Track Me Tuesday: Week 5

December 30, 2014

I’ve missed the last 2 weeks of Track Me Tuesday posts due to holiday travels, but I have some big updates for you guys today! I finally had some consistent breakthroughs and am well on my way to Fitness Town 2015!!! I have no idea what that means, but it sounds promising.

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A quick explanation: each week, I check in with my coach on Friday mornings. I take progress pictures, measurements, and my weight, and update her about progress from the previous week. I then report Friday’s numbers to you guys on Tuesday. Since I missed the last 2 Tuesdays, I actually now have 3 Friday check-ins to update you on, so this is really 3 weeks of progress.

These numbers are all summaries of the last 3 check ins:

Weight: – 6 lbs – that’s right – six pounds!!

2 weeks ago: – 1 lb.
1 week ago: – 2.5 lbs.
this week: – 2.5 lbs. (this was the most shocking part – I was traveling all week, but stayed completely on point with meals and workouts over the holidays – PROOF!!)

This weight loss was really exciting for me, but not exactly unexpected. First of all, I had been at a plateau for a while, so was hoping for a breakthrough soon. Second of all, and more importantly, this weight loss was a direct reaction to a decrease in calories.

BEFORE YOU PANIC – READ ON.

There are a lot of different feelings in the fitness community and particularly in the high carb vegan community about reducing calories below a certain point. I share this concern and cringe whenever I see people on Instagram eating 1,200 calories per day. It’s almost certainly just not enough. When I say I decreased my calories, rest assured that I am still listening to my body very closely. If I’m hungry, I eat. I do not force myself to be hungry or use coffee or water as appetite suppressants. I was also very careful over the past 3 months to slowly decrease my calories a little each month and week by week so as not to shock my body into extreme deprivation. I am still eating LOTS of food and loving my plan! I don’t feel restricted and have found that my body has adjusted very well. I feel satiated – even full – after most of my meals.

Now, I know that there are still going to be people who say that this “calorie restriction” is not sustainable long term and will cause me to fall off the high carb vegan bandwagon. I have two responses to that. First, I likely will not have to maintain this calorie reduction forever. I can use it to achieve some major fitness goals I have, but as many know, what you have to eat to lose is not what you have to eat to maintain. Second, I have already been practicing a high carb vegan diet for a year, and have been vegan for two and a half years, so I feel very confident that I will stay on the bandwagon. If at any point I feel that I am having cravings or am unsatisfied eating a “calorie-restricted” diet, I will simply start eating more. Until that time comes, I’m gonna enjoy my body’s positive reaction to this change!

Measurements:

– .75″ bust
– .5″  hips
– .375″  waist
– .25″ right arm
-. .25″ left arm
+/- 0″ both calves

Everything is coming down!

My biggest breakthrough in the past couple weeks was seeing my waist come down below 29 again. I’m now happily sitting at just above 28.5″ after starting at 30.5. Nearly 2 inches down! 

Progress pictures: coming in a few weeks!

Tools for progress: Don’t be afraid to try what works for YOU. Forget what everyone else says. Do this workout, eat this many calories, drink this much water. None of it matters if 1) you’re not making progress and 2) your body doesn’t feel its best.

Choosing to reduce my calories was a tough decision for me. Not all of you will understand this, but if you’re in the high carb vegan movement or you come from a history of calorie restriction, you’ll understand why. But the reality was that what I was doing was not working for my body. A slight reduction in calories left me feeling a little hungry for about 2 days before my body completely adjusted, and I was completely satisfied. It allowed me to make great body progress, but also made me feel fitter and stronger and leaner.

Although I’m hoping to either do a fitness competition or a photoshoot at the end of this, this is not all about aesthetics. It’s about feeling lean, strong, and powerful. The reality is that with this extra weight and fat on my body, I don’t feel my best, and I want to (slowly and safely) make whatever alterations I need to get where I want to go.

This is NOT a quick fix. This is not a short term solution to a long term problem. It is a lifestyle change, and I’m loving it.

Strength gains:

Sprints: sprint for 10 minutes, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off – started at 8.0mph and worked my way up to 10mph!
Hamstring curl: 3 sets of 12-15 – 70 lbs., 90 lbs., and 100 lbs.!! I couldn’t quite get 12 – only got 9 and then had to drop
Bicep curl: 3 sets of 8-10 – now using the 40 lb. barbell instead of the 30 lb.

I’m not doing any traditional leg lifts right now. Any squats or dead lifts I do are part of a circuit or HIIT training, so I’m not sure where my strength is at, but I can feel that I’m getting stronger every day.

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How I’m doingGreat, obviously. I’m feeling great about the progress over the past 3 weeks, but I’m also being careful to not get wrapped up in it. Know what I mean? It can be so easy when things are smooth sailing to think “Wow! This is great!” Only to be met with a plateau or a weight gain the next week. I’m remembering that overall I’m making great progress. My body might fluctuate, but I’m trusting the process – it IS working. So regardless of what happens this week or next, I’m reveling in the glory of having conquered Christmas eating and traveling with a 6 pound weight loss and continuing decreases in measurements with increases in strength. Life is good right now, people :)

Stick to your goals. You may not see progress every day or even every week, but keep going.

Cheers,

Avocado Athlete

MIMM: Asics Gel Fit Sana

December 29, 2014

I’M BACKKKKKKKKK.

I spent the last week traveling home to the Midwest to see family and friends for Christmas. It was great to be home, although it was weird having no snow for Christmas for the first time in as long as I can remember. Let me tell you, though, getting up to go to the gym at 7am was a lot easier when it was only 45 degrees instead of 5.

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I did an awesome job staying on track over the holidays. I planned ahead to get all the food I needed to stay on track with my meal plan throughout the holiday week and just took along some vegan gluten free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and vegan gluten free fat free Banana Bread so that I could have a slice to enjoy “dessert” with my family each night. I joined an Anytime Fitness for their free 1 week trial so I could get my workouts in and even managed to drag my dad along to the gym for 2 of them. This was only the second time since beginning my fitness journey that I conquered the holidays and vacation with no problem, continuing the progress on my journey, but more on that for Track Me Tuesday!

Time to get down to the nitty gritty.

I do NOT say this lightly – the Asics Gel Fit Sana shoes, which were given to me for review, were a big part of my success this weekend. Let me explain.

1. Marvelous was arriving at the Boston airport in record time with almost no security line.

I got through security in less than 10 minutes and go to relax at my gate. I opted to wear my new Gel Fit Sanas for the trip because I had sampled them for 2 workouts, and they were incredibly comfortable. When I fly, I have to wear some kind of regular shoe (not a sandal) because my feet tend to get cold, but I also have another problem: I have low blood pressure and very poor circulation in my appendages. I need a shoe that will help keep my circulation good during a flight – snug fitting, but not too tight.

These shoes were perfect. They fit your foot like a glove. The shoe fabric is almost like spandex. They shoes don’t have a separate tongue – you simply pull the shoe on over your foot, and it hugs you tightly.

Bonus? They have great color options. There is a simple black and white options, but also pink, purple, and teal options.

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I looked the picture of health in my LuLu Lemon yoga pants, Asics Gel Fit Sanas, eating my rice and broccoli out of a tupperware while walking down the jetway :)

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2. Marvelous was forcing myself not to overpack and successfully fitting everything in a small carry on and backpack.

I always overpack, but I’ve really been working on it in the last year. This time, my bag zipped easily and was light enough to carry up and down stairs in the subway no problem! This was one huge reason I chose to pack my new Asics.

They are SO LIGHT. They feel like feathers in your hands and are quite thin, yet the bottom sole is super stabilizing. They were perfect for travel because I knew they’d make my luggage light and take up very little space.

3. Marvelous is sticking to your workout plan the entire time you’re on vacation.

Despite being in a new state, I planned ahead, looked up an Anytime Fitness, joined for the 1 week free trial, and hit the gym each morning before family time started. Previously, I would have given up my workouts for the week or half-assed some outdoor jogs. NO MORE. This time, I stuck to my workout plan given to me by my coach and did everything I was supposed to.

The Asics Gel Fit Sanas were again a huge part of this. I swear I’m not just saying this – they are one of the best shoes I’ve ever owned.

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If you lift, you know you want a shoe that is relatively flat on the bottom so that you don’t roll onto your toes when squatting or deadlifting (unless it’s a raised heel lifting shoe, but that’s another story). This is why a lot of very cushioned running shoes don’t work for lifting. They also often don’t work for plyo type exercises like skaters lunges, jump squats, lateral jumps, etc. because they don’t have a lot of side to side stability – only forward/backward stability.

The Asics Gel Fit Sanas were perfect for lifting and for plyo exercises. They were super light, but gave me tons of stability for side to side movements and heavy lifts.

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One caveat – I don’t think I can recommend these for running. Although I only warmed up in them, I found that they did not have enough cushioning for me. They are a quite minimalist shoe – not a barefoot shoe, but leaning toward that range – and I need more support than that for a even a casual 3 mile run. Warming up on the treadmill was fine, but any more than 5-10 minutes would have bothered me. That being said, I’m not running any distances right now, so the shoes work great for all my workouts.

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4. Marvelous is sitting in someone else’s kitchen with someone else’s dishes, drinking someone else’s fresh made coffee with someone else’s dogs cuddling by your feet, reading your book.

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Need I say more?

Was so nice to spend Christmas at my brother and his wife’s :)

5. Marvelous is arriving home from vacation after 2 flights (1 delayed), 1 shuttle bus, and 3 trains to your own Christmas tree and your Vitamix.

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Protein banana ice cream, a hot bubble bath, and some Christmas music were the perfect 1am treat before crawling into bed.

Happy Holidays everyone! And seriously – check out these Asics – you’ll like them. I had never owned a pair of Asics. I was a Brooks girl through and through, but now I’m gonna branch out a little!

Have you worn Asics before? Are you loyal to one particular shoe brand? Do you wear different shoes for different workouts?

Cheers,

Avocado Athlete

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of ASICS.