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Six Week Challenge- Day 1

Okay so here we are! Welcome! First, let's talk about food. 

I'm making a point of this challenge not including a diet, but rather a mindful, reasonable, sustainable approach to eating and nutrition. The goal is not to lose weight (that's a welcome bonus!) but to make sure that I am fueling my body in a healthy, ordered way. That being said, I am okay with the goals being a little nebulous. This IS a realistic challenge, and being flexible is always good. 

My initial goal was to make one better choice at every meal. But I wanted to take that a little further. 

I've been using MyFitnessPal as part of my fitness journey to track my calories on and off for years. After my son was born, it helped me lose 16 pounds of baby weight. I had it set to "lose 1 pound per week", which gave me 1480 calories to eat per day- and it actually worked. However, that stopped working for me almost as soon as I hit my goal weight. And it started coming back. (Discovering that I had a newly developed palate for craft beer certainly didn't help either!)

Some research on Google led me to understand that MyFitnessPal was notorious for underestimating caloric needs. My guess is that underestimating my caloric needs for several years has done a number on my metabolism. I found this highly accurate Metabolic Calculator, and plugged in an average rest day. Sure enough...

So basically I've been starving myself. Okay! This actually aligns with what my Fitbit has been telling me. I've worn it for a few days now, and even on my laziest days, it still says I am burning about 2000 calories. 

 Now that I know how many calories I am burning, I decided that I am aiming to eat 2000 calories/day for at least a couple weeks to reset my metabolism. I suspect that this will be difficult to get used to- I've gotten into a routine where I eat sparingly throughout the day, and then sit down on the couch at night with dinner and a drink and just go to town. (Come on, don't act like you haven't been there before!) For the next six weeks at least, that's about to change.  

What I Ate

This is a typical breakfast for me- a bucket of espresso with 2% milk and one cube of sugar, and my version of a breakfast burrito. It's a veggie burger/sausage (lazy protein), a slice of cheese, a handful of greens, and a squirt of sriracha (I'm a hot sauce fiend) on a small flour tortilla. It takes about two minutes to prepare and it's reasonably healthy, which is why I eat it almost daily. Mornings are always a rush so it's either I make one of these, or I am at the drive thru. 

Lunch- Steamed pork and veggie dumplings with half an avocado. 
Dinner- I had roasted a chicken and root vegetables last week, and still had a ton of leftovers. I stuck those in a pie crust, poured some cream of chicken soup over it, topped it with more pie crust, and boom! Chicken pot pie. 
Snacks- I have traffic court later today, so I know I will have to pack a couple of snacks in my purse for afterwards. In fact, I will probably have to be packing snacks all the time now! I am obsessed with graze, so this shouldn't be too difficult to manage. I have a friend code for graze if you'd like to try it! 
EDIT: On my way to traffic court, I suddenly found myself ravenous. I knew I would be there for a few hours. Unfortunately the city I was in is a bit of a food desert, so the closest food option was Burger King. I had a Whopper Junior, with zero regrets because it was delicious. 


Some thoughts on Booze

So as I talked about last week, I like to drink. I know that if I were to set a goal of no alcohol for six weeks, I would likely not accomplish that. Some would argue that that's an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, and that's their opinion. I know myself, and I know my personality. If I deny myself something, I will eventually binge on it. I certainly CAN go six weeks without drinking, I just don't want to. If I set a goal of not eating turkey sandwiches for six weeks, all I will think about is turkey sandwiches, day and night, until I eat a dozen turkey sandwiches. 

So let's set a more sustainable goal, shall we? 

After realizing that I wasn't quite sure of what my goal of drinking "less" should actually be, I did a little research. The numbers varied from source to source- the CDC and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism  both define moderate alcohol consumption for women as one drink per day (two for dudes). However, Moderate Drinking has this to say:

"There is agreement in the scientific community about what defines "moderate drinking." It's no more than 3-4 standard drinks per drinking episode, no more than 9 drinks per week for women and 12-14 for men. Also, moderate drinking means limiting how fast you drink and, as a result, keeping your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below .055 (.08 is the DWI limit in all states in the U.S.)."
And then I found a very interesting article from Pacific Standard that argues moderate drinking actually increases your life expectancy, so that's cool.
Anyway, let's average that all out and set a reasonable goal of two drinks per day. A glass of wine with dinner, and a night cap afterwards. Sounds good to me! 
EDIT: I had two bottles of my absolute favorite beer ever, Pumking

Starting measurements! Remember, these are just for reference. 

  • Height 5'5" (obviously, this will not change!)
  • Weight (cringe) 165 my highest post baby weight. 
  • Neck 13.5"
  • Bicep 11.75"
  • Bust 37"
  • Waist 33.5"
  • Hip 43.75"
  • Thigh 24.25"

I was curious what my body composition actually is, so I calculated my Body Fat Percentage

This calculator puts 27% in their "acceptable range", which is in between "fitness" and "obese". (For shits and giggles, I also calculated my BMI at 28, which is in the middle of normal and overweight. BMI is also total bull because it does not take muscle mass into account, so I am not taking much stock in that figure.)

I am hoping that eating right and getting moderate amounts of exercise will bring this closer to "fitness". I am not happy about the way I feel right now. I love my body, and I am proud of the fact that this body brought another life into the world. But I have not been taking care of myself the way I should. I am excited to take better care of myself! 


I will have to get this done before traffic court this evening, so I will be updating this post later. EDIT: Three mile run/walk around town, with a little sprinting at the end. I also hit 10k steps for the day, so that's cool. 


Why do these stupid things keep going sideways? Top- Target C9, leggings are Lineagewear Wild Rose (discontinued), sneakers are Mizuno Wave Paradox


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