M&F W5D4: Whoa…

Last night my husband completely floored me by asking, “Do you want to go to the gym with me in the morning?”

o_O

Was that really MY husband who said that?

Apparently it was, because Mr. Sleepyhead actually got up this morning at 7 AM, pulled on his dust-encrusted workout gear, and started stretching and warming up in the living room. When we got to the gym, he even took himself off to the 30 minute express circuit and stayed actively occupied for the entire duration of my interval run on the treadmill.

I’m not sure what to make of it, but I hope he manages to keep it up for the rest of the year. Maybe Obama’s election and acceptance speech lit a fire under DH’s butt?

Regarding this morning’s run though…despite getting 7 hours of solid sleep and taking yesterday off from exercise to recover from donating blood Tuesday, I still felt like a slug on the treadmill. I kept my speeds the same as usual with 3.5 mph rest intervals and working intervals of 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, and 9 mph, but my energy level was noticeably low. The 5k this Sunday is going to be rough. 😉

I wound up signing up for an official race in Celebration by Disney with some other people from my company, but I will still donate an extra $20 to a local animal charity called RAIN (Rescuing Animals in Need). There’s a branch of Florida Hospital there that is offering free bone density, blood pressure, body fat, and other screenings after the race, all of which I am geeky enough to want to try.

I will still be sporting my own homemade PDB Charity 5k shirt, though! If I can find some time, I may even try to sew up a running skirt from that Jalie pattern Irene and I both have. Hers turned out so cute that I have been wanting to give it a try since the August Pink Dumbbells cruise!

=======================
TODAY’S EATS
=======================
1. 3 egg white omelette with 1/2 c. French cut green beans, jalapeno pepper slices, and 3 slices turkey pepperoni, 3/4 c. Total raisin bran cereal, 1/2 c. light organic soy milk
2. 1.5 c. chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and onions stew, 1/2 c. baked rosemary oregano sweet potato fries
3. 1 slice (1/6 loaf) Protein-fortified zucchini bread (Gourmet Nutrition recipe), 1 t. pumpkin butter
4. 4 oz. sauteed tofu, 1 t. chili paste, 1 peach
5. 5 oz. garlic and red pepper sauteed whiting filet, 1 c. green peas and green beans, 1/2 medium apple
6. 2 boiled eggs, 1/2 medium apple

=======================
TODAY’S WORKOUT
=======================
– Interval run – RCR 3 (30 min; 3.5 – 9 mph)
– 100 Push Ups Week 4
– Skate (30 min)

M&F W5D1: Muscle & Fitness Reboot

My six weeks of Red Carpet Ready are officially over, and I am resurrecting my 12-week Muscle & Fitness Hers program from earlier this autumn in the middle of week 5 where I left off on September 22. I still need to take final RCR pics and measurements, but overall I believe that my results on the program were above my expectations. More on my results and opinion of the program in my full recap and review Tuesday or Wednesday. My plan for the rest of 2008 is to finish up the M&F program as written, then switch back to one of Val’s RCR plans (probably Action Hero 1 and 2)

I was so thrilled to be lifting in the gym again today. If I have any gripe at all about the RCR program, it’s that I had to perform all of the circuits at home, which just doesn’t provide the same motivational vibe for me as being in a gym full of people (a.k.a. potential observers). I wish I could have done them at the gym along with my intervals, but my gym has that grippy, non-slip rubber flooring that is incompatible with the Valslides, with or without the felt covers. Planet Fitness is a no-frills place that doesn’t offer group classes (which I wouldn’t take anyway), so there isn’t a separate mirrored room with a slick hardwood floor, either.

It has been a long six weeks of gazing wistfully at the free weight floor from various cardio machines for me.

I got right back in the saddle with chest/shoulders/triceps using weights about 2.5-5 lbs lighter than what I was lifting 7 weeks ago to ease my way into the program. I have definitely lost some strength, but I think I will be back up to pre-RCR levels in two weeks or so. I was short on time so I performed my exercises in tri-set fashion with minimal rest. I was finished in 40 minutes–woohoo!

I have 30 minutes of moderate cardio or yoga and a push up workout to get in, then I am set for the day. Food through meal 5 is packed, all of the Halloween candy is long gone thanks to the juvenile brigands that run amok my neighborhood, and the airbrush tanning place on the way home from work is conveniently open until 9 PM. I’m going to see if they can spray some six pack abs on me for my final Week 6 Red Carpet Ready pics. 😉

Just kidding! Really!

=======================
TODAY’S EATS
=======================
1. 1 slice (1/6 loaf) Protein-fortified zucchini bread (Gourmet Nutrition recipe)
2. 1.5 c. chicken and broccoli with dried red peppers, 1/2 c. baked rosemary oregano sweet potato fries
3. 4 oz. sauteed tofu, 1 t. chili paste, 1.5 persimmons
4. 3 egg whites, 1 medium apple
5. 4 oz. sauteed tofu, 1 whole egg, 1 egg white, 3 c. salad with grape tomatoes, onion, iceberg and Romaine lettuce, and spinach, 2 T. low-fat Asian sesame ginger dressing
6. 1 chocolate peanut butter fudgsicle, 1/2 c. light soy milk

=======================
TODAY’S WORKOUT
=======================
– M&F Hers Chest/Shoulders/Triceps (40 min)
– 100 Push Ups W4D1
– NYC Ballet Workout (30 min)

RCR W6D2: Pink Dumbbells 5k T-Shirt Design

A few weeks ago I wrote about creating a do it yourself 5k race on November 9, 2008 in which you would pick the route and time of your 5k walk/run/skate/etc., then donate the $20 you would normally have to pay for an official 5k to a charity of your choice. Many of the current participants in the Pink Dumbbells Lean, Mean Halloween challenge decided to give this a shot as part of a mini-challenge thrown out there by Irene/eyeballrene to find and participate in a 5k on November 9, so I offered to come up with a downloadable t-shirt design that could be printed out on iron-on inkjet transfer paper and used to make our own semi-official race shirts.

Here it is (click here to bring up the full-size, high resolution version for printing on DARK iron-on transfer paper that does not require a reverse image):

PDB Charity 5k T-shirt design for DARK iron-on transfer paper

If you are using LIGHT iron-on transfer paper that needs to be printed with a mirrored/reversed image, please download from here instead. I recommend using the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer to print your t-shirt designs. Right-click on the saved image on your desktop, choose Open With… > Windows Picture and Fax Viewer > Click on the Printer logo > Choose 8×10 in. Cut Out Print.

Anyone who wants to participate is welcome to download the design to make their own shirts. If you do decide to join us in running or walking 5k around YOUR neck of the woods, I’d love to hear about the charity you decided to support and even see some pics of your DIY race shirts!

P.S. If you need help mapping a 5k route, check out MapMyRun.com, a site with free tools to plot and measure the distance of any course.

============================
TODAY’S EATS
============================
1. 3 egg whites, 1 medium Gala apple
2. 3 oz. raspberry chicken breast, 1 c. peas and green beans, 1/2 c. brown rice
3. 14g almonds, 20g raisins & dried cranberries, 1 tangerine
4. 4 oz. sauteed tofu, 1 t. chili paste, 85g baby carrots, 1 T. ANPB
5. 1 peanut butter protein popsicle, 1/4 c. soy milk, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1 c. green beans and bell pepper, 1/4 c. organic trail mix with seeds, soy nuts, dates, and dried cranberries
6. 1 whole egg, 1 egg white, 5 pieces chili radish

============================
TODAY’S WORKOUT
============================
* Outdoor HIIT Run (25 min; 15 second full sprint + 45 second jog/recovery)
* Outdoor Walk/Sprint (15 min)

RCR W6D1: Weekend in Review

I feel like I spent most of this weekend hemorrhaging money, and most of that went into food for me and DH or for the cats. I kicked off the weekend with a trip to my hairdresser Dante who helped me shed around a pound of hair. As always with short hair, this was a huge relief since it only takes a few weeks for my coarse, semi-wavy hair to go from cute and trendy to shaggy and poufy. Trailing itchy hair clippings along the way, I rolled out to the Asian grocery store (cheap $1.15 tofu, some frozen dumplings, and other staples of a Taiwanese kitchen), Winn-Dixie (cheap produce, shampoo, and sausage for more jambalaya), and Walgreens (Halloween candy, facial cleanser, and super deals on organic seed-based trail mix and raw almonds).

Then I took a break at the house to unload all of the frozen and refrigerated items and hit up my local library to get my early voting done. I had to wait about 15 minutes, but the process was relatively painless, and I feel so relieved that I have done my part as an American citizen.

I bought 4 bags of good candy for $5 to hand out on Friday. By “good” I mean “stuff involving chocolate, caramel, and nuts that I would love to eat myself” vs. “bad” candy like nasty Good ‘n’ Plenty, candy corn, cheap lollipops, and Sweet Tarts. I told DH that neither of us was allowed to bust open the bags until Friday evening when the first trick or treaters ring the doorbell. I feel pretty committed to getting my body fat down to 18% by 12/31, but even my willpower cannot withstand a bucket full of Snickers, Milky Ways, and Peanut M&Ms for 7 days.

On Sunday, I checked out the Maitland farmer’s market with a friend and wound up picking up a ton of fresh produce for just $7.75, including a huge head of Romaine lettuce, 8 large tangerines, a quart of mini purple eggplants, 2 ginormous red peppers, 3 green peppers, and 3 persimmons. There were also sweet potatoes for sale at very decent prices, but I opted to hold off until I could dig around in my yard and see if my own homegrown Vardaman sweet potatoes were ready to harvest first. Between listening to Skinny Bitch and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I am starting to become mildly paranoid about my produce sources, so it’s great to discover that there are three farmer’s markets within 10 miles of my house on the weekend. I’ll definitely be going again next week; I may even try the Winter Park market on Saturday morning.

I’m also somewhat tempted to try selling some of my homemade, protein-fortified granola cookies, bars, and red bean paste buns at one of these markets in the future…or convince my Dad to do a weekend Chinese beefy noodle stand.

After the farmer’s market, I stopped at Petco for some posh Pet Promise cat food (on sale) and canned Friskies for my feline kids since the store had kindly sent me a $5 off total purchase coupon. (I realized when I got home that it was more like $12 off since the cashier somehow rang up my 15 cans of cat food as just 2.) Miracle of miracles, I managed not to adopt another cat even though there was a totally adorable young one with white socks and a splotches of grey tabby and tan markings on it. It’s probably a good thing I’m not single anymore, or I’d be a total Woman With Cats.

Anyhow, two more stops on the way home at Michael’s Crafts for some paintbrushes for my Pony Project and at Publix for 58 cent chicken and some other groceries, and I finally got to go home and relax with some bulk food prep.

This week I am focusing on a tight diet and getting in my baseline workouts. My strategy for fighting the evening hungries is simple: Take myself to bed with one of DH’s Dungeons and Dragons books as a fast-acting sleeping aid. I am going to stick to just doing the RCR circuits on M/W/F and 30 minutes of intervals + 30 minutes of steady state on T/Th/F as much as possible. If I can get in a recreational skate or walk on circuit days, great, but I am not going to beat myself up if I cannot squeeze them in. As I’ve mentioned before, too much cardio makes me a very hungry girl, and at this point, I need to keep the intake under control if I want to get down to 139.x by next Monday.

Week 5 measurements and pics will be up tomorrow! I haven’t had time to download them from the camera and add them to my composites yet.

It is worth noting that my boobage has come down by 3″ since starting RCR from 36.5″ to 33.5″. This is my single most impressive area of loss. Alas, not even Valerie can keep the gals from leaving me when my body fat drops.

============================
TODAY’S EATS
============================
1. 60g oats and raisins, 1/2 c. spinach, 3 egg whites, 6 pieces chili radish
2. 3 oz. raspberry chicken breast, 1 c. peas and green beans, 1/2 c. veggie fried brown rice
3. 14g almonds, 20g raisins & dried cranberries
4. 4 oz. sauteed tofu, 1 t. chili paste, 1/2 c. spinach, 85g baby carrots, 1 T. ANPB
5. 3/4 Green smoothie (1 c. light soy milk, 1/2 c. cranberry pomegranate juice, 3/4 c. frozen spinach, 1/2 apple, 1/2 small banana, 1/3 c. frozen cranberries)
6. 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tangerine

============================
TODAY’S WORKOUT
============================
* Outdoor Walk (15 min)
* RCR Circuit B2 (60 min)

RCR W5D3: Free Action Hero Workouts

Celebrity trainer Valerie Waters whose Red Carpet Ready program I am currently following posted a pair of great workouts geared towards creating the Hollywood action babe look she gave to Jennifer Garner in Alias and Rachel Nichols who plays Scarlet in the upcoming G.I. Joe movie–lean and defined, but not quite as in-your-face powerful as a fitness competitor or Oxygen cover model.

These are available for free in her blog, and can be performed at home with minimal equipment: 5-10 lb dumbbells (mostly 10 lbs), a step or low chair, a stability ball, a pair of Valslides, and a fitness band. There is a “Valband” available for $4.99 at the same online store as the Valslides, or you can try to find one locally in the pilates section of your favorite sporting goods store. I also had good luck finding the Valslides themselves on clearance at my local Target for $12.48 including the covers and a workout card and DVD.

If you want to get a taste of what the RCR program is like, give these workouts a shot. Perform them three times a week in the following pattern:

Week 1
Mon: Workout 1
Wed: Workout 2
Fri: Workout 1

Week 2
Mon: Workout 2
Wed: Workout 1
Fri: Workout 2

For best results, throw in 20-30 minutes of interval cardio on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and take Sunday off.

============================
TODAY’S EATS
============================
1. Green smoothie (1 c. spinach, 1 c. Diet V8 Splash Tropical, 1 small apple, 3/4 scoop protein powder, 3 baby carrots)
2. 60g oats and raisins, 3 egg whites scrambled with 2/3 c. spinach, 1 peanut butter protein popsicle
3. 1.5 c. shrimp and chicken jambalaya with 1/2 c. brown rice
4. 15g walnuts, 20g raisins
5. 5 baby carrots, 1 T. ANPB, 1 small apple
6. 3 oz. Oriental sesame chicken strips, 1 c. peas and green beans, 3″ Subway Chicken Pizziola sub oh whole wheat with extra veggies (~220 cal)
7. 3″ Subway Chicken Pizziola sub on whole wheat with extra veggies (~220 cal; Worked late night at the office–will count as this week’s 2 cheat items)

============================
TODAY’S WORKOUT
============================
* RCR Circuit B2 (60 min)
* Outdoor skate (30 min)

RCR W5D2: Five Important Lessons From The Simple Dollar

Technically, this blog post at The Simple Dollar is about personal finance, but if you replace the finance terms in each one with the appropriate exercise or diet equivalent, it can be applied just as easily to the journey toward fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

Here are my slightly modified versions of the author’s wise words.

1. Every time you opt for an unhealthy meal or blow off a workout, you sacrifice a bit of your dreams.

I’m sure we all know someone who has been trying to lose weight for years but for one reason or another never follows through because they let their immediate desire for a brownie or a break from exercise overshadow their ultimate goal of being healthy and fit. Maybe that person is looking at you from the mirror. 😉

As Zig Ziglar said, “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.”

I know that it isn’t always easy to do what you know you are supposed to do — pass up the junk food and drinks and get up early (or stay up late) to exercise every day — but some degree of work and sacrifice really is necessary if you want to rise above the norm and not settle for the lumpy bod of the Average American. Just as it takes discipline and commitment to save money, score straight A’s in school, or become skilled at your chosen field, you have to be willing to put in the sweat time and say no to the extra calories with consistency to make it to your goal.

Jiggle-free thighs and rock hard abs aren’t ever going to be handed to you!

That leads us to point #2:

2. There is no such thing as a magic bullet when it comes to fat loss.

Despite what the infomercials and check-out line magazines try to claim, there is no quick fix outside of cosmetic surgery with a fat-sucking vacuum for love handles, belly fat, saddlebags, double chins, saggy butts, bat wings, muffin tops, chub rub, moobs, or any other problem spot of your choice. You simply have to suck it up and WORK for it…and then you have to keep on doing that exercise and healthy eating stuff for the rest of your life if you want to keep it.

‘Nuff said.

3. My lifestyle and eating habits weren’t nearly as healthy as I believed them to be – and neither is anyone else’s.

Yes, it’s true. Before I started my first Body for Life challenge in 2004, I used to think that I made pretty good choices at the dining table. Sure, I knew I needed to move my body more since I had a sedentary desk job, but I figured that I could at least keep my weight at an acceptable level since I was eating well. 😉

Behold my idea of a healthy day of eating in 2003:

  • Breakfast: Big bowl of Raisin Bran cereal (~2 cups) with 1 c. skim milk
  • Lunch: Whopper Jr. with no cheese; BK side salad with Catalina dressing
  • Snack 1: Pack of Starburst or candy bar from the vending machine at the office or a handful of candy from the ever-present candy bucket on my co-worker’s desk
  • Snack 2: Small bag of chips from vending machine
  • Dinner: Beef or chicken and veggie stir-fry with 2 c. white rice
  • Snack 3 (if still hungry): Another bowl of cereal

Erm…yeah. That was my idea of healthy back in the day. 😛 About the only things I did right were eating every few hours, adding a salad to my lunch, and maybe dinner, but I thought I was doing pretty well compared to my peers.

4. Fitness isn’t just for rich or naturally skinny people – it’s for everyone.

There seems to be some kind of persistent misconception amongst the currently unfit that being active, in shape, and strong is something achievable only by those with enough money to pay for expensive gym memberships and personal trainers or the lucky few who were born with the sort of genes that allow them to think about performing a bicep curl while eating a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s and instantly sprout muscle and lose 1% of their body fat.

This, of course, is utter nonsense. Anyone can take (cheap or free) steps to improve their diet and start an exercise program. I’m not telling you to curl soup cans from the pantry — How utterly useless is THAT favorite nugget of advice from women’s magazines? — but you can certainly perform EFFECTIVE bodyweight exercises like squats, push ups, dips, one-legged deadlifts, and planks in the privacy of your own home, and the last time I checked, cardio exercises like jumping jacks, burpees, running, walking, and dancing were all free, too.

Don’t feel too embarrassed if you suffer from this delusion. Until I was 21 years old and had my attitude about this forcibly corrected by 8 weeks of basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, I thought exactly the same thing.

5. Success is a choice.

This one is the biggie.

Getting into shape and staying that way is, like everything else worthwhile in life, something YOU have to make the decision to do as a mature, functioning adult in our society. Yes, it was probably easier when you were a student and participating in team sports. Someone else guided your training and scheduled your exercise. You just had to show up and work. The same could be said about my time in the Army — morning PT was just something I was expected to do as part of what the Army called “soldier readiness,” and someone else was in charge of planning it. Now that we are out on our own without those external structures to force us to work out, it is up to us as individuals to CHOOSE every day to do the right thing when it comes to diet and exercise if we want to succeed.

You can whine until you turn blue about poor genetics and try to put the blame on the manufacturers of calorically-dense junk food, the lack of outdoor parks and activities in your city, and the video games, TV, and Internet that are turning us all into myopic, sedentary blobs with atrophied muscles…but it still boils down to personal choice in the end. You can choose to take on the deconditioned, overweight mantle (and accompanying health issues down the road) that modern 21st century life in the United States is ready to lay across your shoulders, or you can choose to get off your butt for just 30 to 60 minutes per day, learn how to cook some tasty, healthy eats, and start reminding your muscles, bones, and lungs what they were meant to do.

It’s up to you.

============================
TODAY’S EATS
============================
1. 15g walnuts, 20g raisins
2. 1.5 c. shrimp and chicken jambalaya with additional 1 c. peas
3. 2 chocolate peanut butter protein popsicles, 5 baby carrots
4. 2 slices firm tofu, 1 t. Szechuan chili paste, 1 small apple, 1 T. ANPB
5. 3 egg white/1 whole egg curry scramble with 1 c. spinach, 1 T. ketchup
6. 4 oz. tilapia with 1 T. SF apricot preserve glaze, 1 c. green beans and Brussels sprouts

============================
TODAY’S WORKOUT
============================
* HIIT Run (Afterburn-style 3.5 & 8.5-10 mph; 30 min)
* Stationary bike (Lvl 8; 15 min)
* Elliptical (Lvl 7; 15 min)

RCR W5D1: Now or Forever?

Why do so many women fear the reading on the scale or a lack of dramatic progress in their photos?

Is it because, despite what our mouths say about this being a permanent lifestyle change and not a temporary diet or quick fix, deep inside we still cling to the belief that all of the exercise and clean eating changes really ARE just for 4, 6, 8, or 12 weeks, after which we can go back to being like everyone else?

If this is the case, no wonder some of us are so focused on those numbers! We only have a few weeks to reach our goals before we go back to lackadaisical cardio twice a month and daily visits to the vending machines and office candy bucket! The magic Fitness Fairy has only transformed us into empowered, active, clean-eating dynamos for a limited period of time. When the calendar strikes 12 weeks, our gym memberships and cottage cheese are taken away, and we are turned back to normal.

Well, normal may be a lot of things these days, but those things don’t usually include being lean, fit, and able to rock any outfit of your choice without fear of the Muffin Top.

If we’ve truly embraced a healthy lifestyle of regular exercise and smart food choices, the scale and the camera lens should hold no terror for us because there is no deadline on our progress. We will be doing this for the rest of our lives, right? So what if we are up a pound or two today from a cheat meal (planned or unplanned, PMS, too little water, or whatever? If we keep on doing what we are supposed to do in the gym and the kitchen with integrity, eventually we WILL reach our goals. There is no time limit on fitness if our attitude is truly one of “Fitness is forever, not for NOW.”

Yes, a solid goal date is a good motivator, but I think that for some people who are more rules- and results-driven, the “X-Week Challenge” format can backfire a little because it puts pressure on them to perform to a certain standard within a certain time frame. Unfortunately, when it comes to individual human bodies and their willingness to drop the chub, things don’t always happen on a predictable schedule. Add to that all the crazy ways that a female body can retain water during the course of 4 weeks and the messed up emotional knots that so many women have tied between their self-worth and their weight, and you have a recipe for major anxiety.

As more of a process-driven, scientific personality type who sees weekly weigh-ins and photos as pure data to be used to tweak my program for even better outcomes in the future, all I can say to those of you who can’t stay so detached is this: Examine your true commitment to fitness and nutrition and be honest about whether you are just in it for 6-12 weeks or if you can envision keeping all of this up for the rest of your life.

Imagine that it is a year from now and you have achieved your goal physique. You are at a festive holiday party in a kickass cocktail dress and looking like a million bucks. What do you see yourself eating and drinking at that party? Are you indulging without limits, or are you picking out a few treats that you can really savor in moderation while sticking to the healthier choices for the bulk of your meal?

What about the next Monday when you are back to your weekday routine? Do you picture yourself getting up early and doing your workout before heading out to work with your lunch bag filled with pre-portioned clean eats that you bulk-prepared yourself the day before, or do you instead harbor a guilty (and unrealistic) fantasy of being able to effortlessly hang onto your exercise-sculpted, nutrition-trimmed body without doing any more of those very things that gave it to you in the first place?

As I said, be brutally honest.

If you have been hankering for that rainbow-filled maintenance nirvana where you can work your butt off for 6-12 weeks, reach your goal weight, and then go right back to the ineffective or nonexistent exercise routines and poor eating that made it necessary for you to take on a fitness/weight loss program in the first place, it’s time to face reality and accept that this is not in the cards for you if you want to hold onto your results. If you were one of those genetically-gifted wenches who can eat 50 pounds of fries, brownies, and ice cream in one sitting without gaining weight, trust me–you’d certainly know it by now, and you certainly wouldn’t be suffering from weigh-in or photo phobia.

Once you truly buy into this lifestyle as a forever thing, you can stop thinking of choosing healthy foods and working out as merely necessary evils — the tedious means to a finite end — and start enjoying the alertness, energy, and bounce that a daily workout gives you and the amazing variety of clean AND delicious recipes available to anyone with an Internet connection or a subscription to Cooking Light.

Learn to love the process itself, and the results WILL come.

============================
TODAY’S EATS
============================
1. 1 packet P90X Peak Recovery Drink blended with 1/2 c. frozen spinach
2. 60g oats and raisins, 3 egg whites scrambled with 1/2 c. spinach
3. 1.5 c. shrimp and chicken jambalaya with additional 1 c. green beans
4. 15g walnuts, 20g raisins, 5 baby carrots
5. 2 slices firm tofu, 1 t. Szechuan chili paste, 1 small apple
6. 3 oz. eye of round steak, 1 t. ketchup, 1 c. Brussels sprouts and green beans, 2 t. raisins, 1 protein popsicle

============================
TODAY’S WORKOUT
============================
* RCR Circuit A2 (61 min)
* Incline Walk/Jog (30 min)

RCR W4D7: Week 4 Stats and Photos

I think I did pretty well this week since PMS officially ended (no more random carb cravings at 8 pm). I stayed true to my diet, got in all of my workouts (even when I had to do them after a 13 hour day at work), consumed 5-8 servings of fruits and veggies daily, and averaged 7 hours of sleep per night. Water intake was between 12-18 cups per day. Hey, it’s not exciting, but it works. 😛

Other factors at work:

  • switched over to the RCR Weeks 4-6 workouts
  • modified diet slightly with lower carb choices on cardio days and higher carb choices on circuit days (still using Val’s RCR mix and match meal options)
  • added 30 minutes of moderate activity to circuit days
  • took out the home video workout option for my bonus cardio on interval days and stuck with “real” cardio – skate, bike, incline walk, elliptical, etc.

I have gone down in body fat percentage again, and scale weight dropped by 2.2 lbs since my last (bloated) weigh-in of 144.0. My waist, hip, thighs, chest, and lower abdomen all showed noticeable decreases, which is great, but I’m not as thrilled with the loss of shoulder circumference. It’s a good thing that I am putting in a heavy shoulder day for the rest of this contest! From my photos, I’d say that most of the girth is coming off from my side view. I just look less thick in profile now. My back view is starting to lean out slightly, but there is still quite a ways to go before my upper back and lower body look lean again. On the front–my quads are coming back into view and my suprailiac and abdominal skinfolds are decreasing weekly, which gives me hope that the abs will emerge in another two weeks.

I do think I have a very good chance of reaching my 138 pound goal by the end of this challenge if I keep on doing what I’ve been doing. The body fat % goal is VERY close already.

RCR W4D7 - FrontRCR W4D7 - SideRCR W4D7 - Back

Week 4 Measurements
(Starting measurements in parentheses; CHANGES indicated in BOLD)

Height: 5’6″
Weight: 141.8 lbs (146.4 lbs)
BMI: 22.9 (23.7)

BF% (7-Site Skinfold): 15.19% (17.68%)
BF% (Omron): 20.8% (23.0%)
BF% (Tanita scale): 24.5% (26.3%)
BF% (AVERAGE): 20.2% (22.3%)

Neck: 12.5″ (12.75″)
Chest: 34.5″ (36″)
Waist: 25.75″ (26.5″)
Waist – 2″ below belly button: 30.5″ (31.5″)
Hips: 37.75″ (39″)
Thigh: 23″ (23.5″)
Calf: 14.75″ (15″)
Bicep: 11.75″ relaxed / 12 3/8″ flexed (11 7/8″ relaxed / 12 5/8″ flexed)
Shoulders: 41″ (41.75″)

============================
TODAY’S EATS
============================
1. 15g walnuts, 20g raisins
2. Company potluck turkey fry lunch
3. (Optional) 1/2 Green protein shake: 1 c. light cranberry raspberry juice (40 cal/cup), 1 scoop protein powder, 3 baby carrots, 1/2 c. frozen spinach, 1 banana, 1/4 c. frozen cranberries

** TOO STUFFED TO EAT OTHER PLANNED MEALS **

============================
TODAY’S WORKOUT
============================
* Outdoor HIIT Run (BFL-style; 30 min)
* Outdoor Walk/Jog (30 min)
* Yoga (30 min)