yourself, the easier it is to stay on track with your diet and workouts assuming you’ve planned and prepared properly.
  13. Eating a healthy diet can be cheaper than eating the usual American diet of junk food, processed/pre-packaged foods and restaurant meals.
  14. Most people SAY they want to get into shape or lose weight, but the serious ones are few and far between.
  15. Scientific, logical types can take frequent measurements, photos, and logs because they consider all of the above merely data to gauge progress. If, on the other hand, you tend to freak out if the scale goes up one morning or you can’t perceive any differences in your photos, you might just want to wait at least 4 weeks between progress checks. (In this case, men seem to have an advantage over their female counterparts.)
  16. Cottage cheese may be a versatile and nutritious uber-food for healthy nutrition, but you do NOT need to include it in your diet to succeed if you are lactose-intolerant or just hate the stuff.
  17. Vegetables, however, are non-negotiable. Eat ’em.
  18. Not many people seem to do barbell squats, but just about every guy will do curls and bench presses and every gal will crunch and do cardio until they turn purple. Go figure.
  19. Lighting is everything when it comes to taking progress photos.
  20. Once you are at goal body fat and weight, swimwear is super cheap on clearance because there are always tons of size Small suits left.
  21. Consistency is the ultimate key to success in transforming your physique.
  22. No matter what other people say about their bodies rejecting junk food after they’ve eaten clean for a while, I have never lost my taste for or ability to process evil foods like hot dogs, good pizza, Breyer’s Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, seasoned curly fries, barbeque pulled pork and Dove dark chocolate.
  23. I have come to gauge a person’s chances of success by whether they say they want to “lose weight” (50%) or if they wish to “loose weight” (10%).
  24. “Testing your willpower” by keeping unauthorized or trigger foods close at hand while you are trying to lose fat is just setting yourself up for failure. Out of sight, out of mind (and out of the house, preferably) is the best policy.
  25. The best workout and nutrition regimen is the one that you can stick with in the long run and enjoy while eventually producing the results you want.

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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. (dry) oatmeal, 1 c. Mandarin veggie mix
4. 1 unsalted rice cake, 1/2 T. all-natural peanut butter, 1/2 scoop whey, 1/2 c. soy milk
5. 4 oz. chicken breast, 3 c. Romaine and spinach salad, 2 T. FF Italian dressing, 1 corn tortilla
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 6 egg whites

Water: 16 cups

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

Calories: 1342 calories (47.9% carb/39.3% pro/14.8% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* YF Flexibility (15 min)
* FGX Upper Body/Chest plus 8 sets of shoulder exercises from Oxygen (40 min)
* Run (6.5 mph/ 0% incline/ 30 min)
* Walk (4.0 mph /0% incline / 12 min)

Calories burned: 498 calories

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DEFICIT: -832 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None

CAC W4D2: Grocery Bill #3

After work last night I swung by the local Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market grocery store and picked up the items I would need for the coming week. I still have (tons) of chicken breast in the freezer and enough raisins and eggs for another week, not to mention adequate supplies of oatmeal, peanut butter, and whey for a while, so I just had to replenish my fruit, veggies, soy milk and snack carbs.

The grand total for this week was $9.40.

:biggrin::claplow::biggrin::claplow::biggrin::claplow::biggrin::claplow::biggrin:

CAC Week 3 grocery bill

CAC Synopsis after 3 weeks:
– Workouts and meals continue to go as planned.
– I’m averaging 6.5-7 hours of sleep a night. (My usual sleep pattern is 6.5 hours, so this isn’t unusually low for me. I automatically wake up even on weekends with that amount of sleep.)
– I am down 6.2 pounds and around 2% body fat after three weeks of focused, consistent effort.
– Energy level is good overall, though higher intensity cardio such as running is noticeably more difficult in a fasted state compared to non-fasted afternoon cardio following a cheat meal day.
– Total amount spent so far, including gym fees, equipment, supplements, and food: $329.63
– Total remaining: $150.37 ($15.04/week)
– I haven’t had a day off from 12 hour work days since July 5.
– Average number of hours spent working (64) plus commuting (8) per week: 72

So all of you folks out there with regular 9-to-5 jobs who are still saying you don’t have the time or money to invest in your health…I have one word for you.

WHATEVER. :tongue:

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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. 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 and spinach salad, 1 T. FF Italian dressing, 1 apple (microwaved)
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: 1448 calories (47.6% carb/37.7% pro/17.0% fat)

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YESTERDAY’S WORKOUT

* YF Lower body (15 min)
* FGX Upper Body/Chest plus 8 sets of shoulder exercises from Oxygen (40 min)
* Run (6.7 mph/ 0% incline/ 10 min)
* Stationary Bike (level 3/ 86 rpms / 20 min)

Calories burned: 687 calories

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DEFICIT: -915 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)

BUDGET NOTES: None

TODAY’S WEIGHT: 134.0 lb (18.4% Omron)