TT W19D5: Progress & Perfection In The Home Stretch

I am doing my outdoor walk now as I post via my Treo. I have to confess that workouts have been off or haphazard for about five days now, but I am ready to hit it hard through the rest of this Get Out(doors) challenge all the way through July 7. I’ve been working out without a real break for over three months now, and I think I just needed some time to let my body fully recover for a change.

Yesterday I wound up just taking an outdoor half hour walk with Chris around the neighborhood and was at maintenance level for food. I was clean but too high for a deficit – Not a horrible day, but definitely not getting me anywhere near my goal either. I went to bed determined to get myself back in line.

This morning I discovered that TOM had arrived two days early, which explains some of the evening carb cravings I have been feeling. Anyhow, I am not going to make any more asinine excuses for myself (justified or not) when it comes to my program. It is officially progress and perfection time again for me, and that is that.

I’ll be zigzagging my diet plan at 1450, 1450, and 1850 (including one cheat meal) on my three TT lifting days, and staying around 1250 (cries a little bit on the inside) on the other four days.

I’ll also be doing HIIT interval cardio for 20 minutes six days a week and an additional 30 minutes of general exercise of my choice on the non-TT days as recommended in the TT program.

Frankly, I know the dieting is going to suck in terms of hunger and lowered energy levels and performance in my workouts, but it is time for me to just commit to the diet portion of my cut, even if my workouts start to feel like @$$.

Speaking of workouts, I want to mention that this morning’s TT phase 4 workout A was pretty good after my 5 days of rest. I did front squats at 115 lbs, and for the first time ever I managed to do all 8 of my chin up reps for all five sets!

Funny thing–I brought my Omron handheld digital body fat analyzer to work today so one of my co-workers could check his progress. I designed a nutrition plan for him about two months ago–based on the standard of six small meals a day composed of ONLY healthy foods that he likes–that he has been following like a trooper, and so far he is down to 266 pounds from a starting weight of 289 pounds. Even better, his starting body fat percentage was 45%, and today he got a reading of 34%. He just turned 24 today, so his progress was a nice bonus. I think he will be at his goal of 5’11” and 180 lbs by his next birthday.

Anyway, after he checked himself, pretty much 3/4 of the guys in my office (which is nearly 100% male) came by my desk to get their body fat measured, too. The results ranged from 8.0% up to 34%. The average was probably in the upper teens to 22%. The guys pretty much hovered around waiting to see/hear each other’s results. It was pretty much like a competition.

None of the three women besides me in the building volunteered to try it. (Really says something about how differently men and women are psychologically-conditioned, doesn’t it?)

My reading was 20.2%–not bad for a woman, but still 5% away from my wedding day goal.

Which is why I put the Hotties Boston Creme doughnut that my co-worker had saved for me back into the box.

There will be plenty of doughnuts available for purchase AFTER I reach goal. I refuse to walk down the aisle with that doughnut stuck to my backside or triceps.


– TT for Women Phase 4 Workout A
A1) BB Front Squat (3×8 @ 115 lbs (up from 105 lbs last time)
A2) Chin-ups (3×8)
B1) DB Reverse Lunge (3×8 @ 40 lbs)
B2) Pushups (3x Max reps – 50, 40, 40)

– Outdoor Walk – 4 mph/25 min

– TT Intervals – Stationary bike (30 min – after work)

1) Dymatize Cocoa Oats ‘n’ more with 1/2 c. Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal
2) 1 banana, 1 tangerine
3) 4 oz. tilapia filet, 1 c. asparagus veggie mix, 2/3 c. cooked brown rice, 2 T. salsa
4) 2 rice cakes, 1 T. peanut butter
5) 4 oz. chicken breast, 3 c. spinach/lettuce/tomato/onion salad, 2 T. light French dressing
6) 1.5 scoops protein powder, 2 c. spinach raw spinach

Supps: 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600+D, 3 fish oil caps, 1 serving l-glutamine, 2 servings BCAA

5 thoughts on “TT W19D5: Progress & Perfection In The Home Stretch

  1. Hey Maggie- your calories seem to be dropping really low…are you not concerned about running into the same problem of decreased metabolic efficiency (for the long-term) that you’ve encountered in the past and worked actively to correct? I can sympathize with the need to adjust calorie intake when a plan isn’t getting you where you want to go, but is it not possible for you to increase your energy expenditure and keep calories higher (you know, the ole G-Flux)? I suppose you are also working under time constraints, so this might not be feasible. Another option is to keep calories higher, but experiment with adding quality protein and removing ‘unnecessary’ carbs (like, no or only one serving of grains, no fruits). That’s tough to do, but it might serve your body better in the long term, because it’s going to be a b**tch to get down to %15 and then have nowhere near the metabolic efficiency to maintain that.
    I just always get concerned when I see folks dropping their intake that much in the interest of arriving at a place (a weight, a bf %) where they are not going to be stay. What’s the point? Are goals such as bf percentage important in and of themselves, or are we interested in having peak-functioning bodies and enjoying our lives? Just a (verbose) thought. But good luck with it all!

  2. Hey Kristin – Thanks for your concern! At the moment, due to my work schedule (I am on two separate game titles with one going into alpha soon–which means 12 hour work days 6-7 days a week plus an hour and a half of commute each day on top of that) I won’t be able to significantly increase my exercise volume unless I want to give up sleep. I am only going to do the plan above (which averages out to 1400 calories/day) for 4 weeks, not an extended period as I did in my initial BFL challenge. After 4 weeks of careful adherence, I should be close enough to goal to go back to my gradual cutting average of 1700-1800/day.

    To be perfectly truthful, I KNOW I won’t be able to sustain that diet for much longer than 4 weeks anyway now that I am used to so much more.

    As for the reduction in starchy carbs–I’ve been more or less only doing one starchy meal (breakfast oats, PWO) for the past several weeks already and my protein intake is in the 38-44% range daily, which comes out to 155-180 g per day, more than sufficient for lean mass retention. From previous dietary experiments, I have confirmed that I am a riceburner genetically, so going fully off my oats or low-carbing makes me completely catatonic and nearly braindead at the office, not to mention grumpy about my crappy workouts and extremely reluctant to perform cardio of any kind, 20 minute intervals included.

    So consider this a limited, 4-week finishing gambit which will be followed by a very careful and FULL return to maintenance at 2200-2400/day. Every once in a while I just need to challenge myself like this–just to prove that I still have the drive and fortitude to do so.

  3. Hi Maggie,
    From my experiences and watching yours, it seems that as the more and more conditioned we get (meaning we women), it gets harder and harder to lose weight. You know what I’ve been doing for the past three weeks, right? But, my weight has not changed and in fact, it even went up a lb! I have lost an inch off my waist, but nothing anywhere else. However, what can I really expect in three weeks? I don’t have that stubborn of a metabolism and neither do you, but what I think is that our bodies are harder to budge because we’ve come to the upper threshold for muscle mass and close to our lowest body fat (after 20%, the fat just doesn’t melt off at the same rate as if you were 25 or 30%).

    By the way, did I read that correctly that you’re going to do 6 days/week of 20 min HIIT sessions? Wow. You’re the hardcore one! :barbells:

  4. Maggie,

    Ran across your site by accident. Great pictures! It’s very cool to see how you progressed and what you did to get there.

    Men and women’s bodies definitely behave differently in many areas, but one thing that’s the same is the need for hard work, discipline, and drive. What you have accomplished is quite admirable and I appreciate the inspiration.

    Like your friend at your work you mentioned that was 289, I’m at about 295 right now (crested at 311…CRAZY I know! {sigh!}) and am working to make this the downhill run towards 275, 250, 225 and finally 200. I’m not sure my body type would work well at 180, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there :o)

    Just wanted to say hello and wish you well in your wedding and marriage…CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Also, much luck with reaching your goal weight and of course, above all, maintaining a strong, healthy body.

    Take care, and keep sweatin’ (except during your wedding of course! ;o)

  5. Maggie- yeah, only for a month reassures me, lol. I think i’ve trained myself to look at diet plans labeled ‘1200-1400 calories per day’ as the ladies-magazine-eating-disorder-harbinging enemy. like, the number ‘1200’ enters my head and I’m in full decrying mode. that just says a lot about my own history with eating.

    cassandra, i know what you mean. my own personal inner war is waged with measurements, however. i can be changing in every respect (except that i don’t own a scale and never track my scale weight)—-my body fat measurements, my appearance in photographs, but there are certain tape measurements that do not change. ever. like my waist doesn’t go below just under 27″, even when I’m 13% bf. argh. when you get to that point, you kind of have to say, ‘f**k the fitness models—-we’ve got a short torso, self. ‘

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