10/19/07 Log: Lazy Weekend Plans

139.4 again today. Meals 5 and 6 were a bit carbier than usual, though. I am going to chug water and stick to a late evening meal of a peanut butter protein shake tonight and see what happens in the morning.

I swapped out my Friday and Saturday workouts to give my chest and back a rest after yesterday’s pushup blitz. My ARMPITS are sore after those 225 pushups, if you can believe it! I did do forza this morning with some semblance of competence after a creaky start (who knew you needed muscles in your armpits to raise a wooden bokken over and over?), I am happy to report. I love swinging that sword around!

Meals are packed and there is enough bulk-prepped roasted chicken breast, veggies, and brown rice to get me through the whole weekend.

No major plans this weekend besides the UCF 2-miler on Sunday (one of my goals) and a lot of reading. I have a huge stack of books from the library waiting for me! About 6 of them are fiction (I’m on a dark fantasy kick right now with Laurell K. Hamilton, Lilith Saintcrow, Charlaine Harris, and Simon R. Green, and I also have Terry Pratchett’s latest Discworld novel, Making Money), but the other two are fitness/diet related: The New Rules of Lifting by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgove and You: On a Diet by the authors of You: The Owner’s Manual.

Oh, and I need to finish sewing the two dresses I am planning to wear in LA next weekend. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we won’t have to work this Saturday or Sunday.

While I am on the topic of sewing, I have to own up to a minor slip in my 1-year ban on purchasing any new clothing-related items. I picked up Vogue pattern V8465 from the VoguePatterns.com free pattern promotion for $3.18 (s/h) this week. It’s an extremely dashing asymmetrical coat pattern that would be perfect for one of those two bolts of garishly pink boucle’ suitings I got on clearance earlier this year.

Vogue 8465

Boucle suiting

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WORKOUT
=================
– Forza (60 min)
– Walk (15 min)

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NUTRITION
=================
M1: 30 g raisins, 30 g oats, 2.5 oz. chicken breast
M2: French toast and scrambled eggs (2 slices Nature’s Own Wheat ‘n’ Fiber bread, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, about 2 T. of light soy milk), 1/2 c. sauteed spinach, and 1 T. honey
M3: Pineapple soy protein smoothie
M4: 3 oz. lime and honey roasted chicken breast, 1/4 c. (dry measure) brown rice, 1 c. mixed veggies
M5: TBD (Might be cheat meal)
M6: Chocolate peanut butter protein shake (Optional. This meal may be skipped if M5 is larger than expected.)

Bittersweet is the day…

…on one’s fat loss journey when the favorite pair of unforgiving, non-stretch AG jeans slides on comfortably with nary a sign of the aesthetically-unpleasing and physically-uncomfortable muffin top when seated…

😀

…But all seven of one’s vitally-necessary size 34B Champion Shape sports bras start to feel distressingly loose in the cup area.

🙁

10/18/07 Log: You can call me Ms. Spartan, thank you.

139.4 lbs this morning pre-workout. 138 is just around the corner as long as I stick with my workouts and meals. It’s good to be consistently under 140 again after 6 weeks fluctuating between 141-144. (I have a whole calendar month of weigh-ins to prove it, too!) It’s taken a while, but I am definitely in fat-burning mode now.

I am also back in the saddle with my AM workouts today. This morning I did a combo run and pt workout from Military.com:

Spartan Run
1. Run 1 mile
2. 100 pushups in as few sets as possible
3. 100 crunches
4. Run 1 mile
5. 75 pushups in as few sets as possible
6. 75 crunches
7. Run 1 mile
8. 50 pushups in as few sets as possible
9. 50 crunches

It took me 40:18 minutes, including about two minutes of stretching after the first circuit. No breaks otherwise. I averaged 9:30 for the 1-mile runs, so that was where most of the time went.

Last night I used my cheat item slot on M6 at work. I had 4 chicken wings from the Wing Stop take out order at the office as a protein/fat portion with two potato wedges and 2 celery sticks.

Was it worth it?

Hells yeah!

All other meals were as planned.

Speaking of planned meals, I built and printed out a eDiets 1400-1500 Calorie Eating for Life Menu which I aim to try next week. I chose entrees that appealed to me from a taste standpoint and which used seasonings and ingredients that I already have on hand at home. My eDiets plan is set for 1400-1500 calories per day, and the recipes are automatically calibrated to fit into that range. I originally joined eDiets a few years ago when there was a great annual membership deal going on because I wanted access to the recipe generator, but I confess that I haven’t actually used that feature very much. I primarily hang out on the site’s Ultimate Challenge forum where about two dozen teams compete in 3 week long challenges to meet their stated exercise minute and weight loss goals.

I tend to default to my own collection of recipes from about five different healthy cookbooks, but I’m going to give the eDiets meal plan a fair try starting Sunday. You can download the full menu with recipes and a shopping list if you want to play along.

======================
WORKOUTS
======================
– Spartan Run (40:18 min)
– Walk (15 min)

Spartan Run Workout from Military.com

I found this rather scary run/calisthenics workout in an article on The Best 20 Minute Workouts by Stew Smith on Military.com:

Spartan Run
1. Run 1 mile
2. 100 pushups in as few sets as possible
3. 100 crunches
4. Run 1 mile
5. 75 pushups in as few sets as possible
6. 75 crunches
7. Run 1 mile
8. 50 pushups in as few sets as possible
9. 50 crunches

I have a final, boring 30-minute run from the Runner’s World 5k training plan scheduled for tomorrow. Call me crazy, but I think I will take the opportunity to give this workout a go instead. I’ll still be getting in 30 minutes of running if I do the running at my slow jog pace of 6 mph.

I’ll let you all know if I throw up afterwards.

😉

10/17/07 Log: In Praise of Slow Fat Loss

139.6 lbs this morning again! This may be my new set point, LOL.

What’s really great is having the scale barely move at all but still feeling and seeing your body getting firmer, smaller, and leaner in clothes and photos. Realistically, I know I will need to be in the 130-134 range to achieve my body composition goal of 15% bf, but I would much rather hit goal at a higher scale weight just because that would mean I have more lean mass overall.

I seem to be losing at a very gradual rate of 0.5-0.75 lbs per week during this challenge, but that’s all right. I am eating more than I have in previous cuts (probably between 1600-1700/day, honestly), but they are clean, filling calories from foods I enjoy, so I don’t feel deprived, restricted, or resentful. When I feel like I need extra carbs, I let myself have them while adjusting calories elsewhere to keep my deficit around the same place every day. I don’t use my 5k run training as an excuse to blow my deficit every other day. The Runner’s World beginner’s 5k schedule is NOT that strenuous — Workouts are only 30 minutes long — so there is no justification for more calories.

Confession: I don’t *want* dramatic 2 lb drops every week. I want REAL fat loss with as much lean mass retention as possible, not the instant gratification of “losing” 2 pounds of temporary water weight. This sort of fat loss doesn’t always follow a -1 lb/week schedule, especially when I am already pretty fit beneath these few pounds of post-wedding fluff.

(Mind you, SLOW fat loss is not the same as NO fat loss. If you are stuck at the same scale weight but NOT seeing any reductions in body fat percentage or girth measurements, you need to reassess your program.)

My left knee was feeling a bit odd yesterday before and during my run, so I opted out of the planned morning FGX leg workout today and did 30 minutes of Plyo X instead. With my genetics, even walking, running, and jumping produces hypertrophy in my leg muscles, so I feel that plyometrics is a fair substitute for heavy weight training on occasion. I’ll get in the remaining 30 minutes when I get home tonight.

Breakfast is down the hatch along with 4 cups of water. I’ve got the rest of my meals packed, including a new lunch entree–WW French Toast with scrambled eggs and spinach–that I cannot wait to inhale at 1 pm.

Depending on whether or not I have to work late tonight, I may be having a cheat meal at Crazy Buffet with DH and my parents. We’ll see….

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WORKOUT
============
– Plyo X (60 min)
– Walk (15 min)

10/16/07 Log: Nuked Pumpkin Protein Muffins

I was running late this morning so my planned 30 minute run and 15 minute incline walk will happen this afternoon (if they haven’t changed the gym lock code at my former apartment complex near work) or tonight. I am almost looking forward to it now that my endurance is back up and I have a few less pounds to cart around. Besides, evening runs are so much easier than fasted AM ones. The energizing effect of 5 clean meals is very noticeable when you are doing strength workouts or harder cardio like running.

I just wish my gym was open 24 hours!

Breakfast was on plan and the rest of my food is packed. I miss my protein pops though and need to get more SF pudding mix soon to make more of them. As a temporary fix, I am trying my old microwave protein muffin recipe with canned pumpkin and butter toffee whey, which seems promising–veggie, oats and protein all rolled into one. I also have a big shaker bottle loaded up with two servings of light soy milk, vanilla protein powder, and some cocoa powder; this is a GREAT chocolate milk substitute that can be chugged down quickly as a snack when combined with either 1/2 oz. of nuts or a serving of fruit.

It’s still shorts and t-shirt weather down here, but I’m looking forward to some cooler days when I’ll be able to do a 30-minute walk (2 loops around the office complex) during lunch without arriving back at my desk in a pool of sweat.

This is still a work in progress, but here is an approximate recipe for a microwaveable pumpkin protein muffin:


Microwave Pumpkin Protein Muffin

– 4 T. ground oatmeal (I grind mine up in a regular blender)
– 4 T. vanilla protein powder
– 1/4 t. baking soda
– ~ 1/4 c. canned pumpkin
– pinch of cinnamon to taste
– 2-4 T. water

Optional ingredients: nuts, raisins, ground flax seeds, etc.

1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a 2-3 cup glass
or ceramic container (I use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup.) Plastic
causes the mix to heat up too quickly and overflow.

2. Microwave the mix for 2 minutes on high. The “muffin” will climb
the sides of the container like a souffle’, so you might want to put a plate
underneath it.

3. Wait for the muffin to cool and deflate to normal size.
Ignore the lopsided look of the muffin and dig in. Enjoy!

Nutrition stats for the basic muffins (without pumpkin) are: 166 calories, 17g carb,
18.5g protein, 2.9g fat (1.1g sat fat), 2g fiber

===================
Workout
===================
– Run (30 min)
– Incline Walk (15 min)
– Walk (30 min)

My Supplement List

Something I haven’t discussed very often in the past is the use of supplements in my nutrition and training routines. Generally speaking, I do not go for the super-expensive, unproven supplements pushed by the fitness magazines and GNC stores. I definitely do NOT use any “fat burners.” My daily supps are pretty much limited to a multivitamin, fish oil, calcium, and whey protein, which I sort of consider a food product. The rest of my list is comprised of optional items that I only use on occasion and often will not replace for a while after I run out.

I am with Tom Venuto and Craig Ballantyne on the subject of sports supplementation beyond the basic vitamins–if you aren’t already 95% of the way to your goal by dint of exercise and nutrition alone, throwing your money down the drain by loading up on a dozen mysterious, unregulated supplements isn’t going to get you there either.


DAILY SUPPLEMENTS/VITAMINS

1) CVS Multivitamin

CVS Spectravite Advanced Formula Tablets (250 TB for $9.44)

– (Daily) I take one of these daily without fail. It’s a basic store-brand knock off of the Centrum multivitamin. I pick these up whenever CVS runs a sale. Wal-Mart also carries a Centrum-like multivitamin at a good price.

2) CVS Calcium 600D

CVS Calcium 600mg + D (400 capsules for $7.69)

– (Daily) I currently take only one calcium + D capsule a day with breakfast, but I plan to add a second capsule in with my lunch or dinner meal since I do not consume much dairy in my regular diet.

3) Kirkland Fish Oil

Kirkland Signature Fish Oil Concentrate Soft Caps (400 soft caps for $8.99)

– (Daily) These capsules are 1000 mg “Concentrated” Fish Oil w/300 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Sold by Costco). I take six fish oil capsules a day: 2 caps at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ve had noticeably better skin and hair since I started boosting my Omega-3 intake last year.

4)
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Dymatize Elite Gourmet Vanilla Whey Protein (5lbs for $29.38)
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– (Daily) Very neutral in flavor, not fabulous on its own, but is a GREAT mixer for fruit shakes and smoothies. Add your own baking cocoa powder to get a chocolate flavor.

5)
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Dymatize Elite Rich Chocolate Whey Protein (5lbs for $29.38)
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– (Daily) FANTASTIC all by itself with icy cold water. You know that hot cocoa flavor beloved by all chocoholics? Well, this powder has it, and there is no noticeable “whey” aftertaste. My favorite so far!

6)
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Dymatize Elite Berry Blast Whey Protein (5lbs for $29.38)
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– (Daily) I mixed this one with 8th Continent Light soy milk and got something very much like a slightly thickened, yummy Strawberry Yoohoo drink. I waited for the usual fake fruit flavor migraine to kick in after drinking the shake, but it never developed. Excellent if you like a fruity shake.


OPTIONAL/OCCASIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

7)
MRM Digest-ALL 100% Plant Enzyme (100 capsules for $12.25)

– (Optional) I don’t use digestive enzymes daily anymore, but I do keep them around for meals that I know will be heavier or loaded with starchy carbs or unusually high amounts of protein. From past experience, I can tell you that one or two of these before a high protein meal (or chili!) can really help control what one of my fellow Pink Dumbbell forum members likes to call the “protein vapors.”

8 )
MRM BCAA+G 1000 Lemonade Flavor — 2.2 lbs (1000 g for $48.99)

– (Optional) This is definitely classified as optional for me. When I am cutting, I try to take a serving of BCAAs before and after a weight lifting workout. Theoretically, BCAA supplementation helps to prevent the loss of muscle when your calories are restricted. I don’t consider this a must-have unless you are pretty advanced and already eat 100% clean and hit all of your workouts. If you aren’t doing those things, the benefits of supplements like this are negligible.

9)

NSI L-Glutamine Powder — 4,500 mg – 1000 grams (2.2 lbs for $27.99)

– (Optional) If I’m starting a new lifting routine, I’ll add in a serving of l-glutamine powder with some water or my last shake of the night to help with recovery and to minimize the delayed onset muscle soreness that comes from working my muscles in a new way. This is an optional supplement as well, and absolutely not necessary to get results.

October Champion $19.99 Sports & Everyday Bra Sale!

Championcatalog.com

Just when you started to despair over the lack of reasonably-priced, well-made, and passably-attractive sports bras, the $19.99 sports bra sale at ChampionCatalog.com has rolled back into town! ALL of their sports bras are on sale for $19.99 each for a limited time, so head on over to check out the new styles. “Everyday” bras and tanks with built-in sports bras are also included in this sale.

As always, if you aren’t sure about which style is right for your figure, give their Sports Bra Selector a try.

Men’s Champion Double Dry wicking sportswear is also on sale for $14.99 and up, though this is not nearly as exciting to me. 😛

Shipping is $5.95 for orders up to $100, and free if you are picking up over $100 worth of bust-stabilizing gear.

Honestly, it’s times like these that make my 1-year vow to not buy any off-the-rack clothing except socks rather hard to bear.

:: sniffles ::

UPDATE: (Many thanks to commenters keyalus and Heather for this tip) Enter the code NCSUTEAM at checkout and you get an additional 20% off PLUS free shipping on any order!