EFTB

battling the bulge with a vegan diet and exercise

Last week of the 90 Day Challenge… thank god.

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I say “thank god” to the challenge being close to over because I’m tired of my motivation coming from competition.  Getting in shape, losing fat, and gaining muscle — it’s all been fantastic.  I feel great about how I look and that confidence and pride permeates through everything I do.  It’s amazing how much body image can affect your life, or at least my life.  I feel tiny and I look strong — it’s like the perfect combination I’ve always wanted.  I’m not quite done yet — I wan’t abs! — but I’m getting very close.

But the pressure of weighing in every week, in front of all of your fellow competitors, it’s stressful!  If I don’t lose a ton of weight I feel like a failure, and no one needs that.  I feel like so much is riding on the number on the scale that looks up at me next Wednesday.  Who cares if I weigh 125 lbs on my scale at home on Tuesday?  If Wednesday comes and, for some reason, my number shoots up a pound or two, I’ll be so mad.  Is it because I want to win money?  Sure, I guess, but more so it’s that I’ve worked so hard, gone to every meeting, and my before/after photos look pretty damn good, if I do say so myself — if I don’t win something, my competitive pride will be destroyed and I’ll feel like all of my hard work has gone for naught.

…or has it?

before middle after front

Yeah, that’s right.

Please do not feel free to tell me how fat I used to be, though.  I wasn’t, and more importantly, that’s just rude.

Anyway, enough with my rant.  Last week, as you’ve probably already read on Jamie’s blog, our “after” photos were due.  The competition is not over until this upcoming Wednesday, but they need to post the photos in their store and have them voted on so that they can tell us who wins at the last meeting. I’ve also posted mine, along with my “before” and “middle” photos, on the 90 day challenge tab.

So, do I think I’m gonna win anything?

1. Best Photo

I’m very annoyed by the Challenge.  We were told last meeting that voting would happen in the Herbalife store on Monday and Tuesday of this upcoming week, and that, therefore, we should bring in all of our friends to vote for us.  How rigged is that?  So you are telling me that I didn’t have to do anything but sit on my ass, take two photos eleven weeks apart, and then bring in a hundred people to vote for me?  It’s not as if someone’s friend is going to go in and say, “wait, I can’t vote for you because that Michelle girl’s photo is better.”  And I’m sure as hell not about to gather up a busload of friends and drag them to an Herbalife high-pressure sale opportunity just to win some money.  So, Jamie and I will go in one day and vote for ourselves, and that will be that.  Maybe we’ll tie for third along with everyone else who has some sense of dignity.

In a fair world, where everyone’s after photos were voted on by objective third parties, I’d be very confident that Jamie and I would place first and second (of course, I would be first because I am the best).  In fact, I’m just gonna call this one in favor of me and proclaim myself winner of first place of the photo competition.  There, I said it.  What are you gonna do about it?

2. Highest % Weight Lost

If Jamie or I were truly going for a win in this category we wouldn’t be doing nearly as much strength training as we have been.  As you probably know, muscle takes up less room but weighs more than fat, so by adding muscle — although we look fantastic and feel stronger and healthier — we are adding weight.  Now, muscle also burns more calories than does fat, so by having more muscle we are eliminating more fat, thereby losing weight.  Basically, if I really wanted to win this category, I should not have done this:

Watch out for my guns, they’ll get you every time.

But, ooops, I did (:

Anyway, as of last week on the challenge scale I weighed in at 128.0 lbs down from 138.8 lbs, as loss of 10.8 lbs.  That’s 7.78% total weight loss.  In order to be competitive for 1st place I’d probably have to have lost 11 or 12% by next Wednesday (putting me at 123.5 or 122 lbs).  Although I was surprised at how high the 128 was, given my very good week, I don’t think I’ll be dropping 4.5 to 6 lbs in one week, so 1st is out.  I’d be happy to place in the top three, but we’ll see.

The plan for this last week is, as always, to be good (which means stay under my caloric ceiling and exercise frequently).

I’m also trying to be good in the sense that I don’t dedicate 200 calories of my daily intake to chocolate.  Even though a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, and eating 200 calories of chocolate as opposed to turkey sandwich should not really affect my success in losing weight this week, I still feel guilt as I’m taking the last bite of that Snickers bar — and guilt and stress certainly impede weight loss.

…So, those two Snickers Almond bars that I took out of my work’s free candy bowl yesterday are going to have to wait in the freezer for me until after Wednesday.

What, like you could resist taking a full size Snickers Almond bar out of this tempt-a-licious bowl?:

You don’t see them because they’re already gone (:

3. Attendance

Yeah, Jamie and I went to all of the meetings… but we didn’t go to the $5 Fit Clubs and we didn’t call our coaches once a week to check in.  The meetings give you the most points, but there are a few other people who have been to all of the meetings and who regularly attend Fit Club.  So, again, it is very possible that neither Jamie nor I will place in this category.  This meaningless category that has nothing to do with how good we look.

And we look good.

So, to conclude, although Jamie and I may end up each out $29, victory-less, and slightly demoralized, we certainly win in life, where people see our photos and say “Wow! You look great!”  No one will care that we didn’t win $50 for best photo, and no one will care that some other random person lost a higher percentage of weight than us over the last arbitrarily defined 11 weeks.

Yes, all of this has been loser talk.  There are no moral victories.  Damn it.  I’m gonna lose.  Oh well — there’s always football.

Author: tofubelly

I’m an attorney living in Southern California. I’m vegan, recently married, and am a proud mother of two misbehaving orange kitties. I love to cook and eat good food. I also love to exercise and to look and feel great. At times, it feels like these two passions are at odds, but I’ve made it my lifelong project to combine my loves into one super-healthy awesome lifestyle. I’m a huge advocate of calorie counting. My husband and I successfully lost 40 and 20 pounds just by restricting our caloric intake and burning extra calories with exercise when we could find time. I am constantly experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with fresh, healthy, and *countable* recipes. In effort to become more active, I’ve trained for and completed two races — Nike’s 10K Human Race (Sept. 2008) and the Disneyland Half Marathon (Sept. 2011 – photo on the right). Running is my project (read: I suck at it, but I will not let it defeat me). Yoga is like having a religious experience. Whatever the workout, if I’m at the gym, I’m always in a fabulous mood. As I leave, I always make a note to myself: self, you love going to the gym. That’s not to say that I don’t fall off the wagon all the time. Like in the photo above, with some *delicious* vegan mac and cheese at the 2011 Vegan Beer Fest. Or like every other day, when I convince myself that it is acceptable to park my butt on the couch and watch three hours of television before bed instead of changing into my gym clothes and fitting in a workout. Without all of my falling off, I wouldn’t be able to boast my tofu belly. But more important than the falling off is the getting back on. With this blog, I’ll share with you my constant struggles with myself to get to the gym, to drink more water, and to make healthy and low-cal food choices. By sharing, I hope to keep myself more accountable while also showing others that it is entirely possible to live a healthy, albeit busy, life one day at a time. Here’s to firming up my tofu belly — with a little help from you!

2 thoughts on “Last week of the 90 Day Challenge… thank god.

  1. Dyl thinks you look hot, especially in the side after pic :). I do too!

  2. Pingback: 90 Day Challenge Redux | Extra Firm Tofu Belly

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