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End of Phase I - Initiating Phase II Sequence

Monday, April 23, 2012

Okay, so phase I is over. Somehow I managed to make it through and not miss a single workout. There were a few things I couldn't do (roman chair knee/hip raises, for one), but for the most part, I stuck through and I've seen some definite improvement in my all-over body shape.

Measurement Changes:
Neck: 14.5 - 14.5 = no change
Waist: 45 - 44.25 = .75 inches lost!
Hips: 55 - 54 = 1 inch lost!
Bust: 45.5 - 45 = .5 inch lost!
R Thigh: 25.5 - 25 = .5 inch lost!
R Calf: 20.5 - 19.5 = 1 inch lost!
L Calf: 19.5 - 19.25 = .25 inches lost!
L Thigh: 24.5 - 24 = .5 inch lost!
L Upper Arm: 14 - 14 = no change
R Upper Arm: 13.5 - 13.75 = .25 inch gain
Under Boobs: 42 - 42 = no change

So, basically, my sides are starting to even out a bit and I gained 1/4 of an inch on my right bicep, which I didn't think was necessary, but all in all I lost a total of 4.25 inches in just four weeks. (Actually I last took those measurements on 4/3, so it's really only been 3 weeks for that loss.)


Starting Weight (3/26): 308.4
Ending Weight (4/22): 300.4
Total Loss: 8 pounds

That sounds all fine and good, until you see the rest.

(3/26): 308.4
(4/1): 300.6
(4/8): 303.4
(4/15): 308.0
(4/22): 300.4

And today we're back up to 301.0, so yay! *sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm*

This, my friends, is what a plateau looks like for me. It's not straight shot...I get to play the yo-yo game. I hate yo-yos more now than I ever did before (and to think, as a kid I could never get the thing to come back up...now I don't WANT it to!).

So, what's going on?
Well, the first couple weeks I was eating around 1400 net calories.
It wasn't until halfway through week 2 that I upped my calories a bit more to try to "save" that third weigh-in. If I hadn't upped my calories on the weekend, I would've been closer to 305.
Then I started sticking around 1800-2000 calories. And that worked for a little bit. A very little bit. Until about Wednesday of this past week when BAM! once again, I saw that even though I was sticking to my calorie goals and workouts, my weight started rising again. I had to up my calories again. *sigh* I'm not proud of the few days I had there, but I broke the cycle again.

This isn't working for me. I'll be upfront, flat-out honest. Somehow I've taught myself to undereat Monday through Thursday and then overeat Friday through Sunday. Sorry, but that does not help me mentally. I feel like crap each weekend because I'm eating crap food just to try to get my calories up.

Like I said on my main page - I've been fat pretty much all my life. Age 5 was when the problem started to arise. I know what the trigger was and I'm not going to harp on it here (because people think it's crap to "blame" your weight gain on other people, but I have my own feelings about evil people teaching evil eating habits to children who are forced - yes, FORCED - to obey or risk bodily harm, and thus learning that overindulgence is actually a good thing --- but no one wants to hear that because they think it's my way of excusing my past behavior and yadedadeda...blargh!). Fact is, I had no problem in the past overeating, but that's easy enough to do with calorie dense, nutritionless food. When you're eating whole grains, lean proteins, small amounts of healthy fats and tons of veggies? Yeah, well, you never realized how hard it could be to get 2000 calories eating the right way until you try.

And throughout my years of being a fat kid, I was forced into Weight Watchers and nutrition and fitness classes. Had a person there ever showed me how to eat the RIGHT way and then made my parents cook the foods I needed, well, you might be talking to a very different person right now. But those classes were a show. And they taught you dieting shortcuts. And I have dabbled in the fine art of eating disorders from time to time. But never...not ONCE...did anyone ever tell me to EAT MORE. NEVER! I swear I would've gotten more praise for anorexia than I would have from eating the RIGHT AMOUNT of healthy, nutrient dense foods.

So now that we're moving on to Phase II, I'm reading a bit ahead about calorie counting with the LiveFit program. And once again I'm seeing words that simply don't compute with the years of training and conditioning I had as a child. Eat MORE, exercise less, but harder.

Here's the LiveFit calorie counter snippet:
Up to this point, the focus with the meal plan has been to consume adequate calories to support your weight training goals. Moving forward, it will be necessary to determine a specific calorie range to increase your fat burning potential while maintaining your hard earned muscle.

Follow this simple formula to determine the number of calories you should consume moving forward, using the foods included in the meal plans:

1. Multiply your goal weight by 10 to arrive at your baseline.

2. Add between 200 and 500 calories to determine the ideal calorie range that will support the rest of your Phase Two and Phase Three workout routines.
(So, for me, that would be 110 (lbs) X 10 + 200 = 1300 and 110 (lbs) X 10 + 500 = 1600).

3. On rest days and lighter days (arms, shoulders, abs), eat in the lower range (1,300 calories). On heavier days (chest, legs, back), eat in the higher range (1,600 calories).

4. Once we arrive at Phase 3, the lower number will become the starting point for the carbohydrate cycling we'll do!

Source: www.bodybuilding.com/fun

So let's do some calculations, shall we?
My current goal weight is 230 pounds.
(I honestly toyed with this number. I don't think it's reasonable for me to reach for 177 or even 190 right now, especially with the problems I've been having as of late. 230 was the number set for me a long time ago which should put me around 30% body fat. It may or may not be right, but it works for me because it seems more reasonable in my head. But I still wondered - did she mean your eventual goal weight, or your goal weight for the program's end? Whatever, I have one number and one number only - 230 pounds should put me closer to a goal of 30% body fat. And I care more about my body fat % than I do that stupid number on the scale. I've learned to put little stock in that silly little machine on the floor.)

So if I take 230 x 10 = 2300
Then we add +200 and +500 = 2500-2800, respectively

So on heavy days (back, chest, legs) I should eat 2800 calories.
On lighter days (shoulder, abs, arms) I should stick to 2500 calories.



Confession: It feels VERY, VERY wrong. Where's the deficit? How the hell am I going to lose any weight eating nearly 3k calories a day?

Confession: I do NOT get how this is supposed to work, because it goes all the training and conditioning I've had from age 5 to age 30. "Eat less, exercise more = lose weight."

Confession: That BS I just said hasn't been working for me for MONTHS. So what the hell, right? What do I have to lose? Except more weight if it works. If it doesn't, I really won't be any worse off now than I've been on this dizzying yo-yo of a ride I've been on for the past few MONTHS.

Confession: *pouts* How the hell am I going to eat that much food?

So, here we go. An experiment to end all experiments.
One that tests the basic boundaries of my beliefs and understanding.
One that challenges all of the "it's as simple as..." diet techniques I've learned from age 5 on.
Wasn't it Einstein who said that Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Well, time for me to be insane enough to try something different and see where it gets me. I have a feeling I'm not going to spend one minute of this week being hungry.

The only thing I keep telling myself is - we're about to add cardio anyhow, so maybe that will make up for what I overeat. (But it's not really overeating, is it? *sigh*) Time for me to stop thinking and start doing.

I may have to start eating every 2 hours instead of 3 just to fit it all in. Especially today, because I slept late. (Another reason I've been forcing the morning workouts is so I can get all my food in before bed.)

So this is what my day looks like today:

Breakfast (6am)
6 egg whites, 1/2 cup oats, 2 Tbsp. homemade peanut butter and a dash of xylitol
McDonald's large coffee - 3 creams, 2 Splenda
(468 calories)

Snack 1 (9am):
1 cup FF cottage cheese with SF jello mix and 4 cinnamon swirl protein bread squares
(385 calories)

Lunch (11:30am):
Chicken Zucchini Burger on WW sandwich thin with mustard, and a large salad with lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing with 4oz grilled chicken
(489 cal)

Snack 2 (2:00pm):
1 cup brown rice, 7oz grilled chicken with green beans and stewed tomatoes
(500 cal)

Dinner (5:00pm):
4 Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
(320 cal)

During/Post Workout (6-7pm):
1 scoop of Xtend Watermelon
2 scoops Body Fortress Chocolate
1 large banana
(433 cal)

Evening Snack (9:00pm):
7 egg whites, 1 large mushroom, 1/4 cup 2% cheddar cheese
(205 cal)

In bed by 10pm.

Total Calories: 2800
Macros: 243g carbs (34.7%), 52g fat (16.7%), 321g protein (45.9%)

Workout tonight includes the following:
Wide Grip Overhand Pullups (I'll be doing Smith Machine Body Rows instead) (3 sets of 10)

Bent Over Barbell Rows (3 sets of 8)
Seated Cable Rows (3 sets of 8)

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns (3 sets of 10)
One-Arm Dumbbell Row (3 sets of 8)
Hammer Strength Lat Pull (3 sets of 10)
Hyperextensions (3 sets of 8)

30 minutes of Cardio at moderate pace (probably on the bike)

I'll be lifting nearer 85% of my max, resting longer between sets if needed and trying to get the most I can from each set. On the cardio, I'll be watching my foot to ensure I don't worsen it again and I'll get off after 20 minutes if 30 seems like it will cause serious pain to the PF.

I think it's about to get interesting, folks.
Stay tuned!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SUGIRL06
    I really stuck with this comment: Confession: It feels VERY, VERY wrong. Where's the deficit? How the hell am I going to lose any weight eating nearly 3k calories a day?
    Not for me now but for my sister. She is a higher weight than me (200+) and always argues with me when I give her calorie ranges that I calculate using BMR and such. She never wants to eat that much. It is hard to wrap your mind around but you've gotta do it!

    And I have no idea how you will eat that much. I eat almost exclusively all natural foods and every night, I'm always left with like 400 calories (luckily for me, I can leave up to 500 calories and be safe still) but I have no clue how I would eat 2500 calories a day minimum! Eat a lot of avocados... and nuts.
    3296 days ago
    I don't really agree with the calculation of calories, because it should be based on where you are now and not where you want to be. If someone that weighs 200 lbs wants to be 110 lbs (let's say they are short and 110 lbs is a healthy weight), then the calculation would be between 1200-1500 calories and that is way too little for a 200 lb person. However, you are a bit more realistic to have 230 lbs as your target, and the calories you need for that is about the same as the calculations I use (15-20% deficit from maintenance) .
    Anyway, I do understand that it's strange to eat more to lose more fat, but that's just it, you want to lose fat, not muscle, and if you don't eat you will lose muscle and that actually makes you more fat, even if you weigh less. I commend you for embarking on a new way to try something different. Too many women are scared of eating more!! Have faith because it works!!!
    3299 days ago
    I hope this works for you--it does go against everything we "learned" about losing weight (eat less + move more = loss), but we also know from hard experience that it's way more complex than that. Eating more frequently to get the calories is the only way to do it right; good luck!
    3299 days ago
    The change in food scheduling sounds smart - it should make it easier to get all the calories in although it seems like a challenge, doesn't it?

    I'll be following along your Phase 2 until whenever I can get there myself!
    3299 days ago
    P.S. you'll be happy to now with the intro of cardio, You will likely be hungrier during Phase 2. That's your body telling you that you need more fuel from the workouts!
    3299 days ago
    Hey Esther, I feel ya with how hard it is to get enough calories while eating clean. But please please do- and read more on SparkPeople about starvation mode- 1400 calories is Not enough for your current frame, regardless of what eating plan or exercise you are getting. Your body has been panicking.
    If you want some help or ideas, go check out DiVeGoddess' blog- she is a tiny woman but all muscle, trying to pack on more. She is around 2600 cals a day and shares her daily diet- all clean. Embrace the avocado!

    Regardless of these challenges- you are doing GREAT! Its a big lesson (for all of us) to learn after years of bad habits- particularly the "diets" we've been conditioned on. This is learning healthy eating for life. Not calorie reduction for weight loss and then going back to eating crap when we're 'done'.

    Keep it up! We are all pulling for you!
    3299 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7009225
    Laughed all the way through this! Not at you! But with you! Yeah. When my gym said I wasn't eating enough at first I was thrilled. But then they suggested 2500-2800 and I thought they were crazy. Do they know how much food that takes? i remember on day 1 texting them and saying that in as of dinner time I would have to eat 18 eggs in order to get all the protein in they wanted and their response was, "Yep." I opted for another protein. I eat 5 times a day, every 3 hours, and have to--no, choose to--eat a protein pudding of my own making (6 oz greek yogurt + 34 grams chocolate whey powder) every evening as my snack. It's the only way I make it! Thanks for sharing your plans for day 1 of phase 2. Sharing ideas is great! And congrats on the loss, mine looks the way yours does too--if that helps!
    3299 days ago
    That does sound like a lot of food, but you have a pretty good breakdown of carbs/fat protein (serioulsy 321g... impresive).

    I hope the cardio does okay on your foot. Cheering you on today!
    3299 days ago
    WoW! You do have to eat A LOT! I just upped my calories too... so right there with you with the whole "HOW THE HELL IS THIS GOING TO WORK!" thing. LOL

    Looks like you have a great plan, and you're working it~!
    I can't wait to see how it works out. I hope the weight starts sliding right off of you!

    I've got one more week of phase 1! SOOOO ready for cardio!
    3299 days ago
    WOW! That is a lot of food! 7 eff whites at 9pm? Ouch...Let us know how your day 1 ends up for you. Since you are trying this plan, at least to see how and if it actually works, i'm glad that what you are eating is all healthy foods rather than french fries and such from fast food restaurants. Good luck girl!
    3299 days ago
  • MAGPIE17
    Good luck, E! Hoping this works for you!
    3299 days ago
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