So, the past month I experimented with my nutrition and even my workouts.  I wondered what would happen if I tweaked my nutrition and workouts.  By increasing my protein (up 36g), consumed no alcohol, and increased my cardio from 20-25 minutes 3-4 days per week to 20-25 minutes 2 days per week and 30 minutes of cardio 1x/week and 45 minutes of cardio 1x/week what type of results and learnings would I have?

I found it extremely difficult if not next to impossible to consume 168g of protein per day and keep my calories at 1300.  When my protein was from food sources alone, my protein intake was below 100g (ranging between 85-97g) and when I did get over 100g by consuming 2 protein drinks daily, my calorie intake was over 1300.

My water intake also decreased.  On most days I was struggling to take in 9 – 8oz glasses.

From a fitness perspective, I think that increasing my cardio was the right decision because my body was plateauing.  My body was getting used to the interval training on the treadmill at 20 minutes and by increasing the amount of time I was spending on the treadmill, I was able to challenge myself and hopefully, break out of the plateau.

While my measurements were pretty consistent overall from the previous month (see below), I did notice some gains in weight, waist and hips.  All other measurements were consistent with the previous month.  Measurements aside the biggest things I noticed was how I felt. My clothes didn’t fit as well especially my jeans.  I also noticed an increase on the scale which can be attributed to the lack of water I consumed from what I was used to consuming, but I think it has more to do with not straying from the nutrition plan.

Weight: 118.5 (increase of 1.5lb)

Right Bicep: 10 1/4″ Unflexed (decrease of 3/8″); 10 3/4″ Flexed 10 3/4″ (decrease of 1/2″)

Left Bicep: 10 1/4″ Unflexed (decrease of 3/8); 11″ Flexed

Waist: 27 3/8″ (decrease of 7/8″)

Hips: 33 3/4″ (decrease of 2 3/8″)

Bust: 32″ (decrease of 5/8″)

Right Thigh: 19 1/2″ (decrease of 1 5/8″ )

Left Thigh: 19 1/2″ (decrease of 1 5/8″)

Neck: 12″ (decrease of 1/4″)

Left Calf: 14″ (decrease of 1/8″)

Right Calf: 14″ (decrease of 1/8″)

I didn’t have time this month to more pictures because I was getting my now 70 pound (each) puppies ready for vacation care.

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I don’t like feeling the way I did.  I am going to get back on track and be committed to the next level of fitness.  I am going to stay true to the things that are working.  I am not going to seek out other o

Today marks a milestone post as it is 6 months since I began Fit to the Next Level and my journey to raise the bar on my health and fitness.    I have learned so much since I started, and I owe a lot of my success to my support system, my family, my life long partner, John, my friends, and my trainer, Megan Vaccaro. Without a strong and supportive system, this journey would have been even more challenging.

One important thing that I’ve learned is that progress is slow.  Change doesn’t happen overnight.  You think to yourself, “I’m working so hard, and I’m not seeing the results fast enough.”  You debate if it’s worth it, is what I’m doing working, are the sacrifices I’m making paying off?  And, then one day it all seems to come together and the hard work is starting to show.

While I am really ecstatic with the results, the goals I have hit, and the  improved level of fitness and performance, I am not done.  Fit to the Next Level is a lifelong journey for me.  Raising the bar on what I eat, drink, and the purpose I have when I’m in the gym has become a lifestyle.  A lifestyle that I am committed to.

Below are my measurements (compared to my baseline when I started).   I believe that these measurements are more exact than previous measurement posts as I am using my new Fit & Healthy brand tape measure (see below for device image).

Weight: 117 (loss of 9 pounds)

Right Bicep: Unflexed: 10 1/4″ (decrease 3/8″)/ Flexed:  10 3/4″ (decrease 1/2″)

Left Bicep: Unflexed: 10 1/4″ (decrease 3/8″) / Flexed: 11″ (no change)

Waist: 27″ (loss of 1 1/4″)

Hips: 33 1/2″ (decrease of 2 5/8″)

Bust: 31 1/4″ (decrease of 1 3/8″)

Right Thigh: 19 1/2″  (decrease of  1 5/8″)

Left Thigh: 20″ (decrease of 1 1/8″)

Neck: 12″ (loss of 1/4″)

Left Calf: 14″ (loss of 1/8″)

Right Calf: 14″ (loss of 1/8″