So it’s been 1 month since I started my mildly organized plan to drop the flab and tone up properly for my Appalachian Trail thru hike in a couple months. I had a loose plan for dietary changes and exercise, and below is a little more detail what I did all January. You can scroll to the bottom if you just want to see my 4-week progress.
Regarding beverages, I’ve kept away from the hops, although there have been a few social days where I would have gladly enjoyed a beer or 5. I have a cup of coffee in the morning with a little powdered creamer, and the rest of the day I just drink a whole lot of water.
As mentioned before, I’m not big on breakfast generally speaking, so if I eat anything at all in the morning, it’s just 1 boiled egg or a piece of fruit (an orange or an apple).
I love cooking and trying new things, so I tried out a lot of new recipes for my lunches and dinners, and a lot of them I found on Pinterest. One of my favorites that I highly recommend can be found below from Katya’s blog “Little Broken.” If I snack at all, it’s fruit, a handful of pistachios or raisins, 5-6 whole-grain crackers, or celery dipped in tahini.
I’ve been walking or hiking 1-4 miles a day (2 miles on average), nearly every day in January. I slacked a little on the 3rd week and took a few days off since I was feeling a little washed out (there’s a head cold going around apparently). However, I have not slacked at all on my morning routine which is to wake up around 5:30-6:00 am and squeeze in a 30-40-minute-long workout 6 days a week. I stumbled on this awesome leg workout by celebrity training and health coach, Jennifer Dene. I loved it!
Date: 1/28/17 Height: 5’2” Weight: 121.5 lbs. (2 ½ lbs. lost)
Measurements (*some needed strictly for body fat %):
- *Neck: 13”
- Bust: 35.75” – 1 ¼” lost
- Waist at narrowest point: 30.5” – 1 ½” lost
- Waist at naval: 35.25” – ½” lost
- Hips at widest point: 38” – 1” lost
- Biceps: 10” – no change
- Forearms: 8.5” – no change
- *Wrists at narrowest point: 5.5”
- Thighs at widest point: 20.25” – no change
- Calves: 12.75” – ½” gained
There’s always room for error in the measurements. For example, I suspect that the initial measurement for my calves may have been inaccurate. However, I do my best to prevent any inaccuracies by having another person (and the same person), do my measurements for me, and doing them the same time of day. I also don’t exercise prior to measurements, which can alter them. My weight is taken first thing in the morning, prior to exercise and food.
Estimated Body Fat %: 31.01%
A 3.16% decrease since last month (not too shabby)! According to the source used to calculate these results (see below), I’m a little below the value that the average woman in my age range falls under (32%). The 19-26% range is preferred for women ages 20-40 (good to excellent condition), and is my pre-trail goal.
(The algorithm used to calculate estimated body fat was produced by Health Status LLC and is based off of a combination of algorithm from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corp, U.S. Army and the YMCA which estimate body fat percentages without calipers.)
Estimated Body Mass Index (BMI): 22.2
Although I already fell in the normal weight range (18.5-24.9) a month ago, my BMI has decreased by 0.6 values.
(BMI as calculated by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.)
MY PROGRESS & FUTURE ADJUSTMENTS:
I feel a lot stronger than I did before (the holidays have a way of making you feel sluggish), and I think getting up early and exercising has gotten me into a healthier sleep pattern. I’m normally a restless sleeper, but I’m been staying asleep longer and feeling more energized in the morning than I ever have (funny, how routine works).
Month 1 was just to ease me back into getting active again. I plan to do some more strenuous routines and step up my mileage over the following month. As far as diet, I’m going to reduce some of the starchy carbs I have been taking, and use some substitutes instead (for example: cauliflower “rice” instead of brown rice, sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes). Here’s to more progress by this time next month!