As my toes touch the cold, white tile on the bathroom floor it snaps my groggy brain to attention.
There are many emotions swirling around in my Monday morning head— trepidation, anxiousness and very inquisitive.
It was the day to gather more information at the end of my 30 day personal experiment.
The creeks in my body softly whispered to me as I hinged over to pull out my Fit Index scale from under the shelf.
Two days earlier marked our wedding anniversary that included an unequaled dinner with my husband at the Sanford in Milwaukee and a festive family luau on Super Bowl Sunday. (Yep, we got married in Hawaii!)
It is safe to conclude that my tried and true nutrition habits over the last 27 days were interjected with a special night out and foods that marked our happy occasion.
The win here — both evenings were strategically planned out to mindfully enjoy indulgences while staying focused on my goals… (just as I remind my clients, I remind myself, progress not perfection
Our desserts at the Sanford were mind-blowingly delicious! 🤯
(Sugar, especially well executed chocolate, is my kryptonite.)
👇🏻 👇🏻 👇🏻
Real quick to circle around and give you some context…
…if you’ve been following along (you can read the original blog post here) — you know that I committed to eating a specific number of daily calories, and adding strategic weight training to my routine for 30 days with the goal of creating new consistent habits for body recomposition.
…and I’ve been sharing all my insights, breakthroughs and challenges along the way.
Success is defined as CONSISTENCY:
- to consume 1500-1600 total calories daily,
- 500 of those calories coming from protein (125 grams of protein daily), and
- Incorporate more strategic strength workouts for 30 days.
I was not looking for weight loss for this experiment, but rather body recomposition— a toner, leaner, stronger body.
On Sunday morning I wrote down other measures of my progress:
- Feeling fit, strong and lean.
- Nutrition choices have been the most consistent in years (hello Pandemic and moving into a new home, in a new state in the midst of it!)
- Physically stronger— able to press, pull and lift heavier weights than I have in over a year
- My favorite Kut from the Kloth Mia High Rise skinny jeans glide more effortlessly up my hips
So let’s circle back around to Monday morning’s weigh-in.
I’ll be totally honest, I did NOT want to step on top of that frosted glass, bipolar object… not today.
I declared I wasn’t seeking weight loss, but here I am having a mental showdown with this square object at 5:30am.
(We had a detailed conversation about my history with the scale in the last blog post.)
As I lifted my right foot, the mantra began “It’s just feedback Cassandra… it’s just feedback Cassandra…)
I decided to weigh-in for 3 straight days to gather more feedback.
My initial thought, disappointed.
At that moment, I felt the number invalidated my progress. I started at 125 and today, 127.
…I honestly expected the number to be the same but instead it was 2.4 pounds higher.
My nutrition coach and I had a useful text exchange later in the day.
He reminded me that the number on the scale is JUST ONE MEASURE OF PROGRESS and NOT a PRECISE measure of progress. I know this. But I am human too.
This is the exact reason I wrote down other measures of progress before my weigh-in.
(This is a useful strategy I also use with my nutrition clients).
For a couple of hours on Monday morning I allowed that number to dictate my mood and deflate the value of my consistency for the last 30 days. #beinghonest
That’s when my nutrition coach reminded me…
There is an amazing super power that lies inside ALL of us…
…it’s called SELF COMPASSION.
I am a STRONG, FIT, LEAN superhuman. I thoroughly enjoyed a very special anniversary weekend with my husband and family.
❤️ ❤️ This is a wonderful reminder for all of us to practice more self-compassion. ❤️ ❤️
3 GREATEST TAKEAWAYS I UNCOVERED:
1️⃣ I hit my CONSISTENCY GOAL and averaged 1518 calories each day.
YES, IT IS work on the front-end to plan out protein sources and meals but once they are planned, it makes it EASY to execute…
#PROTIP — Healthy eating can be simplified by planning and preparing. It eliminates the open ended question, “What am I going to eat?”.
And here’s the thing for me, consuming a consistent number of calories each day, anchored by protein, feels liberating.
I mitigated the ebb and flow of feeling bloated or puffy…
…AND this is validated feedback I receive from my clients when they establish more consistent eating habits anchored by protein.
2. I’m on the right path for strength training to achieve body recomposition goals (this will be work in progress for months to come)
Each week I added at least one more strength training session, (in addition to the small group training sessions and HIIT classes that I lead for Active Moms’ Club).
This new strength session is 20-30 minutes and most importantly, I’m working outside of my comfort zone, gradually increasing weight and reps in each session.
I will continue with this training schedule for the next 2-3 months.
Regardless if I do 20 minutes of mobility work for the day or ride hard for 75-90 minutes with Matt Wilpers on the Peloton — MY CALORIC BUDGET IS THE SAME.
Initially this was a challenge.
I have always given myself “permission” to eat more on longer training days, thinking I “needed the extra calories”. Nope.
👉 This is something many of my clients struggle with too. Exercise doesn’t give you permission to eat more. #weightlossbuster
I’ve learned that more calories are not necessary on longer rides BUT nutrition timing does become critical.
On days I ride longer, I consume more carbs before and after a workout and eat less fat.
It’s the reverse on strength training days; I crave more fat and less carbs. (Protein intake is always the same).
⭐️ ANOTHER USEFUL TAKEAWAY ⭐️
Our guesstimation was spot on believing 1500-1600 calories is MY MAINTENANCE caloric intake.
(If weight loss was the goal, this number would need to be less to create a caloric deficit.)
My daily caloric budget takes into account my exercise habits, age, lean body mass, metabolism (slower than what you’d think).
Additionally I’ve been intentionally walking outdoors every day this year to accommodate my less active winter days.
If I were 20 years younger, I could probably eat 50% more and maintain my same weight.
Perimenopausal life is real.
All around this was a useful, eye-opening and cathartic experiment. I enjoyed journaling about my experience and sharing it with you. I uncovered many things about myself and have reshaped some good nutrition habits.
Thank YOU for following along.❤️
I’ve already decided for the next 30 days, I’ll increase my protein intake by 20 grams, aiming for 145 grams each day.
This seems like the next logical step to achieve my body recomp goals at the young age of 51.
If you are regularly getting derailed by your nutrition, know that I am taking on a few 1:1 clients in the month of March.
Drop me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org with “I’m stuck”, and we can explore what working together can look like.
xoxo, Coach Cassandra