Food scale and women talking

Healthy Challenge Week 16: Honesty Makes Me Hungry. But Does It Work?

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Let it be said that I despise counting calories, hate weighing and measuring food and loathe all means of formal dieting. Let it also be said that after I gained two pounds in one day (between my last post on May 10 and the following morning), I decided that I need to count calories going forward.

As soon as I start, though, I immediately feel food panic. I obsess over food until I settle into it (which is usually several weeks in, when I start feeling/seeing results). But with my goal of losing 1.2lbs this week quickly upped to 3.2lbs (the weight I’d gained overnight, plus the 1.2lb goal I’d set in my last post), counting calories is my only hope.

Assuming that most of the two pounds was water, I decided to focus on what it should take to lose 1.2lbs per week, which would be a deficit of 600 calories a day from what I need to maintain my weight. (My Fitbit guesstimates that I burn an average of 2,400 calories daily, but I’m guessing that’s high, so I’m starting with the assumption that 2,100 is my actual burn.)

So, to lose 1.2lbs weekly going forward, I’d need to keep calorie intake to 1,500, and/or burn more calories. I’m going to focus on watching calories, because clearly, that’s my downfall (and between my current workouts and Ella walks, there really isn’t more time for exercise anyway).

Here’s how it went in Week 16:

May 11: We have a dinner party tonight, so I’m trying not to eat most of my calories during the day but I also don’t want to overdo it tonight, either. Yeesh. I got my last Shaun T/CIZE/You Got This workout video in for the week, that’s six days, yea!

May 12: Happy Mother’s Day (belated, by the time you read this), for whomever and all. Of course, I ended up eating more than I’d wanted to last night and although I was pretty good at Mother’s Day brunch, I ate a big dinner out with Scott, too. Ugh.

May 13: Not a pretty weigh-in this morning, but I knew the weekend would be rough and I was mentally prepared for it. What I wasn’t prepared for was getting weighed again when I went for my yearly dermatologist appointment. Ugh!

Why does a dermatologist need my weight??? Totally unfair (I was fully dressed and had wood-soled clogs on and bracelets and rings and my Fitbit and a hat and had already eaten breakfast and had my coffee and…). It was the highest reading since I was a sophomore in college (when I reached my heaviest weight ever in my life). Dang!

Moving on. I started my third Shaun T/CIZE workout this morning. When I start these, my calorie burn is usually the lowest because I spend half my time trying to figure out if and when and how to move my feet while my arms do their own thing altogether.

True to form, I had a lower-than-usual calorie burn for this new routine, which is set to Lose My Breath (originally recorded by Destiny’s Child). Still and as always with these so far, it was totally fun. If nothing else, these last couple of weeks have taught me that I’ll make progress each day, which means I’ll also likely up my calorie burn. And as Chalene Johnson of Turbo Jam fame once said, even mistakes burn calories.

So far, I’ve been tracking calories in MyFitnessPal but starting today, I’m going with my Fitbit for that, too. It seems like it should be easier to see the calorie differences that way. We’ll see if that helps.

May 14: Decent day all around. I’m really challenged by this new Shaun T/CIZE routine, but I was able to put more energy in today and burned about 40 more calories. Then, I did a 30-minute strength workout (Turbo Jam Live). Foodwise, I did all right, too, though I was hungy much of the day, even though I made a point of eating a high-protein breakfast, which usually keeps me solid through lunchtime and then some.

May 15: My digestion’s been sluggish the last few days, which is odd but I think is because I haven’t had enough water (I’m behind my normal intake and with the way I sweat through CIZE, I need more and haven’t gotten that, either.) I’ll work on that today.

Along with that, my weight’s the same today as yesterday, when I think it would otherwise have budged. But I know I’ve been really good with tracking calories and working out, so I’m hopeful that by Friday morning, I’ll have reached this week’s goal. And, another fun workout, starting to get it a bit, although it may take me a few extra days to get to a point where it looks like something of a dance routine.

May 16: AAAAARRRGGGG!!! Weight’s up this morning. Seriously, could this be any more boring? How can it be that I’ve battled the same ridiculous three pounds for 16 weeks????

Ate pretty well overall, really trying hard to track everything. I meant to exercise early this morning but was worried about the (work)day getting away from me, so I waited until the afternoon. By afternoon, my energy was flagging, so I decided I’d do the first video in the series (Crazy 8s) to see if I was any better at it now that I’m all of 2.5 weeks into CIZE. No more rhythm, no more soul, but fun again, nevertheless. Tomorrow, it’s back to the third video (the one to Destiny’s Child).

May 17: Woohoo!!!! I made my goal, even with the extra two pounds that I had to peel off! Yahoo!! Granted, these things are often fleeting, but it’s given me the hope I need to keep going, with just 12 weeks left in the challenge.

So, does this mean that counting calories works? So far, I’d have to say, yes.

{Photo by from Pexels, thank you!}

{Note: These are my own experiences with holistic healing and a whole slew of self-experiments and aren’t meant as medical advice for anyone else. But, I know a lot of friends and family members are grappling with a huge variety of autoimmune issues and other ailments, so I’m happy to share my experiences. And if this is your first visit and you’d like to follow chronologically, click here. Otherwise, enjoy!}

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