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2 Month Progress Pics (EM2WL Style)

I really struggled deciding whether or not to post my progress pics because of how far I still have to go, however, when I put my 2 month pictures side by side, I just couldn't believe the difference! I have never been so open with my weight or how I really look, but I realized if I could help just one person, it is totally worth it.

 

2 Months Doing SL 5x5 and Eating 2300-2700 Calories a Day

 

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2/7/13    217 lb.                         4/7/13     219 lb.


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I must reemphasize the importance of taking pictures to track your progress. Had I not done this and only based my progress by the scale, I would've given up and resorted back to eating a VLCD. With that being said, I shall continue on this road of Eating, Lifting, and Living! I can't wait to see what changes will come in the next couple of months! To be continued...

Until next time!

~CALEO

Why Am I Losing Weight?!?!

Most of you know that I started EM2WL at the end of January. But what some of you don't know is that I had hit a plateau before that while eating 1300 calories or less and doing Turbo Fire. After joining EM2WL and  increasing my calories to around 2000, I broke my plateau and lost 4 pounds. Then I started Stronglifts 5x5 on February 7 and decided to ditch the scale because I just needed a break from it. I started noticing my appetite increasing because of the heavy lifting, so I decided to up my calorie intake. I had been making pretty good progress gaining strength and losing inches, so I decided maybe it was time to jump on the scale. Well, a couple weeks ago, I weighed in and saw that I had gained those 4 pounds back. So I emailed one of my EM2WL buddies and asked for advice. She told me not to worry about it because it was most likely muscle gain and some water weight. She then advised me to, brace yourself, UP my calories! Well, I decided when I started this that I am in it for the long haul so I took her advice and upped my calories by 200. She also suggested I download the Happy Scale app and weigh myself daily to track my weight fluctuations, doing this  would also help me to find my true TDEE. So 2 weeks ago I began tracking my weight daily. The trend on my reports has been consistently going down, and since I am trying to find my TDEE before I cut, I upped my calories another 200. I weighed myself today and have lost more weight! Since upping my calories by 400, I have lost 3 of those 4 pounds! Is it really possible to eat 2700 calories a day and lose weight?! Well, that's where I am at. I do Stronglifts 3 days a week and cardio on my off days, if I'm up to it, and EAT 2700 CALORIES A DAY and I am loving it! 

I am sharing this because I have several PALS who are frustrated because they are not losing weight, they've "hit a wall", well, I want to tell you folks that sometimes the solution is not to lower your calories, but increase them. I truly believe the reason my body was holding on to those 4 pounds is because of the strength training I am doing. It needed more fuel and I wasn't eating enough, so it held on to what I had. Now that I'm fueling it properly, it seems like it's trusting me again and starting to release. I will continue to keep you all updated on this new journey. Again I know it's slow, but it's just so much better for me! I am living life, enjoying it, and building strength I never knew was possible! 

 Until next time!

~CALEO

Why I No Longer Measure My Success By The Scale

If I measured my success by the scale, I would be a complete and utter failure! In two months doing EM2WL and following the Stronglifts 5x5 program, the scale has bounced up and down a couple of pounds, so if it weren't for the many NSVs I have seen, I probably would have given up and resorted back to a VLCD and doing crazy amounts of cardio.

 Here are some of the NSVs that motivate me to keep on truckin:

1) I have lost 2 in. off my hips and 2 in. off my waist.

2) I have gone from squatting 45 lbs. to squatting 120 lbs.!

3) I am wearing clothes that fit me when I weighed 20 lbs. LESS 2 years ago!

4) Lifting weights has made normal everyday tasks so much easier.

5) I can EAT without feeling guilty!

6) I can do push-ups on my toes, something I've never been able to do!

7)  I can honestly say that I am happy and enjoying my life.

8) The fact that the number on the scale doesn't bother me, is a victory in itself.

Look, I know I have chosen a path that is not a quick fix, but I also know that it is the only path I will be able to sustain. So, however long it takes, I will NOT give up! And to all MFPals...when that finish line seems so far away and you don't think you will ever get there, let that be an indicator for you to look back and see how far you have come!

Until next time!

~CALEO

To Eat Meat Or Not To Eat Meat...That Is The Question

I have spent the last several days researching plant based and vegan diets after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. If you've never seen the film, it is quite interesting and believable, heck, I haven't eaten any meat for two whole days! I compiled a ton of non meat recipes and saved them to my iPad. I watched videos on "how to live like a vegan" (which by the way, I found out that if I am choosing to eat vegan strictly for health reasons and not for the equality of animals, then I cannot call myself a vegan...hmmm). I learned how to cook tofu ?...all the while my kids are cringing for fear that I will force them to follow in my footsteps. As I was getting ready to announce to my "peeps" on MFP that "I AM A VEGETARIAN!", a question suddenly popped into my head, "What if the documentary was wrong?". So, I did what any person living in the 21st century would do, I googled it. Well, can you guess what I discovered? Let's just say that tomorrow, I am going to have my "Steak and eat it too"! But, as with any curveball thrown my way, I have to ask myself, "what did I learn from this experience?".

1) Before making a drastic (giving up meat is drastic in my family), life changing decision, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! Which I did, to my credit, but I failed to research the other side. 

2) I have some pretty strong will power if I set my mind to something! Yesterday I made juicy cheeseburgers for the fam and I ate a veggie burger! That's what I call will power!

3)  Most of our health problems in America are not from meat and dairy alone, but from a sedentary lifestyle coupled with eating junk food and fast food (duh). 

4) Lastly, I have the most loving and supportive family. My hubby and kids cheered me on when I said I would try this and even tried many of the "weird" foods I brought home. Having their support, I know I can reach my goals!

So, to each his own, as for me, I choose to eat meat!

 

Until next time!

~CALEO

First Time for Everything

Hey PALS! This is oficially the first blog post I have ever written, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to share a little bit about myself and why I have decided to start a blog.

My name is Cynthia and I am married to an amazing man! We have 5 children ages 1 year-14 years old. I am a stay at home mom and I am currently homeschooling 4 of our 5 children. 

I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember and have been on every diet you can think of. I joined MFP last year in May and was logging for quite some time until life became overwhelming and I stopped for a few months. It wasn't until the start of the new year that I decided to get serious again about getting in shape. I was logging, working out, and eating very little. That is when I learned about the ill effects of VLCD and realized that was hindering my success. Then I found Eat More 2 Weigh Less...what a blessing that has been!

I started upping my calories mid January, and I have gone from eating 1300 calories to now eating 2500 calories a day! I am currently trying to find my true TDEE before I actually start trying to cut calories to lose weight. My workout program consists of Stronglifts 5x5 and Turbo Fire/walking on the days I don't lift.

The biggest challenge for me would be that I like instant results and with the path I have chosen, it just doesn't come that way. But I know that I must go this route, because this is sustainable for me. There is just no way I could eat 1300 calories a day for the rest of my life! I realize that I have a long road ahead of me, but I am truly thankful for the support that I have from my family, my PALS here on MFP and especially from the EM2WL Family.

So why am I starting this blog, you ask? Well, because I am one of many who struggles with weight and lacks self-confidence. Face it folks, we are our own worst enemy majority of the time. I hope that as I share my ups and downs, I might be able to inspire someone the way so many on MFP have inspired me by sharing their success stories. I hope to one day be able to share my success story with you!

Until next time!

~CALEO

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