Weekly Weigh In: Week 17

So my weight loss is officially stalled.  It’s been two months now of almost no weight loss.  I’m frustrated because I feel like I am eating probably 85 % on plan and I thought that would be a manageable place to still see some, albeit slow, weight loss without being that person who is a pain to hang out with or go out to eat with.

I truly don’t get it.  I thought I would be down ten more pounds by now and I’m struggling trying to figure out why the numbers just aren’t cooperating.

Sugar:  Maybe?  I still don’t eat very much of it.  Maybe once or twice a week at most, and only at social gatherings.  I don’t even use honey or maple syrup.

Alcohol:  Likely part of the issue.  I still don’t drink nearly what I used to (I used to average of 2 drinks a night, sometimes more) but I have been “less careful” on this.  That is certainly something I want to tighten up.

Dairy:  I have had a little cheese and some ice cream this cycle.  ??

Processed foods:  I really don’t eat processed foods at all unless you count restaurant food.

I also had a day of feeling sick this week and totally ate off plan entirely.  Saltine crackers and canned soup.  I suppose that could be a part of this week’s stall.

I do suspect the triathlon training is part of the issue.  While I don’t see myself eating more because of it, or eating sloppier, I suppose it is changing the dynamic of my hormone balances, especially in the last two weeks as I have really upped the intensity.  And that’s the irony of all of this, is that the workouts are going GREAT…so maybe I need to worry less about weight loss until the tri and worry more about performance?

I’m not sure what the answer is.  But I sure would like to see these numbers move downward again.  I start a new FMD cycle today, so what I can do is work the program, recommit to being better and tighter in my choices, and move forward.

Start of Week 16: 158
End of Week 16: 158
Weight Loss This Week:  0 lbs
Total Weight Loss: 17 lbs
Round 4 Results:  – 2 lbs

Exercise this week:

M: 14 mile bike
T: 3.3 mile run/walk
W: 20 min stationary bike/40 min strength
Th: Rest
Fri: Rest/Sick
Sat: 60 lap swim
Sun: Brick workout:  13.5 mile bike/2.65 mile run walk

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Triathlon Training: Week 6

I am kind of dumbfounded looking at the title here and realizing I’ve been working six weeks already towards this goal, with four more to go.  On the one hand it feels like I’ve been working hard but on the other hand it feels like it hasn’t been quite that long.  Will I be ready?  I feel like I will but you never know what obstacles will get thrown in your way.

Monday:  14 mile bike

I was never able to get in my long bike ride last week due to my freak mandolin injury.   I know that sounds nuts right?  I sliced off a chunk of my right index finger making sweet potato chips and it really was quite a mess for several days.  But by Monday I felt riding would be alright, so I met up with a friend who is also going to do this triathlon for a bike ride.  It was her first for this training cycle, but she’s in far better shape than me so she can probably get by with a lot less training.  We did 8 miles together and then I did 6 more on my own to get to my goal of 14.  This is well beyond what I’ll need for the race, and feels good to know that I’m going well beyond it.

Tuesday:  3.3 mile run/walk

I wasn’t sure if I was ready to do Week 5 Day 1 on my Couch to 5K app for this one.  It called for a 5 min run/2 min walk/7 min run/2 min walk/5 min run.  It was rainy so I headed to the Y for a treadmill run and….I did it!  I couldn’t really believe I had it in me.  I kept up intervals after the app ran out to hit 3.3 miles.  The plan called for 4 mile run this week, but I’m very happy with this.

Wednesday:  20 min stationary bike/40 min strength

I still wasn’t confident about a swim with my hand on this day so I went to the gym and did some strength training hoping to build up my base.

Thursday/Friday:  Rest Days

I had intended for Thursday to be a rest day and Friday to be a swim day but I felt sick on Friday and decided it wasn’t going to happen.

Saturday:  60 lap swim

I covered my much better looking wound with a Tegaderm supposedly waterproof bandage and went to my local Y for the swim.  The training plan called for 55 laps and I had intended on 58 just to keep ahead of it a bit (my last swim was 56 laps) but it felt silly to end on 58 and I felt good so I added 2 more to get to 60.  60 is the longest lap swim I’ll do in this training cycle, so it feels good to have nailed it already.  I only dropped to breast stroke twice, at laps 30-31.  That’s a big win.  As to the bandage, it was not waterproof but it did at least still stay on and covered…and by 7 days out the wound is mostly sealed up and healing nicely.  At this point the chlorine helped!  🙂

Sunday:  Indoor BRick:  45 min bike and 40 min run

The plan called for 45 min bike and 3 mile run, but when my 45 minutes got me over 13 miles on the stationary bike, I decided I could cut back a bit on the run.  For the brick I dropped down to Week 3 Day 1 and it was just the right length of intervals for the tired legs.  I ended up with 13.4 miles on the bike (I am much faster on the stationary bike despite using the hilly setting….today I used level 9 and it felt tough but maybe i need to go higher) and 2.64 miles on the treadmill.

Next week the plan dials back for a bit of a rest week.  I may switch it with the following week, which is college move in week for my daughter, so it will be a lot harder to get in the longer workouts.  Either way, the training is feeling great and I am definitely seeing progress.

Week 16 Weigh In

I’m not surprised by the one pound gain this week having watched my numbers all week, but I’m mystified by it.  I would have thought I would have posted a two pound loss this week with how good my food and exercise have been.

Other than one night out with girlfriends, it was a solid week of exercise and healthy food.  I used my Yonanas machine to make sorbet during Phase 1, I made the most delicious sweet potato chips in Phase 3, I made onion mushroom burgers with arrowroot gravy in Phase 2 (the entire fam loved it!)…I did well with the food this week.

But I noticed mid week that I didn’t feel good.  My weight went up two pounds overnight and I began to feel tired and sluggish. And hungry!  Hungry in a way I haven’t really been since been on this plan.  On Wednesday I totally went off phase (eating some Phase 3 and Phase 1 foods in the afternoon and evening) because I just didn’t feel good (I spent half of Friday repeating Phase 2 to make up for it).  I had been working hard in my workouts…a big brick workout, a wonderful open water swim, a great Couch 2 5K run.  I realized that last time I trained for the triathlon, I gained weight.  I thought back then I was just “eating more” and not being careful because of the workouts.  But what if the converse is true…what if I’m not eating enough to really fuel what I am doing, and being too careful?  I started to realize that maybe I wasn’t eating quite enough on the Fast Metabolism Diet to be fueling all of this.

Sure enough, when I started researching, here’s what I found:

Training for a half marathon, marathon or triathlon

Here’s where it gets tougher. If you plan to train minimally for a half marathon, you may be able to follow the same plan as above: Do your long runs on Phase 1 days, with a short, easy jog on one or two days of Phase 3.

However, if you plan to train more intensely, your body will need more fuel to accommodate the extra exercise.

On Phase 1: Plan to make Phase 1 days your long run or hard workout day or days. Add another fruit snack prior to your workout. And with breakfast, add a little protein — an egg white, a couple of turkey slices, or add spirulina to a smoothie.

On Phase 2: If you need to run on P2 days, you’ll need to add a fruit snack before your run. Go for a low glycemic fruit like berries or an Asian pear.

On Phase 3: Include the optional grain at P3 dinners. You may also need to add an additional fruit snack, or add fruit to one of your healthy-fat snacks.

So maybe that’s part of why my body rebelled this week. I don’t know.  I am still pretty frustrated that I have essentially gone six weeks with a net one pound loss here.  Which may not be a coincidence since that’s about as long as I have been training….I don’t know.  I do see changes in my body composition, I am seeing more muscle and clothes are fitting better, but still.  I had hoped to be down at least another five pounds by now.  I’m entering the last week of this round of FMD and I’m not happy with where I am at.  So I will adjust with these tweaks this week, and keep going forward.  That’s all I can do.

Start of Week 15: 157
End of Week 15: 158
Weight Gain This Week: + 1 lb
Total Weight Loss: 17 lbs

Exercise this week:

M:  Brick workout:  45 min bike/30 min run
T:  40 min open water swim
W:  3.1 m run/walk
Th:  Rest
Fri:  56 lap swim
Sat:  Yoga
Sun:  4.3 mile walk

Triathlon Training: Week 5

This week hit me like a ton of bricks.  I worked hard, am seeing progress but midweek I started really feeling tired.  Because I am still following the Fast Metabolism Diet, I’m realizing that I might need to start tweaking my food intake because of the training.  When I looked up the tips for triathlon training while following the plan, I confirmed my suspicions:  my body needs more fuel.  It’s counter intuitive because my weight loss is super slow these days…but maybe that’s why.

I need to be adding more things depending on phases since I’m working so hard, and the workouts are only going to get longer in duration.

That said, here’s how the week went:

Mon:  Brick Workout

This week the plan called for a 45 min bike ride and 30 minute run, and that’s just what I did.  I covered 7.7 miles in the 45 min ride, and then followed a week 1 day 1 couch 2 5K program for the run.  I figured I needed to start small on tired legs.  It was just right for the first brick:  felt hard but not overwhelmingly so.

Tue:  Open Water Swim

Chose this week to do this again even though the plan isn’t there yet.  I went down to Long Island Sound early in the morning and it was beautiful!  The water was very calm and I loved every minute.  I went back and forth along the beach, always where I would still be able to stand since I was alone.  I swam for about 40 min straight. I would do this again, and maybe I’ll use this beach for my practice between swimming and biking.

Wed:  5K Run/Walk

The plan called for a 3 mile run this week.  I put on Week 4 Day 3 of Couch 2 5K and was able to do each interval all the way through, including the 5 minute long one.  I added more intervals after the 30 minutes was up to get to 3.1 miles.  This felt hard, but I did it.

Thu:  Rest Day

After the three big workouts this week this was where i crashed.  I had planned on swimming this morning but I just couldn’t muster the energy.  I decided my body was telling me something and chose to take a day off.

Fri:  56 lap swim

Still well ahead of the plan on this one, as the plan called for 44 laps this week.  Definitely seeing progress here.

Sat:  Yoga

Foiled by rain.  I had planned on a long bike ride today but it didn’t happen.  And since I’m still feeling so tired I decided to let yoga be today’s workout.

Sun:  4.3 mile walk with a friend

Good thing I didn’t have a swim planned this day.  I sliced a little chunk out of a finger the night before using a mandolin to make sweet potato chips.  I’m a little worried how this will affect my training this week.  We’ll see what happens.

Next week I will tweak my food so I start feeling energized again.  Otherwise, I am liking the progress I am seeing in training.

Week 15 Weigh In

Another good week this week!  Lots of activity thanks to triathlon training and I was able to keep the food really in check.  The last time I trained for a triathlon, I used the training as an excuse to eat more calories.  This time I’m viewing the food as fuel to give me the energy to work harder and perform better.  That feels really good.

Start of Week 14: 158.6
End of Week 14: 157
Weight Loss This Week: -1.6 lbs
Total Weight Loss: 18 lbs

I was able to finally make it to a “health food” market and snag some sprouted grain bagels and almond cream cheese this week.  How awesome it was to make a bagel with lox and cream cheese, knowing it was going to not stall my progress.  As I continue on this journey, it is so great to keep finding new options that I love to eat and that are good for me.

I am continuing to buy fresh rhubarb at my farmers’ market every week and freezing what I don’t use.  I made a great recipe this week that was so simple:  rhubarb cooked in lemon juice with cinnamon and stevia, and then drizzled with tahini and topped with a few chopped raw cashews.  Satisfying and delicious!  I am going to be so sad when winter comes and there is no more rhubarb to be had, so I’m trying to stockpile it!

Salads and smoothies continue to be staples these days.  Especially with warm weather, a smoothie feels great after a hot, outdoor workout.

I swam twice last week (including one beautiful open water swim), biked indoors and outdoors, and “ran” and walked.  Add in a yoga session and it was a full week of activity, which probably helped the scale *finally* bust past the 158 plateau I’ve been dancing around the last month.  Woohoo!

Triathlon Training: Week 4

This was a solid week of training for the tri.  I really am enjoying the process and the hard work…did I just say that?

Monday:  Indoor Brick

This week’s training calls for my first brick workout, but it has been raining most days and super humid.  I decided to do this one in the gym on a stationary bike and treadmill.  It wasn’t the full brick called for but I had to start somewhere.  I did 6.3 miles on the bike and 2 miles on the treadmill, using a Couch 2 5K (Week 4 Day 1) workout.  The bike seemed a lot easier despite setting it to “random hill” workout, maybe I set the level too low.  The Couch 2 5K was run intervals of 3 on 2 off 4 on 3 off and 5 on and then warmup/cool down.  I managed the 3 and 4 but the 5 was just hard on tired legs and I took a quick walk break in the middle of it before finishing the time.

Tuesday:  Open Water Swim

This wasn’t on my schedule at all for the week, but I had the chance to do it and I went for it.  My girlfriend who is also doing this tri has a membership at a lake swim club and invited me out to swim.  What a difference.  She coached me on some tips to not tire out so quickly on the swim and I felt really good about it.  I think we probably went 3/4 a mile, with rest breaks.

Wednesday:  Yoga/Bike/Strength

Another rainy day, and also wanted to not swim again, so I opted for a gentle yoga class and then a little 20 min stationary bike ride and some machines at the gym.  I did a better job setting the bike level right because this one was much harder.

Thursday:  Lap Swim

The plan calls for 37 laps this week.  My girlfriend told me at the lake that 36 is the half mile needed for the race, so I’m ahead on that count.  I had done 50 last week so I wanted to keep going so I did 54 laps.  The plan tops out at 60 and I think I will stop there too; once I hit that I will work on trying to get faster.

Friday:  Bike

I haven’t ridden outside in over a week and I felt it right away.  I wanted to hit 12 (the race is 11.5) miles but once I got close I decided 13 would be better.  I made it 13.2 miles averaging just under 11 mph.  Very humid and sweaty; I stopped around 7 miles in for water.

Saturday:  Run

The plan called for 30 minutes of running.  I am still working my Couch 2 5K workouts, so I did Week 4 Day 2.  Same as the other day:  3 min run, walk, 4 min run, walk, 5 min run, walk.  After I finished the official workout, I wanted to keep going to get more mileage so I did very short run/walk intervals (1.30 run/2 min walk). I was tired and it was very warm and humid; I was soaked.  But my 5K time was around 45:30, which considering that included a full 5 minute warmup walk I can live with that.  I ended up with 4 miles total.

Sunday:  4.3 mile walk

I know I need to have a rest day somewhere but when a friend asked to go for a walk this morning, which was clear after days and days of rain, I couldn’t say no.  We went on a hilly route around our local lake and it definitely felt easier than when I did it with her a month ago.  So I can tell I’m feeling stronger!

So this was the first week I hit all of the distances I will be doing in the tri.  From here on out it is starting to work on bricking.  The swim to bike is going to be the hardest I think because there really isn’t a great place for me to swim then bike.  I’m going to have to start thinking about where I might be able to do that.

Triathlon Training Week 3

Post vacation it was time to get back onto my training regimen for the tri.  This was the last week of base building, after this the plan incorporates some bricks and open water swims.  I’m already finding it interesting to plan where each workout goes based on everything else going on…and I’m not working in the summer!  Those last two weeks when I am working are going to be super challenging.  But that’s a long way away.

I did officially sign up for this tri this week so there’s no turning back now.

Wednesday:  11.4 mile bike ride

The training plan called for a 60 minute bike ride, and this one took me 3 minutes more than that.  This felt good.  I hadn’t ridden for over a week, but I can tell already that the training is building muscle and stamina.  The same hills that felt super hard at the start of this are feeling a little less hard.  I am still stopping for water about half way through my rides…I know I won’t want to do that during the tri so hoping I’ll start not needing that as I improve.

Thursday:  50 lap swim

I’m still way ahead where my training plan says on the swims…it called for 37 laps this week.  I know in my original tri the half mile swim took me half an hour, and this is still taking me a lot longer than that, so hoping to tighten up as we go.  I think the half mile is equivalent to about 60 laps.  Open water swims are coming into the plan in the coming weeks and those are key to getting the feel for what it will be like.  That being said I’m liking the swims.  There’s something really peaceful about it.

Saturday:  5K Race

This week’s plan called for a 20 minute run but I had the Sandy Hook 5K scheduled anyway so there you go.  I ran when I could and walked when I couldn’t, which is my plan for the tri.  I clocked in at 45:00.  I obviously have more work to do here too.  Walking just isn’t going to cut it.  I plan on doing some dedicated Couch 2 5K running in this department to hopefully increase the time of my running intervals.

In addition to these workouts I did yoga twice (needed it after twelve hours in the car last weekend) and a nice walk with friends.  So it was six solid days of activity with one rest day.  All in all a good, solid week that is moving me forward to the tri on September 8.