Day 16/84 – Highs and Lows

This morning’s weigh in was 194.2 lbs so still hanging on to some of my weekend weight fluctuation but down 0.5.

The high for the day was my awesome eats! I nailed my macros to the tee and got to enjoy lots of yummy things. I just want to talk about weighing food out for a second. I used to think that was a little too fussy for me and I would measure the odd thing that was highly caloric but yesterday I measured everything down to the gram and tried to be as accurate as possible. Here’s what I found: I actually got to eat more food!

The difference was in using the actual nutritional information from the packages rather than using a generic option on myfitnesspal (the barcode scanner is so handy for that!)

By being more accurate in my calculations, I was able to add a little cheese and sour cream to my “taco bowl” and eat more rice with my Chicken Parmesan casserole all guilt free!

The low for the day, was my run. Again, really struggled and I know it’s not a fuelling issue. My feet and ankles felt very sore and it was a good reminder to stretch after every run! Anyway, I did what I could and walked on an incline for a bit. I’ll try again on Thursday!

Thanks all for today! Have a good one.

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XOXO,

H

Day 15/84 – How I am staying motivated!

This morning’s weigh in was 194.7 lbs, which means I had only a 2 lb weight fluctuation from the weekend fun. Each week it will be a challenge to keep that weekend weight fluctuation to a minimum but I’m going to keep trying!

This morning I had a good work out. I did my standard 10 minutes on the stair mill followed by 3 sets each of squats, walking lunges, chest press, flies, lat pull down and rows. Next week my workouts get switched up and I’m excited for some new exercises.

Eats included a whole wheat english muffin with 2 servings of olive oil Becel, my usual post-gym protein shake, spinach with a whole egg scrambled, 4 oz of ground turkey cooked up with low sodium taco seasoning, 50 g (before cooking) basmati rice, and a tomato and dinner was a Chicken Parmesan Casserole that I saw on Facebook served with another 40 g rice. I’m a little disappointed by how it turned out to be honest so I’m not sure if it is worth posting the recipe. The only plus side is that the chicken turned out to be really tender. The down side is that the cheese and panko really got lost in the mix so I feel like they are unnecessary calories in this dish. In the future, I might just braise chicken breast in marinara sauce. Anyway, stay tuned for an improved recipe.

Now that we’ve gotten through the regular business, I want to share with you how I’m staying motivated. What I’ve done is hung a dry-erase yearly calendar on my office wall. It is almost directly above my computer screen and I literally stare at it all day long.

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It’s tough to see, but I have outlined the 12 week period for this portion of my journey. (It ends on August 21, 2016). Each day I’m successful (as in I stay close to my planned meals and don’t binge) I cross it off with a blue X. Over time, this shows me how far I’ve come.

My goal for this period is to lose 30 lbs, my overall goal is to lose 50 lbs. At the bottom of the page, I have a line for each pound I want to lose and every time I step on the scale and I’ve moved to a new low whole number, I erase a line. I don’t add them back if my weigh fluctuates up a little because I want to be focused on always moving forward. I simply focus on the next time I get to erase a line. Each morning I get to cross of a day or erase a line is really exciting and having this always in my sight keeps me focused all day.

You can also see I wrote “Trust the process” as inspiration at the bottom. This is to remind myself that if you stay consistent and stay on track with the meals. The goal will come. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to be patient which isn’t always easy to do!

Please comment below if you have any questions on my motivation tactics or anything else I’m doing.

XOXO,

H

Day 9/84 – Healin’ for real this time!

This morning’s weigh in was 197.1 lbs so back in the right direction! I’m starting to feel hungry in between meals which is something I haven’t felt for quite some time. This leads me to believe I am starting to fire up my metabolism in all the right ways and that is very motivating to me! I went to the gym in the morning and completed my 5 km run. Again, I struggled. I didn’t quit, but it wasn’t easy and wasn’t the type of run I’m used to. I’m not sure if it is mental or physical but I’m hoping these struggles pass soon.

Last night to prepare, I did everything I could think of in my arsenal to help my legs feel fresh. This includes, lying with my legs up the wall, wearing compression socks and stretching.

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Next time, I might try an anti-inflammatory before I run and see if that helps. I don’t think I’m injured, I think my body is just having a hard time adjusting to the increased work outs. I’m also holding onto a lot of water right now which causes my legs and feet to swell. TOM is just around the corner and probably the culprit. I’m drinking a TON of water right now and my diet is pretty low in sodium (minus the sushi last week). Nonetheless, I finished the run and took the required post-workout swelfie! You can see how excited I look…

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Meals were on point for another day in a row! Menu was exactly the same as yesterday except instead of salmon I had 175g of cod.

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I also cut back the amount of salad dressing on my salad. I had the macros for 2 tbsp but found that was too much dressing! I cut it back to 1.5 tbsp and it was the perfect amount…it’s all in the details!

Overall, my attitude swings back and forth from excited for the future and sad about the past on almost an hourly basis. I am very proud of myself for sticking to this plan and feeling my feelings rather than self-medicating with food. I will admit, I’m a bit mopey and a little depressed right now but I really want to heal for real this time.

Looking forward to crushing another day tomorrow!

XOXO,

H

Week 2 Set up – Chicken Enchilada Bake

I’m going to give you a little insight into how I plan my weekly meals. Right now, I’m starting out at a 30% protein/30% fat/40% carbohydrate split and about 1500 calories per day. So how do I make this all work?

Step 1 – I pick a “featured entree” for the week. Background: I have tried to meal plan and eat IIFYM (If it fits your macros) several times. When I very first started, I thought I would make it easy and simply cook a bunch of fish, chicken, sweet potato, brown rice, etc. and then portion it out. What I found is that this diet plan was IMPOSSIBLE to stick to because the food was just too boring. I love to cook and I love to enjoy a satisfying meal at the end of the day so what I started doing is making one recipe per week and portioning it out appropriately and then fitting the rest of my macros around that. So far, it is much easier to stick to than your basic white fish, asparagus and yam mash up.

Step 2 – Plan the macros for a Monday. For this week, I decided to make Chicken Enchilada Bake so I entered all of the ingredients in myfitnesspal and plugged one serving into Monday.

Step 3 – Start building the rest of the week. After my first week, I was feeling a little backed up if you know what I mean so I really focused on adding digestion friend foods this week: more leafy greens and a little yogurt. I eat basically the same things for breakfast and lunch and then I can switch up the snacks to be more or less carbohydrate rich depending on the macros in the entree I have chosen.

For example, I always wake up and have a banana. This week, I found my protein a little low so I added an egg white to Meal 1.

Meal 2 is my post workout protein shake. Since my protein was low, I’m having a 0.75 scoop of protein powder instead of 0.5 a scoop.

Meal 3 is my standard 2 whole eggs and half a cup of egg whites plus I added a handful of spinach for some additional nutrients.

Meal 4 is a big leafy green salad made with baby spinach, swiss chard and kale, red pepper, cucumber and grape tomatoes. I’m adding 2 tbsp of my favorite salad dressing Jamaica Mistake for a hit of fat, but I can adjust the amount of dressing to fit my macros. If my fat is really low, I can add some avocado.

Meal 5 this is my main entree meal, Chicken Enchilada Bake.

Meal 6 is my yogurt snack just before bed.

It’s a bit of work to do this and it takes a bit of planning but trust me, it is so worth it.

From there, I build a grocery list:

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And when I get home from grocery shopping it is time to get prepping!

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So here’s how I make my Chicken Enchilada Bake. It makes 4 servings with 39 carbs, 16 fat and 31 protein per serving.

The ingredients:

  • 20 oz of boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock (enough to cover thighs in a skillet)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • pinch cumin
  • jar of green mexican chili sauce
  • corn tortillas
  • 2 servings of light cheddar cheese

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In a deep skillet, soften the onion and garlic for a few minutes on medium heat. Add the chicken thighs on top of the onions. Add chicken stock to cover the thighs. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the garlic powder (small palmful), chili powder (two large palmfuls) and cumin (just a pinch for me) and bring to a simmer. Simmer partially covered until chicken is cooked through and easily breaks apart with a wooden spoon. Remove lid and turn up heat to cook off the rest of the liquid. Continue to reduce the liquid down until very little remains.

In a baking dish, add a couple of table spoons of the green mexican sauce to the bottom of the dish and spread around. Layer four tortillas over the sauce. Add the chicken mixture next and top with four more tortillas and then poor the remaining mexican sauce all over the top. Top with the grated cheese and bake at 425 for about 30 minutes.

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Serve with light sour cream and shredded lettuce.

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Delish! Enjoy! Let me know if you try it.

XOXO,

H

Day 5,6 & 7/84 – Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

Hey all!

I made a huge rookie mistake. I didn’t really plan my weekend very well and I’m coming away feeling like it wasn’t as successful as it could have been. There were no major blunders, just not the tight, focused eating that I’m going for right now. The result was major weight creep:

Friday: 196.9 lbs

Saturday: 198.9 lbs

Sunday: 199.5 lbs

I know that this is water retention because I ate some sushi on Friday and Saturday…that darned soy sauce. I was very careful not to go over my calories for the day so I know I haven’t gained actual fat, but it can be very discouraging to be working so hard and see that nothing is happening. “Be patient”, I tell myself.

In order to recap my weekend, I will have to use the photos from my phone!

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Saturday morning started out with a visit to my friend’s farm where one of my horses is currently boarded. She had a lesson on him with her coach!

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Next was a sweaty run. I had 7km planned but only managed 4km. My legs felt terrible and I had NO energy. More on what I’m planning to do about this in a bit…

After the gym, it was time to get ready for my friend’s birthday party at the Trading Post Taphouse. I enjoyed a flight of beer and the Braised Short Ribs. Both delicious and well worth the cheat meal.

Sunday was all about getting ready for the week ahead. I went grocery shopping and meal prepped my heart out.

On Sunday evening, I went to a hot yoga, candlelight relaxation and deep stretching class. I’m hoping this stretching will alleviate some of the fluid build up and heaviness I’m feeling in my legs while I’m running. When I was training for my first half marathon, I found that hot yoga was the only thing that kept me going. Let’s see if this is what it takes to get my runs back on track!

Next post will be all about my Sunday Set-up and a delicious macro-friendly Chicken Enchilada Bake.

XOXO,

H