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Cutting and IF... week one down.

So I finally got over the cold funk and got back in the gym. Last Friday was my first day back. I REALLY overdid it. I did a killer leg workout. I should have known better than to jump back in full force like that after a week off but, alas, I am hard headed. I could barely walk all weekend!!

When I started back Friday I also officially started my cut following the lean gains model for intermittent fasting. Here is how I do it. I have a cup of coffee as soon as I wake up then a bit later a pre-workout supplement while driving the kids to school. I head to the gym and do my weights/cardio. This part has taken some getting used to. I don't struggle with hunger so much as feeling a bit jittery from the caffeine and no food. My strength hasn't been great this week and my lifts have suffered a little. I'm just trying to keep weight on the bar even if I can't pull off as many reps. I break my fast around 12:30 for lunch, usually with chicken and sweet potatoes. I have a 9-hour eating window with my first meal at 12:30 and my last around 9pm. I eat a huge bowl of greek yogurt with casein protein before bed every night. 

I have started my cut on 1800 calories coming from 2300-2600 calories/day on my bulk. Believe me, I'm feeling it. Hell yeah I'm hungry. No one ever said cutting was easy... if it was... everyone would do it. Today I weighed in at 135 so I'm actually already down a couple of pounds.... fluid no doubt. I am feeling a bit less bloated as well. Last time I cut I had my calories at 1600 and was doing a LOT of cardio... tracking my cardio... and eating back those calories. This time I'm not tracking cardio. I'm going to try eating 1800 calories/day regardless of activity... on training days and off days. I want this cut to be accomplished primarily by eating at a deficit without depending on cardio so much like last time... which is why I'm not bothering to track it. I feel like too much cardio caused me to lose muscle last time. I'm still doing Zumba a few times a week and on days when there is no Zumba I do the stepmill at a moderate pace. No HITT for the time being. If I see I'm not leaning out like I'd like then I'll consider adding that in the future. 

So... that's where things stand for me. I'm going to wait a few weeks and then take some pictures to see if there is any difference. 

Hope you all are doing well!!!! xoxoxox

Update: So I've decided that I am going to add a couple hundred calories more on training days. I'm feeling too depleted and starved those days on 1800. I'll give that a few weeks and see if I lose on that amount :)

Bulk Complete!!! (pics) ... and a PSA

As promised... official end-of-bulk pictures...

These are all, of course, relaxed poses... no flexing. ;) I entered a transformation challenge over at so that is the reason for the newspaper... proof of the start date. I have 12 weeks for this challenge. I was planning to lean out around this time anyway so why not give myself a little extra incentive! I did it before... I will do it again... and this time it will actually be much easier because I'm starting out in much better shape! 
As I've stated before... I was supposed to start my cut tomorrow on February 1st. I'm delaying it for a bit. Unfortunately, I was struck with strep throat last week which then eroded into something more sinister... a nasty sinus infection that has moved to my bronchial tubes. I've been out of the gym since last thursday. I usually work out even when I'm not feeling great but this wasn't the type of infection I could push through. I'm currently on 2 antibiotics and some steriods. Today was the first day I've breathed through my nose more than my mouth since last Thursday.
Now...... here is what I think happened (get ready for the public service announcement).....
Last Monday I was feeling overtrained... like fatigue and lack-of-motivation were setting in. I couldn't even remember the last time I took a real break from working out. I may have skipped "a workout" here and there but it had been ages since I took a whole week off. I hadn't even done a deload week of lighter weights in forever. I've been hitting it hard for a long long time now and I think my body was starting to feel overwhelmed. I knew I needed a break but was too stubborn to take one. I kept training against my own better judgement and then my body revolted and my immune system took a nosedive. Now I'm on a FORCED break. So... let this be a lesson to you all. If your body is telling you "take a break" ... LISTEN!!! Do not be stubborn like me!!!
So... I'll start the diet once I'm well. I feel like I need to eat at least maintenance calories while sick. Depleting your body of calories while it's trying to fight an infection is not wise!
Ok... so I have a question for YOU now... anyone here doing IF (intermittent fasting)??? ... If you are not aware visit:
If so I'd love to hear your thoughts/experiences. I'm considering trying this during my cut. 
ETA (again)... 1-year comparison pictures. From 140lbs (Jan 2011) --> 120lbs --> 137lbs (Jan 2012).
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