I’m just about done with week ten of my summer body fat loss contest. And I’m kind of ready for it to be over. But there’s about three weeks and a couple of days left. I had started to get kind of discouraged after hitting a plateau for several weeks, so I decided to make a few changes, just to shake things up a little.

First I decided to be a little more lenient on what I eat during the week. I started letting myself have some good chocolate a couple or even a few times a week. I stopped focusing so much on how many grams of fat and protein I was eating, and just looked at the over-all calories. (Since it’s become ingrained over the past couple of decades for me to eat lower fat and mostly non-processed foods, I just depended on that to keep the fat down, and I knew I was still getting more protein from the yogurt, cottage cheese, and lean meats that I continue to eat regularly).

For exercise, I was getting tired of my lower back being sore after a good cardio workout at the gym, so I decided to try switching to more intense ‘actual’ activities like more hiking and longer walks. As a result, my back has definitely appreciated not being subjected to repetitive movements on equipment that doesn’t seem well suited for my body mechanics. (Of course in the winter when it gets dark right after work, I’ll be back in the gym doing this, but it’s summer right now!)

Cragmoor-Hardscrabble Trail

Cragmoor-Hardscrabble Trail

After making these changes for a couple of weeks, I’m finding it’s a little easier to keep motivated about the contest (but I’m still ready for it to be over), and I’m a bit more pleased with my current results to date. If I can trust what my scale told me this morning, I’ve lost six pounds, and about three and a half percent body fat. I took my measurements and compared them against ones I took sometime early this year or late last year, and I am down 4+3/4 inches when I add what I’ve lost for bust/waist/hips. So THAT definitely makes me happy.

Fern Canyon

Fern Canyon

So three more weeks, and then I can get back to doing more of a food blog than a diet and exercise reporting blog. But I am planning to keep many changes I’ve made overall. So 22 more days! Look for a final body fat loss report after August 20th.

Fern Canyon to Bear Peak

Fern Canyon to Bear Peak

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I’m at about week 8 in my summer body fat loss contest, and to be honest, have pretty much been on a plateau for the past month. (Actually my weight has kind of gone up and down by two pounds for a couple weeks, so that’s been more of a roller coaster – today it’s down about 4 lbs from the start. But my body fat loss seems to be staying at around 2.5%.) Definitely not as good I was hoping for. At all. But I’ve had some issues with recurring lower back pain for multiple days at a time, and may actually have been over-training (as improbable as that seems for what I’ve been doing compared to a lot of my fellow Boulderites!).

So at this point, I’m going for a bit more weight and body fat loss over the next five weeks, but am mainly focusing on how my clothes do feel a bit looser, my resting heart rate has lowered, and I discovered that I CAN actually still do the hikes that I did back when I was in college.

I do feel better eating more fruits and vegetables, and more lean protein like fish, chicken breast, fat-free cottage cheese, and fat-free Greek yogurt. I have several things that have become new staples, such my go-to dessert of a peach, fat-free Greek yogurt, and either All-Bran or Kashi Go Lean.

Peach, Yogurt and Kashi Go Lean Cinnamon Crisp

Peach, Yogurt, and Cinnamon Crisp Kashi Go Lean

I also frequently eat a modified Fattousch salad (romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, olive oil, red vinegar, sumac, parsley, mint, and aleppo pepper).

Modified Fattousch Salad

Modified Fattousch Salad

And nothing makes you feel healthier than building a salad with nothing but vegetables and no-oil balsamic dressing at Whole Foods. They say that the more colors represented in your salad, the healthier. When I was a kid my salads were all icebergĀ green-white and then brown and orange with croutons and cheese. These days I really do enjoy the vibrancy of a truly healthy salad.

Salad form Whole Foods

Salad form Whole Foods

I have become a bit more relaxed in my eating rules (in addition to my one meal splurge a week), so that once in a while I can have some sprouted flax-seed bread French Toast with blueberries.

Sprouted Flax Seed French Toast with Blueberries

Sprouted Flax Seed French Toast with Blueberries

And to finish the post, here are some pictures from those hikes I mentioned!

Mt. Sanitas

Hike on Mt. Sanitas

Hiking in Shanahan Ridge

Hiking Shanahan Ridge

Hiking Fern Canyon Trail

Hiking Fern Canyon Trail

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